I find that knowledge of how to prep from basic ingredients (as basic as you can get, anyways) invaluable. It opens up a wider variety of recipe possibilities and can help in saving some money over buying prepared ingredients. One of those things is learning how to cut up a whole chicken.
I like buying whole chickens because we can get a few things from it; namely the meat, the bones and the skin/fat. The meat can then be prepared in whichever way you like. The bones are great for making stock (roasted or not, with veggies or not), and the fat is rendered from the skin. A favourite is also the leftover fried skin bits which can be salted after frying, kept in the fridge for 1-2 weeks and used as soup toppings much like bacon bits. (I sometimes just take a pinch of them to eat straight up, to get the taste of fried chicken.)
Jacques Pépin’s videos have been an invaluable resource for information on how to cook. Here’s his video on how to cut up a whole chicken.
Bonus – complete deboning of a whole chicken: