Thursday, December 4, 2008

Turkey - the Inexpensive Meat

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner at my brother's home, but one of the things we always miss is no leftovers. My brother's grocery bill is gigantic next to what ours is when we make a dinner. They end up with so many leftovers that end up being thrown out, as they can't eat them all. Sadly - it seems like they aren't the only ones that do that. I've heard over and over on the list that people spend a huge amount of money on dinner, and then don't eat all the leftovers or give them away because they won't eat leftovers.

When we make a turkey dinner, we spend a minimal amount of money. We bought a turkey this year to have a "late" Thanksgiving dinner here. On Monday, I made turkey, stuffing, gravy, garlic mashed potatoes, corn and cranberry sauce. The turkey was a little over 16 pounds and cost $4.41. The stuffing was in our pantry, since I keep it on hand for making frozen meat balls and chicken dinners. We buy it in bulk, and I can't remember how much we paid for it. We were given the potatoes from a friend's garden, plus we had our own garlic and corn. The cranberry sauce was homemade, and we purchased a big 3# bag of cranberries for under $5 at Sam's Club. I used between 1/4 and 1/3 of the bag plus one cup of sugar. Our dinner for the 4 of us cost under $10.

Tuesday, the guys took turkey & swiss on homemade rye bread for lunch when they went hunting. My daughter and I had turkey dinner for lunch - yummy!! While the guys were out, I made Turkey Carcass Soup and used everything we had on hand... a couple of pieces of celery, 2 1/2 onions, 3 carrots, 1 turnip, 2 mushrooms and 2/3 cup barley (or rice if we don't have barley on hand), plus some herbs and spices. I roasted the bones first, then cooked them for 3 hours in water and any broth that we had left over that we didn't use in the gravy the night before. The guys ate their fill and were very satisfied after a long day outside.

Yesterday, the guys took more turkey & swiss on rye and we had soup for lunch. We made Deep Dish Turkey Potpie for dinner - and we used 1 cup of cubed potatoes, 1 cup sliced carrots, 1 cup frozen peas, plus a white sauce flavored with chicken boullion and pepper. This was covered with a bisquick (or bisquick clone) dough and baked. No leftovers of that.

Today, we will have the rest of the turkey dinner for lunch and will probably finish off what is left of the turkey meat. That makes a total of 6 meals (plus snitching) from one $4.41 turkey. Usually I'll freeze the meat but the guys asked for all the turkey meals. Since we had different ways of serving the turkey, they don't get tired of it. My husband says he's sad we'll be finishing up the bird today. He would love a few more sandwiches out of it. Next time....

We have less than $20 out of pocket - including the turkey - for all 6 of the meals. That's less than 1/5th of what my brother had into the dinner they had for 9 people for one day. Sadly - they threw a lot of that out!