Every Day

Inexpensive Turkey Soup and Other Topics

Turkey is one of the least expensive meats you can buy especially around Thanksgiving. I have one extra turkey in the freezer and I am keeping my eye on prices to see if any grocery clearances them. If I go by a grocery store, I stop and run in to see what they are doing with them. I suspect that Aldi will discount them but probably not until after Christmas.

That said, I paid $.99 a lb. for our Butterball 22 lb. turkey this year. It is our favorite brand and the breasts were huge. I have never gotten so much white meat off of a turkey. We got eight individual dinners and seven individual lunches out of the turkey and other leftovers. I also made eight quarts of turkey broth. I made a huge stockpot of turkey soup with some of it(pictured). The rest is in the freezer to use throughout the year. The soup has already fed Hubby and I two dinners and will probably feed us two more. We are definitely getting our money’s worth. Are any of you making soup?

I wanted to let you know that I finished my physical therapy today and I will be doing therapy at home using exercises they trained me to do. I have some of my answers but not all. I had 3 more tests yesterday and today. I am feeling much better but not 100% yet. 

We have started to think about income and expenses for 2018. We are setting the budget for the items that are not set in stone. You know the ones that fluctuate from month to month like groceries, entertainment, restaurant food, etc.

Our budget for food has changed because of the food that we are eating. We are on the Keto diet which consists of meat, chicken, fish, and lots of dark green veggies like kale, swiss chard, spinach, broccoli, etc. We try to buy organic produce when it is important. We are finishing the meat in the freezer and only buying grass fed when we make a purchase. We buy organic eggs from chickens that have been grass fed. We are using butter, olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil to cook with and for salad dressings. We eat cheese and other fats like bacon. This isn’t everything that we consume but most of it. We started this diet about 7 weeks ago and I have lost 15 lbs. and Hubby has lost 10. We never snack between meals. Of course we cheated a bit over Thanksgiving because we hosted company. When the soup is gone, we will be eating all Keto again. It is an easy diet and we are never hungry because of the fats. 

So when we get done setting the budget I will let you know the budget amounts for food, personal care, HBA etc. which will all be included in the total amount. Then I will let you know what the other categories are for things not set in stone every month.

I realize that you are probably all busy shopping and getting ready for Christmas. But this month you should be setting your budget for 2018. The other thing that is important is to estimate your taxes for 2017 and decide if you should do some tax harvesting of stocks to lower your taxes for the year.
We are working on both. 

Talk with you again soon.

Every Day

Holy Cow and Chicken, etc.

Our meat stockpile has gotten out of control. Fortunately, taking a good inventory has made me realize that. You all know that we have been basically eating from our stockpile for the past 2 months and we continue to do the same.

Even after eating from our freezers for all of this time, we have so much left. Luckily when I pulled every last morsel out of them to do my inventory, nothing had gotten old or freezer burned. I believe that is because of my food saver which shrink wraps our meat.

Here is our current inventory of meat:

20 lbs. of beef

74 lbs. of chicken

1- 6 lb. leg of lamb

32 lbs. ham and pork

8 lbs. of fish and shrimp

21 lbs. of turkey

This totals 161 lbs. of meat or about 322 meals for us when you take into account bones. That number is shocking for the two of us. Considering that we eat meatless once or twice a week, we can live a long time off of this meat and seafood.

To be totally honest, we also have 2 lbs. of bacon, 1 lb. of ham, and 1/2 lb. of turkey in our refrigerator right now also. We will use a lb. of that bacon for our family breakfast tomorrow and the other lb. will get cooked up and used for Club Sandwiches(uses the turkey also)and with eggs for breakfasts this week. Hubby is making ham salad for lunches which will use up the ham.

So seeing all of this meat and these numbers makes me realize that I have to change the way I grocery shop. We live in a northern area of the U.S. where power outages are common when we have lots of snow. So we have lots of snow storms. How long do you think this meat would last if our power was down for a couple of days? Not long, maybe two days. We would be cooking on our grill and in our fireplace like crazy and feeding the entire neighborhood. 

Of course, I purchased most of this meat at rock bottom prices. But that does us no good if we lose it in a power outage or it gets freezer burned. It would be a total waste of money.

I am meal planning from our inventories and not buying much these days. Just the necessities that we run out of or perishables like milk, half and half, and produce. Hence, we are not spending much on food. I am using our grocery budget to buy Christmas gifts instead.

Yes, I will do some stockpiling of things that are only rock bottom at Thanksgiving and Christmas but not as much meat as I usually do. I already have my turkey for Thanksgiving in the freezer. I may buy one more to cook up and freeze the meat in meal portions to use in place of chicken. Or I may not depending on the prices. I might actually wait until turkey breasts go on sale next year at rock bottom prices and get a few of those. I also have a spiral sliced ham for either Christmas or New Years. So our holiday meat is already in the freezer.

I would like to get down to the point where I only have 3 months worth of meat in the deep freeze. I would like to have room to put up freezer meals instead. 

After all of these years of cooking, I am getting really tired of it. So having a month’s worth of freezer meals at the ready would be a luxury for us. I have been collecting small containers so that we can eventually do this. Do any of you cook freezer meals? How do you do it? Do you make a bunch at once or just make an extra every time you make a casserole, etc.? I would really love to hear your experiences. 

When we get to the point of having just three months worth of meat, we have decided that $ 300 a month or $75. a week for groceries will be enough for us to eat a healthy diet and buy any personal care products, OTC meds and cleaning products.

I have been estimating what a meal costs us for quite a while now and also keeping track of what non food items we buy. That $ 300. a month should be sufficient to do everything. If it doesn’t work, we will raise it a little. 

So are any of you in the same boat we are? Too much freezer food that needs to get eaten? Have you taken an inventory so that you know what you have? I would love to hear from you all in the comments.