Thursday 12 December 2019

Christmas dinner on a budget!

One of my favourite meals of the year is Christmas dinner. I love everything about it. Shopping for it, preparing it, cooking it, eating it and the leftovers. This years Christmas dinner is going to be a little different. We have my dad and his partner coming and I will be making it. Eek!

Since we moved house I am all about saving money. I've cut out branded products (mostly). We're not using Heinz tomato ketchup, Bisto gravy and Nescafe coffee. We've downgraded to save a bit of money and it really is making all the difference. 

Making a delicious Christmas dinner on a budget doesn’t mean that you have to compromise on quantity, quality or taste

Set a budget and stick to it.

Start planning as soon as you can to set aside the funds you will need. You don’t need to spend a fortune to have a beautiful meal. Start with a firm figure of what you can afford to spend. Just think of it as a roast dinner with Christmas crackers!

Shop in advance where you can!

In the lead up to Christmas see if you can pick up bargains and special offers and freeze or store them. Some shops put up prices in the run up to Christmas. I'm thinking big tubs of chocolate, ready made pigs in blankets, nuts and alcohol! If you can spread your purchases over the month you won’t notice an extra pounds on your weekly shop. It is way better than doing that massive Christmas food shop and having to pay for everything in one go!

Don't buy too much meat!

Remember that by the time everyone's piled their plate with side dishes, veggies and pigs in blankets they'll only want a few slices of turkey or whatever meat you are serving!

Replace 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. Instead of buying certain things from M&S have a look in Aldi or Lidl.

Make food from scratch.

Most of the elements of traditional Christmas dinner can be made from scratch much cheaper than shop 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. Buy a cheaper plain Christmas cake but decorate it yourself? All you’d need is some icing, marzipan and cheap plastic cake decorations from the pound shop.

Buy a Christmas pudding.

Making your own Christmas pudding can be fiddly. Once you’ve bought all the ingredients it probably won’t work out much cheaper than buying one. A great way to enjoy Christmas Dinner on a budget is to buy a low-priced one. Lidl, Aldi and Asda’s puddings which have received great reviews and don’t cost that much.

Cut down on the cheese.

Don’t overbuy on cheese as it often doesn’t get eaten. Everyone just needs a taster of each cheese. Choose a small piece of Cheddar, Stilton and Brie with some nice crackers.

Don’t buy all the drinks.

One of the main areas where you can spend a small fortune when hosting Christmas dinner is drinks. We try and cater for every possible combination that people would like but the problem is that there is now such a wide variety of popular drinks that it is simply impossible to have everything. Remember that you are not a pub! Keep things simple with a basic choice of wines, beers and soft drinks.

Use leftovers.

If you end up with leftovers then make sure you make the most of every bit so that the money isn't wasted. A turkey curry or turkey sandwiches the next day can go down well and you can always make a stock or soup from the bones.

Are you cooking Christmas dinner this year? Do you have any tips?


  1. we have the cheapest Christmas dinner going financially a full 5 courses and coffee plus masses of doggie bag take aways all for the petrol money to get there....ok hubby needs to spend 3 or more hours washing dishes while I get the pleasure of joining in and topping up people's glasses and enjoy the entertainment and watching Santa.