This Christmas, don’t let your budget go out of the window. In this article, you’ll learn how to economise and still indulge yourself, by making a delicious Christmas dinner on a budget.
- Last year’s Christmas dinner cost on average £10.71 per person
- Allow 500g per person when buying your Christmas bird
- It might sound like heresy, but you don’t have to eat turkey at Christmas
According to research carried out by the BBC in conjunction with the online comparison site, MySupermarket, last year’s Christmas dinner cost on average £10.71 per person. However, there are ways to bring this price down. Even if you’re on a budget, making a delicious Christmas dinner on a budget doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to compromise on quantity, quality or taste.
Cashfloat looks at ways to enjoy your Christmas dinner without forking out pounds for it. This year, you won’t need to take out a instant cash loans in the UK for bad credit.
Christmas Dinner on a Budget – Shopping in Advance
In the lead-up to the festive season, see if you can pick up bargains and special offers and freeze or store them. Some retailers put up prices in the count-down to Christmas to help you enjoy your Christmas dinner on a budget. Also, this way you can spread your purchases over a couple of months. You won’t notice an extra £5 a week on your weekly shop. This is better than the shock of paying it all in one go in the week before especially as you’ll have other expenses to budget for.
Seeing how full some shoppers’ trolleys are in the days leading up to Christmas, you’d think that rationing was imminent! Make up a menu plan for the holidays with a clear idea of what you’re going to cook every day. This will prevent you buying too much, and the inevitable waste as perishables go bad and need throwing out.
Once you have a menu, you can write your shopping list. Stick to this list when you’re going through the aisles. Don’t be tempted by special offers or discounts on foodstuffs you aren’t likely to eat.
Buying the Right Amounts
Some people get confused when it comes to estimating the size of turkey they should get. Allow 500g per person when buying your Christmas bird. Prices of turkey vary, but in general, frozen birds are much cheaper than fresh. If you’re trying to make Christmas dinner on a budget, you could add bulk to smaller sized birds with sausage-meat stuffing and extra servings of vegetables. All these smaller factors can help you avoid unsecured short term loans with no guarantor.
When shopping for your Christmas meal, make sure you compare the price per kilo to make sure you’re buying the cheapest. Buying vegetables loose tends to be less expensive. Buying cuts of cheese from the deli rather than pre-cut and pre-packaged from fridges is also a good idea. Not only is it cheaper but you can pick the exact size of cheese you want and prevent waste. Add dried fruit, home-made chutneys and crackers to your post-dinner cheese board to make an impression and to distract from the fact that your pieces of cheese are smaller. You’re guests will be delighted, and you will have saved on a uk payday loans online.
Making Food from Scratch
With the exception of Christmas pudding (which would be more expensive to make yourself), most of the elements of traditional Christmas food can be made from scratch for much cheaper than their store-bought equivalents.
You can easily make gravy from the giblets, roasting juices, flour and a stock cube. Stuffing for the turkey can be made from ingredients you already have in your cupboards. Pre-cut vegetables can be pricier than fresh produce so get your family to help with the preparation of the veg.
If you aren’t a confident or talented cook, you could compromise on making from scratch. You can improve the taste of cheaper mincemeat by the addition of orange zest, spices like ground cinnamon and dried fruit or nuts. Similarly, why not buy a cheaper plain Christmas cake but decorate it yourself? All you’d need is some icing, marzipan and cheap plastic cake decorations from a pound shop.
Replacing Old Favourites with Cheaper Alternatives
There are some parts of the traditional Christmas Day meal that we can’t imagine doing without. However, you can substitute cheaper alternatives for some expensive foodstuffs. For example, you could replace smoked salmon with smoked mackerel or use salmon trimmings to make an inexpensive salmon pate.
As far as alcoholic drinks are concerned, you don’t need to buy expensive champagne to make Bucks Fizz – a sparkling white wine is acceptable. Instead of having such drinks, why not use cheaper wine to make a fruit punch?
It might sound like heresy, but you don’t have to eat turkey at Christmas. You’ll find that other meat is much cheaper during the festive season. Why not buy chicken instead of turkey but check for recipes online to spice it up a little?
Using up Leftovers
If you’ve made a menu and been cautious with your shopping list, you’ve probably already made provision for using up any leftover food. Don’t think you’re limited to that old standby, turkey curry. Online there are plenty of sites which will give you ideas of recipes using the ingredients you have in your cupboards and fridge. If you can stretch the leftovers for 2 or more meals, you’ll have made savings and won’t throw anything away.
Using the advice in this guide can halve your food shopping at Christmas, and nobody will be able to tell the difference. Of course, we all want to indulge ourselves during the festive season. Still, this shouldn’t mean we start the New Year with taking out wonga payday loans to pay for it all. All you need is planning and organisation, and you can enjoy an unforgettable Christmas without spending a fortune.