As gas prices and groceries, and just about everything else go up in price I start looking at ways I can save money. Since one of the places we spend the most money is on our groceries that’s where I start looking to save.
Now this isn’t going to be an article with a million tips about how you can eat cheap… but it is going to be an article about 1 thing I did, and how it will assist us with eating on a budget.
Last weekend was Easter. We had a ham. However, when I was doing my meal plan last week I noticed in the circular that turkey was on sale. On sale to the tune of .79 a pound. WOW.
Even though it wasn’t Thanksgiving I picked myself up a whole 20 pound turkey this week. I don’t think I’ve ever cooked a turkey without the pressure of a million people coming over, and a kid going nuts to see them. It’s a totally different experience on a Spring Thursday. 🙂
So I popped my bird in a brown n bag (which are genius inventions that still make me a little weirded out… but they work great), and set the timer for 3 and 1/2 hours.
The house started smelling good, and right at dinner time the timer went off and the pop up timer popped in my bird. I set it out to rest for a bit and as it cooled I opened the brown n bag and poured all the drippings into a pan. I let that cool and low and behold came out with 2 quart jars of turkey juice. 🙂
After the turkey cooled and set for a bit I carved it up. (another totally different experience with no pressure). I carved the breasts off whole, and carved off the legs/wings/thighs and other dark meat. The dark meat is our favorite so it’s what we had for dinner last night along with some stuffing and peas.
After dinner I came in and got to thinking about what I’m going to do with the rest of this turkey! When there aren’t 10 people eating it leaves a LOT. 🙂
The breasts were huge, so I cut them in half. Then I diced two sections and put them in their own freezer container = 2 more family meals .
The other breast I cut in half and put in two freezer containers = 2 more family meals
I put the rest of the dark meat in a zip top bag, which will be for lunches this week = 4 to 6 lunches
I put the bones and the remainder of the pan in a zip top bag to make stock out of. I imagine I will get at least a gallon of stock out of this turkey.
The juice in the two quart jars = huge pot of soup which will probably = 3 to 4 family meals
There are 3 people in our family, so if we add it all up we come out with around 33 individual meals ~ not counting the countless meals the stock will be in.
My turkey cost me 16 bucks which = .48 cents per meal.
In addition, most of our family meals have leftovers that one or more of us eat for lunch the next day… so the family meals will probably come out to 5 meals each, which brings this total even lower!!
Now that’s what I call eating on a budget.
Sometimes eating on a budget just takes letting go of your “norm” and looking outside what you normally would do. I wouldn’t normally cook turkey in April. I also wouldn’t normally buy a piece of meat for 16 dollars, but when you look at what it breaks down to, it was an excellent buy.
We’ll have a good source of protein on hand for a good long while. I’ll be able to throw in a turkey dish when funds are a little tight to fill out the menu. We’ll have delicious home cooked meals, and I’ll only have paid .48 cents per person.
When holidays come around where people usually have family over and cook a large piece of meat, keep an eye out on the deals. If you can invest a few hours up front you can have meals on a budget for quite a while to come.
What do you think? What tips do you have for eating on a budget? Keep an eye out for the turkey recipes coming up in Menu Plan Mondays. 🙂
photo credit: Kimberlykv