November 28, 2020

Thanksgiving food dollars and sense

Turkey & Wild Rice Soup
Thanksgiving seems to be divided into two camps - one that says it's all about giving thanks and another that says it's all about the food. I guess I'm in the third and quiet camp that knows it's both. 

I was chatting with a girlfriend earlier today and she was bemoaning "the expense" of the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey, filling, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, gravy, biscuits, cranberry sauce, several veggies, and several desserts. It got me to thinking - and figuring. Here's the breakdown of my traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Keep in mind I buy items on sale, in bulk, and had pressure canned my own potatoes. 

Turkey $18
Filling $2.36
White potatoes ($4.97x2/24x2) $.83
Sweet potatoes $1.99
Biscuits (homemade) $1
Cranberry sauce $1.59
Pumpkin pie 2.77
Corn $.59
Green beans $.49

Total = $29.62

canned turkey broth

I would agree that $30 for one meal, and that's without figuring in time spent shopping and cooking, would be a lot. But is it really? Here are a few more numbers.

Turkey pot pies in the freezer - 4 (used dark meat turkey and leftover veggies plus 1 quart canned potatoes

Wild Rice & Turkey Soup - 4 meals in the freezer using white meat turkey

Leftover plate dinners - 2 meals

Pumpkin pie - dessert two additional evenings

Turkey sandwiches - 1 lunch

Turkey Tetrazzini - 2 dinners using white meat and pantry ingredients

In my situation, our $30 dinner has stretched for a total of 14 meals. That shakes down to less than $3 a meal, and that's a meal for two people. 

This doesn't even count the 6 quarts of turkey broth I canned to use in recipes throughout the coming year. 

I think fixing a traditional Thanksgiving dinner is something to be thankful for. There are 10 times in the future I won't have to prepare a dinner unless you want to say getting the meal out of the freezer and heating it up is the same as cooking the meal. It's really not, at least to me. 

I don't need to be this frugal, but I'm thankful that it's not a hardship for me to practice frugality. Food is a necessity and a resource. I'm grateful for the women in my life who taught me how to manage my resources. It seems I don't have to look too far to discover that not all of us were fortunate enough to receive such lessons. 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor

No comments: