Including easy starters for dinner parties
Finding the perfect budget Christmas starters that the whole family will enjoy isn’t easy, especially if you’re on a budget. You can be festive and frugal while giving your guests the best Christmas day dinner they’ve ever had!
All these Christmas dinner starters are quick and easy to prepare, some you can even make a week before.
Making a dinner party starter can seem scary if you are a beginner cook or on a budget, but there are loads of ways you can impress your guests without going all out.
Easy Christmas starters
Your Christmas dinner starters don’t have to break your budget and won’t if you use sites like Muscle Foods who offer premium meats and hampers*.
Last year, we needed to feed eight family members and took advantage of Muscle Foods Luxury Premium Turkey Hamper that was just £45, down from £73.50.
Feeding a large family at Christmas is no mean feat, but by being a bit savvy with your money, you can easily feed everyone within your price range.
Last year we fed eight of our family members for just £3.36 a head including all the trimmings.
If you’re looking for more Christmas festive feast ideas than have a look at these posts below:
Coming up with cheap but “posh looking” starter recipes isn’t easy, but we’ve come up with 21 Christmas starter recipes to help you wow your guests not your bank balance.
Money Saving Printables
If you are looking to help save your family money then come join our free Resource Vault. It’s packed full of meal plans and shopping lists that can get you on your way to saving more money.
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Christmas recipes on a budget
This may sound counterintuitive, but buying a bigger turkey than you need and using it all plus leftovers can often work out cheaper per kilo.
It’s often a myth that healthy or organic meats are more expensive. Using a service like Muscle Foods cuts out the middleman, and can deliver fresh produce and meat to your door.* Giving you a memorable Christmas dinner at a lower cost!
All this could, of course, be done using one of the discounter stores or maybe even one of the big four. They all lower their prices in the lead-up, with one discounter store selling Christmas vegetables for just 29p, so it’s worth looking around to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
If you are a beginner cook or even new to saving money then our top 5 tips to help you keep more in your pocket are:
Using cash back sites – OhMyDosh is our all time favourite. It’s a great way to save money while buying online. It’s completely free to use.
Downshift your food – Great food doesn’t have to cost the earth. Could you buy gammon or chicken instead of turkey? Do you need a big bird, could you have a crown? Find out how many you’re cooking for and start to buy now. Items like mint sauce and ice cream won’t go off, but you’ll be hard pressed to get them at a good price come November.
Use reward points – We use all our store reward points at Christmas. Many supermarkets do have a limit of how many you can redeem but we use them throughout the festive period to help us pay for our Christmas food and even the old present.
Do make sure you read the terms and conditions though as some have items that you can’t buy with the points.
Use your leftovers – We all have leftovers after dinner. Making more can sometimes be better on the budget. Use it for lunch the next day or freeze it for when you want a healthy TV dinner.
Meal plan – Depending on how comfortable you are, either find a spare pad or print out 8-10 copies of a weekly meal plan sheet.
You’ll need enough space to write down a simple menu for each day and a shopping list as you go.
You can make your own weekly meal plan or download my meal plans and shopping lists for free from the Resource Vault. Having several copies on hand will help inspire you to get started and keep up the meal plans for several weeks.
Before you know it, meal planning will become a natural part of your routine.
For beginner cooks make sure you try:
For beginner money savers try:
Christmas starter recipes
Before you start shopping, check your cupboards for your kitchen staples to help bring the cost down. Using your tinned items or purees, eggs and rice can really keep the price low.
Your freezer is your friend. Anything leftover can be kept for Boxing day or the day after. Impress guests with these amazing starters.
(Please note all prices are based on Asda and are correct at time of publishing.)
- Baked Camembert with bacon Breadsticks
- Cauliflower Cheese Rolls
- Roquefort Peach Bruschetta
- Spinach ‘n’ Cheese Baked Mushrooms
- Sage and Chestnut Rolls
- Onion and Cheese Tarts
- Carrot, Parsnip and Swede Soup
- Parma Ham Wrapped Figs
- Sea Tartare
- Christmas Parcels
- Salmon and Cheese Twirls
- Trout Salad
Christmas Dinner Party
These seven recipes below are our family favourites and can be made on a real tight budget. All are costed out for four but can be doubled if you need to feed eight.
We’ve added everything from easy vegetarian starts to traditional starters.
Sweet Potato & Carrot Soup
This sweet potato and carrot soup is an easy starter that’s creamy and can use leftovers.
400 g chopped & cubed sweet potatoes 50p
240 g chopped & cubed carrots 17p
2tbsp olive oil 5p
1 onion 15p
1 garlic clove 20p
80L vegetable stock 10p
80ml creme fraîche 40p
Total: £1.57 = 40p a head
Simple Salmon Pate
This simple salmon recipe is a great budget starter for the whole family that looks and tastes fab!
120g smoked salmon £1.65
4 tbsp of mayonnaise 7p
60ml half fat crème fraîche 23p
15ml squeezed lemon juice 5p
Black pepper 2p
Total: £2.02 = 51p each for 4 people
Beetroot and Goats Cheese Crostini
This beetroot and goats crostini is super simple to make but looks like a five star starter without the price tag.
2 mini frozen baguettes 80p
200g soft goats’ cheese £1.48
200g sweet cooked beetroot 60p
to serve, orange zest and fresh thyme 5p
Total: £2.95 = 73p for 4 people
Garlic and Stuffed Cheese Mushrooms
This stuffed mushroom recipe serves for people and takes about 20 minutes to make.
8 Portobello mushrooms £1.25
2 garlic cloves 40p
1½tbsp wholegrain Dijon mustard 5p
200g cheese £1.10
60g breadcrumbs 80p
2tbsp double cream 10p
Handful of curly parsley, finely chopped 5p
Pinch of salt 5p
Total: £3.80 = 95p for 4 people
Turkey Carcass Soup
This turkey carcass soup does take 2 hours to cook, but can be left to its own devices in a pan or slow cooked over night.
250g Potatoes 31p
125g Carrots 31p
100g Frozen onion 15p
100g Cabbage 31p
400g Tin tomatoes 34p
1 tsp Worchester sauce 2p
Total: £1.48 = 37p a head for 4 people
You can make your sauce for this prawn cocktail up to a week before and just get out when you’re ready to serve.
350g prawns £3.75
200g iceberg lettuce 50p
4 spring onions 55p
1 avocado £1
Squeeze of lime 5p
Pinch of cayenne pepper 2p
For The Cocktail Sauce:
Small jar mayonnaise 50p
4 tbsp tomato ketchup 5p
Dash of Tabasco 5p
Pinch of cayenne pepper 2p
Total: £6.49 = £1.63 for 4 people
- 31 Easy Family Slow Cooker Recipes
- 29 Easy and Kid Friendly Budget Recipes for Fussy Eaters That the Whole Family Will Enjoy
- A Fabulous Traditional Christmas Dinner For Under £4 a Head
Roasted Squash with Ricotta
This roasted squash recipe takes a bit longer to cook but it’s so worth it!
800g butternut squash £1.50
4tbsp olive oil 5p
250g ricotta 80p
Zest and juice 1 lemon 5p
75g toasted pine nuts £1.64
110g bag rocket 60p
Black olive tapenade 10p
Total: £4.74 = £1.18 for 4
If you enjoyed this post and would like some more family friendly budget recipes or meal plan ideas, then head over to the budget food section here on Savings 4 Savvy Mums where you’ll find over 30 cheap posts dedicated to helping you cook and shop wiser for less. There’s enough tips to help you save over £300 a month! You could also pop over and follow my family food Pinterest boards for lots more ideas on how to eat well and spend less; Family Meal Plans on a Budget, Budget Family Meals & Budget Slimming World Recipes for Families.
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