When Thanksgiving rolls around, Americans buy millions of turkeys! Yes, millions!
As for the rest of the year, that is a different story. In fact, Thanksgiving may be the only time of the year some people even enjoy turkey. How on earth can that be possible? We all know turkey is low in fat and that it can be transformed into hundreds of different meals. Oh, and let's not forget it works wonders at inducing men into deep comas on the couch. So what holds consumers back? Maybe it’s the price!
During the fall, turkey can be purchased for well under $1.00 per pound. Sometimes it’s even free when you take advantage of store incentives or holiday giveaways. However, it is much harder to find prices that low during the rest of the year. Trust me, I tried! So I did some research and learned that if I follow a few easy steps, I can save money on turkey throughout the year!
Ways to Save on Turkey
- Stock up during the holidays. We all know turkey is extremely affordable during the holidays! If you have the freezer space, buy at least three turkeys. Then you’ll have turkey for the next few months. If you don't have the space, consider pitching in with some neighbors to share a few turkeys (and freezer space). If protected well, turkeys will last for quite a while in their frigid home. People often think of turkey as a holiday treat, but during the cold months think of how nice it will be to enjoy some savory turkey sandwiches or stew!
- Take advantage of free promotions. During Thanksgiving, grocery stores have promotions that often include a free turkey when shoppers purchase certain items. Our local blood bank and some thrift stores even give away turkeys with a donation. Even if you’ve already bought a turkey, take advantage of these deals! Think about holiday gift giving, and see if any local retailers are giving away turkeys with purchase. It is worth the time and effort searching out these deals. Nothing beats free, especially if you can do some good in the process or will be buying items you need to purchase anyway.
- Always choose frozen. Fresh turkeys may be more convenient, but they cost a lot more. Shopping in the freezer section saves about $1 per pound, and that can really add up. Just think: If you need a 20-pound bird it is possible to save $20 by buying frozen. That $20 can supply most of your side dish items! Frozen turkeys taste just as fresh, can be fancied up, and are available in cage-free/organic varieties. They are still great quality, and no one will know the difference.
- Shop a competitive store that will price match. There is no sense in wasting gas trying to round up the best deals. Some grocers will even beat the price of their competitor by 10%, allowing you to save even more on a bird. If you find a turkey at one store for $1.00 a pound and another for $1.10 a pound, with a price match and 10% discount you can get a turkey as low as $.90 cents a pound. The savings will really add up.
- Don't forget wine tags and coupons (this is my favorite tip)! While you may already be a coupon diva, many people are still under the impression you can’t find meat coupons. Many retailers such as wineries and other food and beverage companies offer cents off coupons good on turkey when you buy their products. Even $1 or $2 off can make a difference. Watch for these savings when perusing weekly inserts or while grocery shopping. In many instances the coupons will be in peelie form stuck right on the packages.
- Buy whole turkeys! Even if you don’t like dark meat, you’ll save money if you buy a whole bird. Breasts are more expensive because more labor is involved in butchering them. Stick to a whole bird, and, above all, avoid convenience items. Turkeys that cook in the bag or can be thrown into the oven while they’re still frozen cost a lot more than other items, even fresh turkey. Anytime a food is convenient to prepare, you’re going to pay more money. If you want to save, choose a simple frozen turkey and just plan on using a little more elbow grease to prepare it. And hey, if you don’t like dark meat, chop up the meat and place it into small freezer bags. It makes a great treat for pets, a great add-in for stews, or can even be used on sandwiches!
By following these tips you can stock up on turkey this holiday season at a great price! And if you are utterly convinced you won't eat any more turkey throughout the rest of the year, why not consider donating any additional birds you score to your local food bank or shelter? That will give you a satisfying feeling even the tastiest turkey can't beat!