Whole Turkey Versus Turkey Breasts: Cost Comparison

In an article from last week, I talked about the great value of a whole turkey. One question that came up was about buying turkey breasts instead, for a family that won’t eat the dark meat. So, I thought I would do a cost comparison between the price of a whole turkey and purchasing turkey breasts, so see where the better value lays.

After roasting our whole turkey, we cut off the breasts and weighed them to do the cost breakdown. This isn’t a completely fair comparison for two reasons. We are comparing a whole turkey that is not on sale to whole breasts, which are on sale. Also, the weight of the turkey breasts after being cooked will be less than the whole uncooked breasts. Still, let’s compare.

Out of the 19-pound turkey, the breasts weighed ten pounds. If I three everything else away, those 10 pounds of breasts would have cost me $19, or about $1.90 a pound (really less because of the shrinkage). The equivalent size of the whole breasts on sale at $2.99 a pound would cost $29.90, or almost 50 percent more per pound of turkey breast. So even if I threw away the rest of the turkey in its entirety, buying a whole turkey would still bring me out ahead.

But what do you do if you don’t want to waste the rest of the turkey and no one will eat dark meat? Here are some of the tricks I have used.

Mix white and dark meat together in a pot pie.

Mix white and dark meat together in a turkey salad.

Use the dark meat in a crock pot dish where the slow cooking will make the flavors and textures change.

Make up a few dinners for an elderly neighbor who will enjoy the food. I would always make extra mashed potatoes, veggies and bread to allow for a few complete meals.

Donate the dark meat to a local shelter or meals on wheels program.

Mary Ann Romans writes about everything related to saving money in the Frugal Blog, technology in the Computing Blog, and creating a home in the Home Blog. You can read more of her articles by clicking here.

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About Mary Ann Romans

Mary Ann Romans is a freelance writer, online content manager, wife and mother of three children. She lives in Pennsylvania in the middle of the woods but close enough to Target and Home Depot. The author of many magazine, newspaper and online articles, Mary Ann enjoys writing about almost any subject. "Writing gives me the opportunity to both learn interesting information, and to interact with wonderful people." Mary Ann has written more than 5,000 blogs for Families.com since she started back in December 2006. Contact her at maromans AT verizon.net or visit her personal blog http://homeinawoods.wordpress.com