This is the real reason grocery store rotisserie chicken is so cheap

It’s one of the oldest bits of kitchen advice in the books: If you want to save money, skip convenience foods and cook from scratch. This is true for a batch of brownies (about 39 cents for homemade but more than $2 for a boxed mix) and cut fruit (a pineapple is only $2.75 per pound vs. $4.28 if it’s precut), and especially for ready-to-eat meals, which tend to cost nearly twice as much as the ingredients you need to make them. But there’s one food where this rule doesn’t apply: rotisserie chicken. Here are 14 other grocery store items you’re better off making at home.

That’s right: In most grocery stores, the average whole, raw chicken is actually more expensive than its spit-roasted equivalent. Savings aside, it seems to be a much better deal for any busy shopper to invest in a finished dinner—one that doesn’t need to be cleaned, stuffed, seasoned and roasted at home. So why are rotisserie chickens so inexpensive?

RELATED: Try these chicken recipes at home 

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Good Eats: 75+ chicken recipes you won't get bored of
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Good Eats: 75+ chicken recipes you won't get bored of

Grilled Chicken with Asian Marinated Tomatoes by Food & Wine

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Curried Maple-Mustard Chicken Breasts by Food & Wine

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Honey Balsamic Mustard Glazed Chicken by Chef Billy Parisi

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Buffalo Chicken Parm Poppers by Oh, Bite It | Amy Erickson

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Slow Cooker Coca-Cola Chicken by Oh, Bite It | Amy Erickson

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Spicy Barbecued Chicken with Miso Corn by Food & Wine

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Healthier Slow Cooker Crack Chicken by Slimming Eats

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Honey-Ginger Chicken with Lime by Food & Wine

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Roast Chicken Panzanella by Food & Wine

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Crisp Chicken Thighs with Peas and Carrots by Food & Wine

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Easy Chicken Fajitas With Thai Mango Slaw And Coconut Rice by Half Baked Harvest | Tieghan Gerard

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Whole Roast Chicken With 40 Brussels Sprouts by Food & Wine

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Buffalo Chicken Casserole by Campbell's Kitchen    

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Sesame-Ginger Chicken Meatballs by Food & Wine

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Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts with Tarragon Creamed Corn by Kitchen Daily Editors

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Chicken, Fennel and Artichoke Fricassee by Martha Stewart

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Mini Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas by Campbell's Kitchen

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Five-Spice Chicken Banh Mi Sandwiches by Food & Wine

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Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup by Melanie Makes | Melanie Bauer

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Sticky Sweet Chili Chicken Wings by Savory Nothings | Nora Rusev

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Fresh Harissa & Yogurt Spiced Chicken Sandwiches by JJ Begonia | Carlynn Woolsey

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Spicy Asian Chicken Noodle Soup by Love and Olive Oil | Lindsay Landis

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Healthy Spinach Artichoke Chicken Pizza by Savory Nothings | Nora Rusev

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Chicken Tikka Masala by Food & Wine

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Butter-Roasted Chicken with Soy-Garlic Glaze by Food & Wine

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Wintertime "Barbecue" Chicken by SELF

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Strawberry Basil Chicken by The Kitchen Prep | Dianna Muscari

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Butcher Shop Chicken by Food & Wine

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Chicken Chile Verde by Food & Wine

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Cambodian Red Curry Chicken Wings by Food & Wine

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Braised Chicken and Noodles in a Creamy Garlic Sauce by In Sock Monkey Slippers | Meredith Steele

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Turmeric Chicken & Rice by Food & Wine

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Slow Cooker Healthy Creamy Chicken Casserole by The Magical Slow Cooker | Sarah Olson

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White Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas with Pomegranate by Cooking and Beer | Justine Sulia

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Chicken Caesar Skewers by Food & Wine

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40 Glove Garlic Chicken by Today's Nest | Sam Henderson

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Chicken & Wild Rice Soup by Food & Wine

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Crock Pot Chicken and Chickpea Stew with Tomatoes by Chef Billy Parisi

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Tea-Brined and Double-Fried Hot Chicken by Food & Wine

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Chicken Paprikash Over Dumplings by Carrie's Experimental Kitchen | Carrie Farias

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Creamy Rice, Chicken And Spinach Dinner by Philadelphia Cream Cheese

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Buttermilk Fried Chicken by Food & Wine

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Chicken Thigh Kebabs with Chile-Yogurt Sauce by Food & Wine

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Thai Chicken Pizza by Bacon Egg & Cheese{cake} | Shelley Liu

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BBQ Pulled Chicken with Balsamic Onions and Slaw by Chef Billy Parisi

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Yuzu Kosho-Glazed Chicken Drumsticks by Perry's Plate | Natalie Perry

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Korean Fried Chicken by Simply Delicious | Alida Ryder

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Barbeque Chicken Quesadillas by Curtis Stone

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Creamy Tomato-Basil Pasta With Chicken by Philadelphia Cream Cheese

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Chicken & Quinoa Salad with BBQ-Spiced Vinaigrette by JJ Begonia | Carlynn Woolsey

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Healthified Crock Pot Chicken & Dumplings by The Skinny Fork | Amanda Plott

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Braised Chicken with Pomegranate Molasses by Own Your Kitchen | Anne Burrell

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Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta by Philadelphia Cream Cheese

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Kingside Roast Chicken by Marc Murphy 

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Easy Skillet Chicken Parm by Prego

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Open-Face Buffalo Chicken Subs with Ranch Slaw by Domesticate ME! | Serena Wolf

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Mini Chicken Pot Pies by Campbell's Kitchen

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Lemony Chicken Stir-Fry by Food & Wine

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Easiest Chicken Tacos by Food & Wine

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Tagliatelle with Braised Chicken and Figs by Food & Wine

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Chicken Nuggets by Deceptively Delicious | Jessica Seinfeld

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Chicken Quinoa Meatballs by Chez Us | Denise Woodward and Lenny Ferreira

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Coffee-Spice Chicken and Fruit-Basil Salsa by Kitchen Daily Editors

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Spicy Asian-Chicken-Salad Lettuce Cups by Food & Wine

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Chicken Cordon Bleu by Kitchen Daily Editors

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Chicken and Cheese Poppers by Kitchen Daily Editors

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Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken Caprese by Well Plated by Erin | Erin Clarke

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Easy Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo by Philadelphia Cream Cheese

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Oven Fried Chicken Breasts by Food & Wine

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Well, it turns out there’s a secret behind your pre-roasted poultry. According to an article published by the California educational television channel KCET, the golden, juicy rotisserie chickens in grocery stores are often the unsold raw chickens that are about to expire. By selling them at a lower price, grocery stores make less money than they would on raw birds, but way more money than they would if they tossed the chickens out. Don’t throw your grocery shopping money out the window either. These are the 19 tricks frugal shoppers use to save money on groceries.

Repurposing unsold products is pretty common in grocery stores. Supermarket consultants have admitted that vegetables and meat are often thrown into pre-made salads or deli items to minimize waste. Even rotisserie chickens that don’t sell are chopped up and thrown into creamy chicken salad! Next, check out the 50 food secrets food manufacturers don’t tell you that could change the way you eat.

RELATED: Add these to your Costco shopping list 

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18 things chefs buy from Costco
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18 things chefs buy from Costco

Waygu beef

USDA Prime meat is a big deal at the Prime + Proper Steakhouse in Detroit. That’s why executive butcher Walter Apfelbaum supplies the chefs there with Waygu beef he buys at Costco, according to Food & Wine. “Costco sells some of the most beautiful prime beef I’ve seen out of the restaurant industry,” he says. Here’s more about why chefs love Costco’s beef.

Pork chops

Chef Julie Yoon, who runs an online cooking show called Bits & Piecesbuys a big pack of bone-in pork chops at Costco. She’ll wrap them individually in plastic wrap and place them in a Ziplock bag to freeze for future use.

Bacon

Cardoz likes the heft of Applewood-Smoked Thick Cut Bacon. Yoon, meanwhile, opts for Farmer John Classic Bacon. She gets a four-pack, then freezes three packages and uses it in spaghetti carbonara and grilled cheese. Here are more things at Costco you shouldn’t be without.

Produce

Costco is known for its selection of fruits and vegetables. Yoon’s haul at Costco typically includes baby carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, tomatoes, grapes, avocados, and lemons. And don’t forget Mexican limes. They’re not always available at Cardoz’s Costco, but when they are, he likes to pick some up for margaritas. 

Kirkland Signature Extra Virgin Olive Oil 

Samin Nosrat, the author of the bestselling Salt Fat Acid Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking, is a big fan of this affordable olive oil, according to Refinery 29. Cardoz likes it too, for marinades, salads, and cooking. Find out 15 foods nutritionists always buy at Costco.

Burgers 

Cardoz has been a fan since he got some premade burgers for one of his son’s birthdays. He recommends the unfrozen kind in the meat section.

Spinalis Steak 

This juicy cut has lots of flavor. “You usually have to special-order this from other butchers,” Cardoz told Kitchn. Find out the bizarre things you didn’t know you could find at Costco

Kirkland Raw, Tail-On Shrimp

Yoon likes to keep a bag of these frozen shrimp in the freezer. Low in calories, they’re easy to defrost by placing them in a bowl of cold water for ten minutes, she says. 

Wine

You may find a wine you really like at Costco, then find that the warehouse doesn’t stock it anymore. Cardoz likes to get “Italian varietals, rosés, and gewürztraminers” there when he can.

Rotisserie chicken

A favorite of many Costco shoppers, the rotisserie chicken also makes Yoon’s list of Costco staples. Here are the secrets behind Costco’s rotisserie chicken.

Kirkland Signature Maple Syrup

This pantry staple is not only organic, but Cardoz says it tastes good and lasts a long time. These are 10 Kirkland items you should always buy at Costco.

Wheat bread

Yoon likes Whole Grains 100% Whole Wheat Bread. Since the loaves come two to a pack and the bread can get moldy quickly, she sticks one loaf in the fridge and the other in the freezer.

Kirkland Signature Super Extra Large Peanuts 

Not only are they extra large, but they also don’t get stale, which is why Cardoz is a fan. Here are 15 things you aren’t buying at Costco, but should.

Organic Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs 

It’s not easy to find chicken thighs that are organic, Cardoz says. He likes to get a big pack and use them in curries.

Tellicherry Peppercorns

Chefs use lots of pepper, and Cardoz says this brand remains “fresh and fragrant,” Kitchn reports.

Deli meat

Yoon packs her husband’s lunch every day. For deli meat, she goes for a pack of Oven-Roasted Turkey Breast and Honey Ham from Hillshire Farm. To accompany it, she buys Belgiorno Provolone cheese.

Agave syrup

Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Blue Agave is reasonably priced, Yoon says. She likes to use it as a sweetener in her recipe for shrimp with lime. Here are 13 tips frequent Costco shoppers keep to themselves.

Frosted Mini-Wheats

The beauty of a warehouse store is that you can also find plenty of items that aren’t necessarily gourmet. Yoon picks up her cereal at Costco as well. Next, find out 15 secrets Costco employees won’t tell you.

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The post This Is the Real Reason Grocery Store Rotisserie Chicken Is So Cheap appeared first on Reader's Digest.

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