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Most Economical Main Dish Ideas: Turkey and Ham

Updated on March 13, 2011

Are you looking for an economical way to put dinner on the table? With the prices of groceries (and everything else!) on the rise, it's becoming more important than ever to look for affordable main dish options for family meals.

Whether you're preparing dinner for your immediate family or you're cooking for a crowd, there's no reason to spend a fortune every time you cook a meal. Here are some ideas for economical main dishes that are sure to be a hit no matter who you are cooking for!

Cook a Turkey

While many people reserve turkey for holiday meal occasions, it's a fact that turkey is one of the most affordable meats you can prepare. Pound for pound, turkey is much less expensive than chicken, beef, and many other meats that are traditionally served for main dishes.

One of the reasons that people associate turkeys with holiday meals is the fact that they consider cooking a turkey to be "too much" for a small family. However, prepared turkey leftovers can be used in a variety of recipes and can also be frozen to enjoy at future meals. Whether you choose to make deep fried turkey or oven roasted turkey, it's hard to beat the value and taste of this delicious poultry main dish.

Cook a Ham

Just like turkey, ham is often an overlooked everyday meal option. However, ham is also one of the most cost effective main dish meat items. Just like turkey, ham is often available for less than $2 per pound, making it a very inexpensive option for feeding your family. Ham can be served on its own, and can also be used in sandwiches, various recipes, and leftovers can be frozen to have on hand for future meal occasions.

Cooking ham can be very easy – simply follow the recipe included on the label and you'll have a delicious meal on the table without a lot of fuss and for a very low cost. It's a good idea to watch for ham to go on sale in your supermarket – which typically happens around holidays like Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving – and buy a few to keep on hand in the freezer.

Leftover Ideas

If you decide to start cooking turkey and ham on a regular basis, you'll need some creative ideas for using your leftovers. Check out these recipe hubs for economical meal ideas that are sure to be a hit with your family:


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  • profile image

    marellen 6 years ago

    Since I didn't cook a ham for on my grocery list for sure. Great ideas and hub.

  • Becky Puetz profile image

    Becky 6 years ago from Oklahoma

    Great ideas, I love using ham and turkey leftovers and thanks to your hub I have new recipes. I'll try the turkey tetrazzini first. Thanks for sharing. Voted up, awesome and useful.