Going Cold Turkey

It all started with the turkeys. No, not the “wild” turkeys that hang out in our neighborhood to raise their families and provide meals for mountain lions. These are city turkeys: cheap, tempting birds with plump thighs and improbably rounded bosoms. They are the November loss-leader turkeys at Safeway: only $4.99 (under 16 pounds) or $6.99 (over 16 pounds) with a $25 purchase.

Turkey just happens to be one of my favorite foods. It’s not in the category of chocolate chip cookies, brownies, or fresh bread, of course, but it’s right up there in the second tier with baby carrots and leftover meatloaf. So this time of year, when turkeys are such a bargain, I’d like to stock up on three or four of them.

Unfortunately, what with the tomatoes from last year’s garden, the hamburger that was on sale last week, a couple of loaves of homemade bread, some bags of frozen vegetables, a handful of breakfast burritos, an oversized gel ice pack, several containers of vaguely recognizable leftovers, and three over-ripe bananas, there wasn’t room in the freezer compartment of the refrigerator for even one small turkey.

What the heck. I’ve been wanting to get a freezer for a while now, anyway. It was time for a trip to Sears. They had a cute little five-cubic-foot upright freezer, just what I wanted. On sale, with tax, it came to $228.95.

There was one in stock. We bought it. We hauled it home. We lugged it up the steps and into the house. We freed it from its carton. Funny, it seemed a lot bigger in our kitchen than it had there in the store, where it had looked so slender surrounded by its 17-cubic-foot cousins.

Nevertheless, it fit nicely into the spot in the kitchen where I had planned to put it. What I hadn’t stopped to consider was where to plug it in. The refrigerator, the electric teakettle, the microwave, and the telephone were all plugged into the two available outlets on that same wall. The question was whether the 35-year-old wiring would be able to handle a freezer as well.

You never know until you try. So I moved the phone into the next room, rearranged the kitchen, crossed my fingers and held my breath, and plugged the freezer in. Then, while it was cooling itself down, I simultaneously heated water in the microwave and the electric kettle. Everything worked. No circuit breakers tripped. So far, so good.

It was time to go buy turkeys. When I came back from the store, I did the math. Three 18-pound turkeys at $7.00 each, that’s 54 pounds and $21.00. Adding that to the $229 for the freezer makes $250. Okay, $250 divided by 54 pounds equals $4.63 per pound. What a bargain.

While I’m stocking up on cheap meat, maybe I should consider bigger game than turkeys. Deer, maybe. Or elk. Or what about a trip to Canada to shoot a moose?

Of course, then I’d have to buy a bigger freezer. I’m not sure I can afford to save that much.

Categories: Money Matters | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Going Cold Turkey

  1. Frank

    I too, look for coins on my daily walk. I wonder why I do this instead of enjoying my neighborhood: in the spring, the green grass and the alfalfa field, the trees, and later in the fall, the pretty color of the leaves. Instead, I plod along, picking up that penny or as you said, a bonanza of finding a quarter. Kinda fun though.

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