Yesterday (since it's after midnight), I cooked and processed a 12 pound turkey. This turkey cost us nothing. One of our local stores does a sale at Thanksgiving and Christmas where if you buy the ham (bone in, half or whole), then you get a 12ish pound frozen turkey free. Now, this is just really awesome. The ham might get cooked up for 1 meal as is, then broken down for future use in jambalaya and beans & rice. 1 ham will be roughly 25 portions. Each portion is 1 dish. Then the bone is made into split pea soup. Then there's the free turkey. I just broke it down into 6 dishes. Total cost for all of that meat was roughly $30. Not bad. That breaks down to less than $1.00 per dish (assuming a single batch). Do it twice (Thanksgiving and Christmas) and that's one heck of a deal if I do say so myself!
Obviously one cannot accomplish this without a deep freeze. I just defrosted mine. At least I got to use my hair dryer for something! We got ours as a gift from a cousin who no longer needed it. However, even if we had to buy it, it would have been well worth the money considering how cheap it can be to cook when you can buy your meat like this.