Saving money cooking turkeys is delicious. So is the food. Too many people forget about turkey until the holidays. They see it as a food that is prepared for special occasions and large gatherings. These folks are missing out on a great opportunity. Turkey is easy to prepare, tastes fantastic, and can be used in many recipes. It is also extremely cost effective. 

First off, remember the "golden rule" of turkey cooking - waste nothing. Every single portion, from skin to bone, to gizzard and organ meat, will be used. There will likely be just about nothing for the trash bin. The number of meals that can be prepared using this one good size bird is truly amazing. On night one consider cooking a traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings. This may seem like a lot of work at the beginning, but in the end it pays off and saves time in the future. After the big meal, just relax and place the cooled turkey in the refrigerator. On the next day remove all meat and skin and discard nothing. Keep wings, legs, white meat and dark separate in order to make storage more organized.

The very best poultry stock is made by boiling the bones with some herbs and seasoning. This is as simple as placing it in a large pan and waiting. After the boiled liquid has been cooled it will be strained. Afterwards even these bones can be ground into bone meal for the garden. This minimal effort makes it well worth the savings on commercially available stock. The bonus is the family knows exactly how it has been prepared and handled. The finished broth can be stored in the freezer until it is need. This is the base for many amazing recipes, including the best "turkey dinner stew" ever.

Save that skin. Save the gel too. Some people will say "yuck", but that gel is priceless. These are the ingredients included to make bouillon. A quick stop at the local grocery store will show just how expensive bouillon can be, and this homemade type is the "good stuff". This will not take a great deal of time. Place just enough oil in a saute pan to prevent sticking, and add the skin. Once it cooks down add the gel and a small amount of the prepared stock. Add seasoning as desired, and viola'. Once anyone makes this at home they will never want to buy it pre-made again. The rich flavor is incredible.



Night two leftovers can become some of the best comfort food ever. Try open face turkey sandwiches with gravy, stuffing and cranberry relish, and maybe green beans on the side. The family will probably be asking for a second helping. Turn leftover rolls into garlic toast to serve with a casserole. Prepare the casserole at the same time dinner is being made in order to save time. These may be frozen until needed.

For quicker meal preparation, instead of cooking the whole turkey separate the whole bird and use what is needed. Freeze the rest for another day. Slice breasts, remove legs and wings, and toss the carcass in a pot of water... Simple, fast, and cost effective.

Try a new way of preparing an old dish. Turkey stir fry, fired rice, even tacos are a great way to "spice things up". Get creative and do not be afraid to try something new. There are few rules...

Save a lot of money and eat great by cooking turkeys. Yes, turkey is an excellent choice for the holidays, but it is a great choice every other day too.