A Christmas banquet on the cheap

posted by in Saving money

Turkey Christmas dinner

Turkey and trimmings for less

There’s so much talk about cutting back this Christmas, but you don’t have to be Ebenezer Scrooge to save money on the dinner.

The earlier you start to plan your Christmas Day blowout, the better. For many, it’s the most important meal of the year but let us show you how you don’t have to fork out a fortune.

Use a Christmas time planner to avoid any last minute panics and then you can sit back and relax. Follow our menu for a successful Christmas dinner that won’t break the bank.

Thrifty Christmas starter

Make a shopping list and stick to it. Only buy what you need and don’t be tempted by overpriced goodies that you could do without.

Just because it’s Christmas, don’t feel that you have to buy the most expensive brands. Own brands are often just as good.

Don’t assume the supermarket you normally use will be the cheapest. Use a comparison site such as mysupermarket.co.uk to find the best deal.

Frugal Christmas main course

Try not to buy pre-prepared vegetables as these can work out much more expensive than chopping and peeling your own. You could shop at local markets or farm shops for value for money. And don’t forget deep discounters such as Lidl and Aldi.

Make your own gravy instead of using granules. This can work out cheaper and can be much tastier too.

Try to cook several dishes at one time if you can. For example, if you are cooking vegetables, do them all together in a steamer, or put them in with the turkey.

Cheap Christmas pudding

Consider asking members of the family to bring a dish each to ease the pressure of you doing all the cooking. Each person could bring a pudding or a selection of cheese, to leave you to concentrate on the main dish.

To make your dessert go further, why not make a lighter alternative? Crumble Christmas pudding or mince pies and mix with ice cream, then put back in the freezer. It’s a good way to use up leftovers too.

Fruit is the cheapest and healthiest option though. Serve with ice cream for those who still have plenty of room!

Inexpensive Christmas drinks

Bulk buy your alcoholic drinks at wholesalers or discount stores, or try the excellent Supermarket Own Brand website to find cheap grog.

You could also ask everyone to bring a bottle each to help lighten the load.

Homemade table decorations

Finally, to save money on the table decorations, try using natural table decorations such as holly, greenery, fir cones etc. You could also make your own crackers.

Now all you have to do is take it easy and enjoy the fruits of your labour. Let us know if you have any more tips for a frugal Christmas dinner, and we hope you enjoy yours!

Pavan Gata-Aura is a qualified debt advisor with 6 years of experience. She enjoys spending time with her two children, fundraising for charities, has spent time volunteering in Africa and takes part in organised races.

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