Target Hams

Lacey Muszynski / Cheapism

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Forget egg hunts, Easter bunnies, and sidewalk chalk. Now that I am an adult, the only thing that excites me about Easter is the half-price ham I get from Target the week after, and the deal is on right now.

Every year, Target features a Circle offer for 50% off Market Pantry or Good & Gather hickory smoked, spiral-cut bone-in ham that starts on Easter. This year, the offer runs through April 21, 2023, though I've found that the hams are usually sold out after the first week or so. If you're not familiar with Target Circle, it's the store's system of online coupons and discounts on specific products. Just sign up for a free account if you're not a member, then save the offer for the hams to your account. When you checkout, scan your account barcode (or enter your phone number) to get the ham for half price. Don't forget that you'll save another 5% if you use a Target credit card, too.

I recommend the foil-wrapped Good & Gather spiral ham over the Market Pantry one. It's a little more expensive, but it comes with a more flavorful glaze and it's really delicious for the price. This year, it cost $2.29 per pound regular price. My ham was 12 pounds, so after the 50% Circle discount, it cost me $13.80. This ham will last me for months of meals in my freezer — I'm just finishing the last of the frozen half price ham I bought  after Christmas. Here's how I hack it to get the most bang for my buck. 

How to Cook Spiral Ham

To stretch the ham and ensure you have a bunch to stock your freezer, it's best to plan a few meals for when you cook the ham, and then have plenty of ideas on how to use it up once it's in your freezer. 

I follow the directions on the ham for cooking it, though I like to cover the ham with foil to keep it as moist as possible. I'm also one of those ham+pineapple combo people, so I use toothpicks cut in half to cover the ham in canned pineapple rings. If you do the same, throw the juice from the can in the bottom of your pan along with a little water. It'll help with moisture and keep drippings from burning on the bottom of the pan. Of course, you could follow some of our favorite Easter ham recipes, as well. 

Once you get your initial ham meal out of the way, it's time to start planning how to use up all that meat — and that flavorful bone. I make a few of my favorites during that first week, which always includes stealing a few slices for ham sandwiches, though it's hard to not make those little poppy seed-covered Hawaiian roll ham sliders, too (put some of that roasted pineapple in them!). Creamy scalloped potatoes and ham topped with sharp cheddar is always on the menu this first week, too. Lots of diced ham makes it a main dish, not just a side.

GalleryThe Leftover Lowdown: How Long Things Last in the Fridge

I don't let all the flavor in the bone go to waste, and neither should you. I forgo the stodgy split pea soup and opt instead for Cajun red beans and rice, but substitute the ham bone that I've trimmed the meat from for the smoked ham hock. It's just a huge bonus that it's a super inexpensive meal.

How to Use Up Leftover Spiral Ham

Now comes the really genius part of this whole thing: Chop up any remaining ham that you didn't use within a few days, and put it in the freezer. The ham being spiral cut makes this step really easy, since you can just cut through stacks of it and end up with pounds of diced ham. I put it all into one or two big freezer bags, and just pull out a handful or two when I need it. If it freezes into a clump, a quick hit with a rolling pin or the bottom of a wine bottle does the trick easily.

Once it's in the freezer, I tend to use the ham once a week for breakfast or dinner until it's gone. Here are some of my favorite ways to use up the leftover diced ham.

  • Omelets: Throw a handful straight from the freezer into a nonstick skillet and heat over medium-high for a couple of minutes until heated through. Then use the same pan to make your omelets however you like.
  • Scrambles: Start with a handful of diced ham, and add in whatever veggies you have laying around, like onions, broccoli, asparagus, and peppers. Sautee until everything is cooked to your liking, then add in a couple of beaten eggs and scramble together.
  • Hash: Similarly, throw a few chopped potatoes into a big skillet over medium heat and cook until tender and brown. Add ham, veggies, and some seasonings like rosemary, thyme, or Old Bay, and top with eggs the way you like them.
  • Make-ahead breakfast casserole (not just for Easter!)
  • Fried rice: Heat leftover rice in a wok with ham, green onions, peas, carrots, and any other veggies you like. Add soy sauce, salt, and pepper to taste, plus a splash of sesame oil. Diced pineapple and some curry powder are also delicious in this.
  • Jambalaya: Use ham as a protein in your favorite jambalaya recipe.
  • Cobb salad: Chop romaine and top with cherry tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, crumbled bacon, cheese, avocado, and defrosted ham.
  • Ham salad: Use it as a sandwich filling or eat with crackers and pickles. 
  • Mac and cheese: Stir some into boxed mac and cheese for the kids.

If none of those tickle your fancy, here are 13 more ways to use up leftover ham.

Once you get used to having a big bag of diced ham in the freezer, it's easier to throw together last-minute meals without a trip to the grocery store. Considering it only costs 50 cents or $1.15 per pound with the post-Easter Target Circle offer, it's worth heading to your Target ASAP to grab that ham.

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