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Turkey, a meat of many meals

Turkey dinners
Turkey dinners
Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Meat tends to be one of the more expensive parts of the grocery budget. Some meats tend to be a little easier to find, and cheaper, seasonally. Turkeys are typically very cheap in November, usually under a dollar a pound for frozen, so it’s a good time to stock up. A large turkey can yield many meals and sandwiches, but you will get sick of it soon enough. So what do you do with the leftovers from a 25 pound turkey?

One thing you can do is freeze it. Quarter or cut up the turkey and wrap it in wax or freezer paper to help prevent freezer burn (slicing is an option but the meat tends to dry out faster). Then seal the meat in an air tight freezer bag. Be sure to label and date the package so you know when it was frozen. It will keep in the freezer for up to 4 months.

Another use is in casseroles and soups. Turkey pot pie is great and can also be frozen, usually for up to 3 months. Taste of Home has an excellent recipe on their website. Another reliable site to get ideas from is www.allrecipes.com. Recipes on both are star rated, and often users will add suggestions, hints, and tricks, plus there is good feedback. There are countless other sites online that also have great recipes. Some are brand specific, including Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, and Campbell’s. You don’t have to actually use their brand of ingredients, but the recipes are often very good.

Many chicken recipes are also universal enough that turkey can be used instead, such as soup. You can also put a new spin on the traditional turkey sandwich. Try them grilled with melted cheese, use ranch or Thousand Island dressing in place of mayonnaise, use flat bread and shredded lettuce, and any number of other variations.

Cooked turkey will last in the refrigerator for up to 4 or 5 days, so you have time to be creative. So until next time, stay frugal and happy saving!