Christmas is a joyful time of year; however, many people find the Christmas spirit can be undermined by financial pressures. Not only do you need to buy gifts and decorations, but the Christmas food shop can also be extremely expensive.
Here are some tips you may like to try to reduce the cost of Christmas dinner and avoid overspending.
Shop in Advance
It is best to start your food shopping a few weeks prior to Christmas day. Certain supermarkets may raise prices getting closer to the Christmas period.
It can also be helpful to add a little extra each week in the weeks prior to Christmas rather than having to do a big shop the week before. This may help with budgeting money and reduce stress during the week prior to Christmas day.
Make Sure to Plan
Create a list of items you need to buy for Christmas dinner and the days before and after. Make sure to check your freezer and cupboards and use up foods and sauces you already have.
Make sure to stick to the list created. There may be a lot of special offers around Christmas time so try to avoid impulse purchases that are not needed and may go to waste.
Don’t make excessive amounts
Try to portion the amount needed for the number of guests. Many times, there is far too much turkey for the number of people, resulting in food waste and money loss.
An average portion of cooked turkey is around 140-175g per person, however, as you tend to purchase turkey as a whole bird it may be easiest to use the turkey guide as follows.
- A turkey crown (2-2.5kg) will serve 6 people.
- A small turkey (3-4.5kg) will serve 6-8 people.
- A medium turkey (4-5kg) will serve 8-10 people.
- A medium-large turkey (5-5.5kg) will serve 10-12 people
- A large turkey (6-6.5kg) will serve 12-15 people.
Opt for Cheaper Options
Make sure to bulk up the meal with lots of vegetables. Not only will it help get your 5 servings of fruit and vegetables per day, but it is also usually the cheaper option. Most of the vegetables included in Christmas dinner are in season, therefore, they tend to be slightly cheaper than usual.
Or perhaps opting for some tinned and frozen vegetables instead of all fresh vegetables. Tinned and frozen vegetables can help with the cost, and they are also just as nutritious and if cooked right just as tasty.
Make sure to avoid pre-chopped or pre-prepared vegetables and other side dishes as they tend to be much more expensive!
Eat the Leftovers
As mentioned above, try to measure the correct amount of food needed so there are limited leftovers. However, if there are some leftovers, make sure to use them on the following days after Christmas day to prevent waste.
Depending on the leftovers, you can also change them up and make something different.
Here are some examples.
- Turkey and Ham Sandwich
- Turkey Cobb Salad
- Turkey and Ham Pie
- Turkey Curry or Tukey Tikka Masala
- Bacon and Brussels sprouts linguine
BBC ‘Christmas Portion Planner’ https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/christmas-portion-planner