Thanksgiving: Cut Costs, Not Flavor
Kayla Baxter | NursingLink
November 20, 2009
The holidays are stressful enough without worrying about money, too. If you’re a little tight on cash this season (or just want to save a few bucks!) we’ve researched the top ways to get the most out of your Thanksgiving feast.
Just because you’re saving money doesn’t mean that you’re losing flavor. In DIY Turkey’s case, you’re actually adding your own flavors and creating a more delectable bird — and at the same time saving yourself some dough.
A DIY Turkey
Premium heritage turkeys can go for $50 and upwards — sure, they’re organic, sustainably farmed and taste heavenly — but you can make your own delicious gourmet turkey by brining it yourself, for less than half the price and just a little bit more effort.
The steps to a great turkey:
• Comparison-shop at your local markets, and remember, the bigger markets will likely have the best prices. Safeway (also known as Vons, Dominick’s, Jewel-Osco, etc), Costco, Smart & Final are good places to look. Remember that the closer it gets to the actual holiday, the cheaper the bird will be – so this is one of those times when waiting until the last minute works best.
Better yet, use coupons to get a free one! Check your Sunday paper the weekend before and look for the specials in your area.
• Brine your own bird — it isn’t difficult, and the benefits far outweigh the effort: the salt changes the texture of the bird, allowing the white meat to stay moist and delicious until the da. You can find delicious brining recipes and techniques here.
Tip: The single biggest challenge in brining your own bird is finding a place for it in the refrigerator. Try a brining bag instead of a container, which can be found at most supermarkets or home goods stores (Bed Bath and Beyond, for instance, has a great brining bag, that comes with recipes!) that will keep the liquid in place as well as free up refrigerator real estate. You can also brine your bird in a regular cooler outside the refrigerator, creating even more space.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you’re brining your own bird, DO NOT buy a bird that’s already been plumped with a salted, seasoned solution, such as a self-basting or kosher bird. Check the label for added salt information.