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Discussion Starter #1
I'm the last person who should post anything math-related (not my best suit), but this information may help people decide which type of turkey is the best value.

The bottom line isn't how much per pound the turkey is, but how much per serving when you figure the waste from bones.

This will also help if you are unsure of the quantity of turkey to purchase according to the number of people you will need to feed.

A good general rule of thumb, allow 1-pound of uncooked turkey per person when purchasing a whole turkey.

Another helpful hint is to keep in mind that a larger bird is a better value. Larger turkeys have more meat in relationship to the amount of bone and cartilage.
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Whole Turkey - Under 12-pounds - figure 1-pound per serving

Whole Turkey - Over 12-pounds - figure 3/4-pound per serving

Bone-In Turkey Breast - 4-8-pounds - 1/2 lb. per serving
 

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Thanks. I ended up buying hte smallest bird I could because we're a small family and I didn't know how much we could eat. :box:

You would know this, so can I just piggyback this question onto your post? My turkey is in the freezer. It's 1.10 a pound and cost me 13 and changes, so that's like 10 pounds? When should I take it out of the freezer? Should i just sit it in the fridge to thaw?
 

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Thanks. I ended up buying hte smallest bird I could because we're a small family and I didn't know how much we could eat. :box:

You would know this, so can I just piggyback this question onto your post? My turkey is in the freezer. It's 1.10 a pound and cost me 13 and changes, so that's like 10 pounds? When should I take it out of the freezer? Should i just sit it in the fridge to thaw?
A general rule of thumb is 5 hours per pound if thawing in the refrigerator.

I usually use the cold water bath thaw...which is to fill the sink with cold water & place the (still wrapped) bird in the water. Change the water every half hour. Calculate 1/2 hour per pound of turkey.
 

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~After my turkey experiment last year I really understood why those guidelines are recommended.
Frugal Village Forums - View Single Post - Making own lunchmeat
I got about 4lbs of meat out of a 13lb turkey. Which means that a turkey is about 70% waste. Maybe 50-60% waste depending on size and if you make gravy from the drippings and broth from the carcass.
My rule for meat is $2lb or less. But since I know turkey is 50% waste I shouldn't pay more than $1lb. Also knowing that I have to invest significantly more time into it than say hamburger or chicken breast makes it not worth more than $.50lb to me.
I'm hoping for a good sale on turkey breast this year so I can evaluate the waste percentage on those.~
 

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Wow I had no idea that turkeys had that little meat. I wish I had read that before I bought mine.
 

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Ok, know I'm probably in the minority here but I only buy turkey breast, bone in. No one eats dark meat and with bone weight, for me it isn't economical or practical. A turkey breast dosen't take long to bake compared to a whole turkey so not using additional hours of oven use and heating house ( Florida ). Plus my time.

Same with chicken. On sale boneless, skinless $1.79 compared to 99cents bone in on sale if lucky, usually more. Chicken is almost all bone anyway.
 
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Wow Constance! I feed our family of 6 (two teens, two adults, & two boys) FOUR dinners from one 15lb turkey! That's twenty-four servings.

Sounds like you got a scrawny turkey.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ok, know I'm probably in the minority here but I only buy turkey breast, bone in. No one eats dark meat and with bone weight, for me it isn't economical or practical. A turkey breast dosen't take long to bake compared to a whole turkey so not using additional hours of oven use and heating house ( Florida ). Plus my time.

Same with chicken. On sale boneless, skinless $1.79 compared to 99cents bone in on sale if lucky, usually more. Chicken is almost all bone anyway.
You're not alone.... I'm another one who generally purchases a bone-in turkey breast - for the same reasons you mention. There's enough meat left on the bone to make broth or soup for our small family after it's baked. Turkey will also cook faster if you use a Reynolds Oven Bag.

I purchase chicken thighs or thigh/leg portions for cheap eating and making stock/soup, but I also take advantage of all sales on breasts/tenderloins and stock the freezer with them. Like you say, no waste and quick-to-fix. I used to buy fresh whole chickens and would cut and portion them, but I don't have the freezer space for that anymore (only have the refrigerator freezer). That was the least expensive, but the most work...
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Wow Constance! I feed our family of 6 (two teens, two adults, & two boys) FOUR dinners from one 15lb turkey! That's twenty-four servings.

Sounds like you got a scrawny turkey.
A "serving" is considered 3-ounces (your servings may be more generous).

24 servings at 3-ounces each means you served 72-ounces of meat, or 4.5-pounds out of a 15-pound turkey (but be sure to check my math because it really stinks....LOL).
 

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~I also prefer the turkey breasts and after my experiment I decided that that was all I was going to buy from then on.
They're 20X easier to pull the meat off of and they still make a great broth.
If I see them on sale for $1lb I'm going to buy a few. The cheapest brand was $1.89lb this week.
YM, maybe I did get a scrawny turkey. I can't remember. It must have been a store brand to have been $.89lb. We did get lots of meals out of it though. :thumb:~
 

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Just a quick hyjack...

Walmart had a bunch of Jenni-O turkeys out for .40 a lb. I got a good deal, so I picked up a bunch. We can make a lot out of them, also Safeway, Kroger, and Albertsons here have 10-14 lb'ers for 6.88.

...and now back to regularly scheduled postings...

I generally get a 10-12 lb bird, we find that our family of five can get 4 or 5 dinners (not skinpy either) out of a single bird. plus a pot of stock as well.

If I do the math, check if you can, i am not really a math wizard... For the 12 lb bird, I paid 4.80 (walmart) I got at least four dinners, at 1.20 each in turkey...divided by 5 people is less than a quarter a person in turkey. Not too bad, in our opinion. We make the regular t-day bird, then with the left overs one night we will make turkey alfredo, another we'll make turkey and dumplings stew, and i will use some left over turkey to make pot pies. I have enough also to make lunches now and again as well.
 

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I always buy a 20+ lb turkey - just for the leftovers - I love turkey!! For LO, I make turkey divan, turkey tetrazinnie, turkey sandwiches, turkey salad, and turkey soup with lots of broth still available for other soups. This always makes me feel so frugal when I do the turkey!!
 
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