Saturday, November 19, 2016

Thanksgiving meal costs


I am fully prepped (food wise, I think!) for the upcoming holiday. There are many, local stores offering completely prepared for the customer Thanksgiving meals for $149-$169. Restaurants are offering "deals" as well. Luckily, prices for Thanksgiving food stuffs are down this year:

Thanksgiving dinner cost 2016

but even if they weren't, this remains a very affordable holiday meal. Many are daunted by the prospect of cooking a turkey; best to view it as just a large chicken. Most* know how to cook a chicken (at least I hope so!). Smaller families may choose to cook a turkey breast (bone in or not), if not do a small chicken.  We continue to often serve turkey as it's a meat that we like, and that is very affordable.

My menu this year:

roasted fresh turkey (approx 67/lb for a 15 lb bird) $10.05: requires Bells seasoning ($2/box-use this all year round) salt, pepper on hand
homemade gravy: requires butter, Bells seasoning, flour, salt, pepper already on hand
mashed potatoes: 10 lb bag @ 3.99 or approx $2 worth of potatoes: requires milk, butter, salt, pepper, onion powder already on hand
sausage stuffing: requires roll pork sausage ($1.49), homemade stock (freebie), Bell's stuffing cubes ($2.84), mushrooms ($1.49) celery, onion, Bells seasoning, butter already on hand
sweet potato casserole: sweet potatoes (5 lb box $2.49 so approx $2), requires brown sugar, cinnamon, butter, marshmallows already on hand
creamed peas and onions: fzn peas 99, fzn creamed onions 89: requires butter, black pepper already on hand
cranberry-orange relish: cranberries 99, organic orange $1: requires sugar already on hand
relish tray: black olives $1, sweet gherkins $1.25, sweet mixed pickles $1.34
homemade pies:
-pumpkin:  pumpkin puree 89 cents, canned evap milk 59 cents, pieshell (1 out of 2 count box @ $1.49) so 75 cents: requires eggs, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg already on hand
-pecan: pecans from Aldi's (don't recall the price, but cheapest around), pie shell 75 cents, corn syrup (gifted to me): requires eggs, brown sugar, salt, vanilla extract, orange zest already on hand
-apple: apples 67/lb + some gifted to me if needed (I like a mile high fruit pie), pie crust $1.49: requires instant tapicoa, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter already on hand
-cranberry juice $1.49
-whipping cream $2: requires sugar, vanilla already on hand

$38.63 plus the cost of household staples. I am feeding 6 this year, and we anticipate eating leftovers for a few days (November 2016 menus ). Some meat will be frozen, soup stock as well, even though soup will be made.


meme said...

Thanksgiving is a frugal meal - when you consider the leftovers. After the dinner, our turkey will be picked clean - then make a turkey pie for the freezer, set up turkey for leftover meals and a soup for the long weekend. I know I am buying a rare package of bacon to make turkey BLT's for lunch.

I have Friday off with pay from my work - but feel fortunate to be working nine hours on Friday doing foster care respite for two children from 8-5 @ $12.50 an hour. I am not shopping that day and will then have the rest of the weekend.

Hawaii Planner said...

Yum! I love traditional Thanksgiving food, but I'm the only one in my house who really likes it. We'll be in Hawaii this year, with just an outdoor grill & a tiny kitchen. I'm leaning towards grilling a lovely fish, steak, or burgers. So traditional. ;-) My only demand/request is that we have pie. Glorious, glorious pie.

Anne in the kitchen said...

You did a really nice breakdown of the Thanksgiving meal prep and what is truly required. One question though, what is Bells seasoning? I have never seen it here before.

Meg B. said...

I really enjoy Thanksgiving. Interestingly, it's a probably the meal I prepare with the most non-scratch made foods. As it's just dh and kids, and they really don't care for turkey, I will roast a turkey breast, bought a while back for $1.29/pound. I rub with paprika and other herbs on hand. Gravy is drippimgs, and I also pour a can of beef broth in the roasting pan, .49 when I bought a case Sides will be the standards, which, really, only dh and I care for. Almost all sides are from the clearance aisles Corn bread stuffing, pre-packaged, at $1.99 for a box of two bags--I will use half of a bag, mashed potatoes from red potatoes for .99/5pound bag, cranberry sauce at .79/can, green bean casserole, beans .49, soup .50, and French's onions...had those for a while, also crash and burn. I will make sweet potato casserole from a .89 (I think) can of yams, sugar, milk and nuts are on hand.
Cream cheese was .79/pack last week, so I bought two cases. Our dessert will be cheesecake,and I will give cheesecakes to dear friends as Christmas gifts.
Our biggest expense is the appetizer: Portlock smomed salmon at $9.99/box (it's a PNW thing), fancy cheeses, Honeycrisp apple slices withe bleu cheese, champagne and o.j. for mimosas, wine and sparkling cider. The kids love the appetizer part, especially now that they are older. I don't think our holidays can happen without that Portlock!
Happy Thanksgiving, and thank you for such an enjoyable blog.

CTMOM said...

Anne, Here's a link: Bells is a staple in my kitchen, an old, New England product that I even recall my great grandmother using.

Ms. Sandie said...

This year we are having our meal on Wednesday (only teaching three hours). Thanks to you I preordered my organic bird and will be picking it up Monday. I am only cooking for us. Very scaled down, everyone picked a favorite side. Gpa P wants pierogies, DH mashed potatoes. I will make celariac if I can get more tomorrow (it doesn't bother me at all!), mushrooms and Brussels sprouts. Cranberry sauce and gravy. (Yes, the cook gets to pick three veggies). Believe it or not, this is scaled down. Also not making huge quantities. Just enough for the meal, make some sandwiches for DH and a second dish for me and Gpa P. I will freeze the neck to make stock later in the week.

Marcia in rural WNY said...

I will be making my cornbread stuffing--cornbread from scratch. Have everything else in the house. Whipping cream was $1.49 a half pint, and I bought 2. Pies are pumpkin and chocolate cream. Veggies squash and broccoli, I think, though I may yet change my mind. NO SWEET POTATOES. Potatoes and gravy. Turkey was .58 per pd--I got 15 # one. Half of leftovers go home with DD and SIL, and granddaughter. Pie shells from scratch--low fat recipe, uses canola oil. Fresh and canned jelled cranberry sauce.

Ready made meals from supermarket are $79.99 here. No way I spent anywhere near that.

mikemax said...

Most of my ingredients are cheaper than yours (we grow potatoes in Idaho and it doesn't cost a fortune to have them shipped) but evaporated milk costs more (.79 per can; I only use one can for a pumpkin pie so it's not a big deal, LOL). It's just DH, DD and myself this year, so I have a very scaled-down menu. It doesn't include yams, although I bought some for .59 lb. that I will cook later and freeze the excess. Yams/sweet potatoes, cut into 1 inch slices, cook in about 5 minutes in the pressure cooker.

Cheapest turkeys were .29 lb. with $50 purchase and I bought two--one for the freezer or possibly food bank at Christmas. I am cooking the smaller 12-1/2 lb. bird. There's a chance I may get one more turkey at this price, in which case the food bank will get one for sure.

CTMOM said...

Max, for CT these ARE awesome sale prices. Just an overall really expensive place to live

mikemax said...
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JoAnn said...

My husband still gets a free turkey from his boss at work, something you don't hear about too often anymore. Mashed potatoes are homemade, green bean casserole with bacon AND fried onions (x2, as that is my dish to take to the bigger family celebration). Cranberry from a can and plain old Stove top stuffing, since my son is the only one that likes it. Crescent rolls and homemade pumpkin pie. Costs really are minimal.

How do you make your creamed peas? My dad mentioned having these as a kid and I would love to surprise him with a TnT recipe! Thanks!

CTMOM said...

Joann, I am serving creamed peas and onions but a cheater's version: I bought a box of Birds eye creamed onions, will transfer the frozen contents into a covered casserole, add 1/2 a bag of fzn peas, a pat of butter, black pepper and heat through. Sometimes, I also add mushrooms.

mikemax said...

Joann, make a basic white sauce with 2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons flour and 1 cup of milk. Melt butter, stir in flour until smooth; and cook briefly so the flour doesn't taste "raw." Add 1 cup milk, stirring constantly until smooth a thick (a wire whisk is good for stirring). (Multiply recipe as needed). Add peas to white sauce, season to taste, and you're done.

We always have beef for Christmas and a family favorite is creamed peas and potatoes. Same as above, except add boiled potatoes (we especially like red potatoes with the skins left on. I sometimes make the white sauce with equal parts potato water and evaporated milk.

Thanks to Miss Inez Russell, my 8th grade home ec teacher, for teaching this.