Welcome to the turkey stretcher frugal meal plan and here are the results of our experiment. The experiment involved us buying our turkey as usual and seeing how many meals we can make out of one turkey for the ultimate frugal challenge.
But first of all let me fill you in on our frugal challenge so far……
For a recap earlier this month we showed you how to do Christmas lunch for a family of four for just 20 Euros. We also showed you how to save money by cooking from scratch, eating more vegetables and our favourite of all which was sharing the expense with other family members.
But what we really wanted to do was to go into greater detail about how you could still spend your money on your Christmas (or Thanksgiving) turkey and have that turkey stretch through a lot of meals to save yourself a small fortune.
I have done this ever year without fail since we first started buying our own turkey for Christmas. It was always great fun to batch cook for the freezer and then enjoy meals such as Sweet & Sour Turkey in February knowing full well that it originally came from a Christmas meal.
But I also wanted to share with you everything that we do in real time. Never made making recipe suggestions but what about what we actually ate, down to the last scrap of turkey.
We are also in a very lucky position to have 2 freezers so that we can batch cook our leftovers if we want to, so here goes!
Let’s start by talking about the turkey we have actually bought. The turkey we got came from our local hypermarket. It’s a huge store and we happened to get the last of the frozen turkeys. Apart from this all they had left was small ones or crowns and I would have been heartbroken to be left with either of these.
There was another shop selling them but they charged a small fortune and a lot more than what we were willing to pay for one.
Our turkey cost a total of 16€ for a 5.3 kilo turkey. So in American measurements this is nearly 12 pounds of turkey or 1.33€ a pound.
It is the traditional size that we go for as far as Christmas or Thanksgiving is concerned and it will be nice to put pen to paper and see how far it really stretches compared to previous years.
If you haven’t read or tested my super moist turkey recipe then you can do so by clicking here.
The Turkey Stretcher
The turkey as usual will be cooked on Christmas Eve so that we can have more family time on Christmas Day and below is a countdown of how the turkey was portioned up and used:
The Day of being cooked
On the day it was cooked it would be wrong if we didn’t enjoy some turkey and we all end up standing over the turkey in the kitchen all demanding the turkey skin along with a turkey sandwich.
We have some traditional turkey breast with our main meal, plus a little bit in the kitchen as we pick because the smell of the turkey is driving us all crazy and we just can’t resist.
The day after the turkey is cooked
Well we have family visiting today and we get the plates of turkey out of the fridge. We have a plate with leftover breast and another plate with all the brown meat, We opt for us all to have turkey wraps filled with salad and mayonnaise and its like perfect turkey sandwiches.
But because we have used Dominic’s delicious tortilla wraps we have saved even more money as we haven’t needed to buy any bread.
Then in the evening for dinner we have a large bowl of leftover turkey soup each along with a quick turkey burger each. These turkey burgers are so delicious and they are made up of a mix of leftovers from the main meal. They feature stuffing, roast potatoes, mash, sprouts and lots of brown turkey meat. Naturally, we had to add extra cheese to them as there should be a law that all burgers must include cheese!!!
Two days after the turkey is cooked
Today it is more of yesterday and I am talking more turkey burgers as they are amazing and its truly special how far you can stretch out your leftover mash and such like for another meal.
I’m rather shocked that a small portion of turkey brown meat with the leftovers from the sides can make so many burgers.
Then in the evening for dinner we have turkey fajitas in Dominic’s homemade wraps. You may think we have had a lot of these wraps but they are our latest addiction and are incredibly cheap to make!
Three days after the turkey is cooked
For a cooked turkey you have three days until it has to be eaten. Therefore that’s three days of 2 meals a day or you could batch cook it into sauces for a later date. Because we have a turkey that is less than 6 kilos we don’t have any spare and its all used in the first three days.
For today we have tapas for lunch made up of turkey muffins and of course Brazilian turkey pies. You can get my Brazilian turkey pies on the blog and they are absolutely delicious and a perfect use of your leftovers. Plus they taste best in the brown meat meaning that it’s an amazing for your leftover legs.
For our turkey muffins we also edited our cheese and bacon ones and swapped the bacon for turkey and they tasted so delicious that we were all arguing over the last one.
Then in the evening we had a homemade turkey pie in the slow cooker. We used up the entire leftover turkey breast that we had left with a tiny bit of the leftover brown meat and then added leftover vegetable bake to it. We then reduced the thickness of the sauce by adding a little white wine and some semi skimmed milk.
We used the slow cooker for it and layered the top with shortcrust pastry dough and left it to cook for four hours. It was ideal for our last bit of turkey and we felt incredibly proud of ourselves that we had no turkey waste at all!
Countdown of Meals:
In case you got lost among our post and with us sharing all our different uses of the turkey here is a countdown on the final result:
- Turkey roast dinner as a family of four
- Turkey salad wraps for six of us
- Turkey soup for four of us
- 14 Turkey burgers
- Turkey fajitas for four of us
- 8 Turkey Muffins
- Large Turkey Pie for four
- 10 Brazilian Pies
Oh and I should add I have a husband and a teen that love nothing more than snacking with the fridge door open. I am convinced that they had about 4 large slices of turkey breast each! But they deny all knowledge J
This works out at a total of 54 meals from one 12 pound turkey otherwise known as 29 cent for every person that has been fed over the last few days. To say that we enjoyed a premium turkey for the cost of 4€ a day is impressive even by my frugal standards.
Now I am wondering if I bought a bigger turkey next time how far I could stretch it out!