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Including Christmas dinner starter ideas and an alternative Christmas dinner recipe.
If you’re looking for Christmas party ideas on a budget then this is the post for you! We’re covering everything from Christmas dinner starters to how to have a Christmas dinner for a pound a head.
It’s easy to get carried away over the festive period, but with a bit of planning, it is still possible to have an indulgent meal for a budget price.
We all know that food prices have risen, but even shopping at one of the big four, could see you quids in.
Save money this Christmas as a family
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Christmas dinner on a budget
Before you even start shopping for your Christmas dinner it’s important to have the right tools in place so you don’t over spend.
Keeping your budget on track over the Christmas period isn’t easy. Using these 5 money saving Christmas hacks could help you keep more money in your pocket.
1. Meal Plan Sheets – 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.
2. Switch energy suppliers – Make sure you’re on the best energy package. Using a site like Swiftcraft* can really help you shave some money off your energy bill. They automatically switch you to the best product for you.
3. Look at the below stores to see if you can save some money:
Get FREE FOOD with this app: checkoutsmart*
Muscle Food lean meat hamper – muscle food*
Get your groceries up to 70% off RRP – approved food*
Remember to come join our Facebook Messenger Group for all the latest deals, freebies and quick family money saving tips!
4. Of course there are plenty of other ways to save money, and once you start seeking them out then you will be amazed at what you find.
Every time you buy online you could be getting cashback. Have a look at:
Go to these sites first before you buy anything online and see if you can get money back. Anything goes from hotel stays to toys and train tickets.
5. Use an app like Plum* to keep track of your spending and to help you save. Using Plum* can help you build up your savings, pay off dent quicker and invest to make your money work harder. It’s free to join!
Christmas party ideas
From drinks to gifts the festive season can start taking a real toll on your budget. Coming up with cheap but “posh looking” starter recipes isn’t easy, but below we’ve given you our top five that our family love. You can look at the other 12 Christmas dinner starter ideas here.
Before you start shopping, check what you have at home already including 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.
(Please note all prices are based on Asda and are correct at time of publishing.)
Roquefort Peach Bruschetta
Spinach ‘n’ Cheese Baked Mushrooms
Onion and Cheese Tarts
Carrot, Parsnip and Swede Soup
Parma Ham Wrapped Figs
The average Christmas dinner is now coming in at a whopping £10.71 per person! You can still have that indulgent Christmas dinner but without it breaking the bank.
Last year, we needed to feed eight and took advantage of Muscle Foods Luxury Premium Turkey Hamper* that was just £45, down from £73.50. Our Christmas day lunch menu looked like this:
Luxury Fresh Turkey Hen 3.4 kg
Unsmoked Streaky Bacon
Pigs in Blankets
Sage and Onion Stuffing Balls
Whole Roasting Potatoes
Unpeeled Brussels Sprouts
Whole Red Cabbage
This is based on the above package from Muscle Foods and using gravy granules.
Of course, we had a lot left over but planned too.
This may sound counterintuitive, but buying a bigger turkey than you need and using it as 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 perfect Christmas dinner at a lower cost!
Using up everything you have leftover means that your meal budget can come down dramatically.
These are dinners that even the kids will eat and that are mega easy to prepare, using staple ingredients found it your cupboard. We’ve picked our top 5 here but our full list of 13 Leftover Feasts can be found here.
All these come in at under £1 a head for a family of four.
Turkey Egg Fried Rice
Turkey Carcass Soup
Baked Turkey Pesto Alfredo
Red Cabbage, Bacon and Potato Hash
Sausage Hot Pot
Alternative Christmas dinner
If you’re on a real budget this year but still want an amazing meal with all the trimmings then this Christmas dinner makes a great alternative.
It comes in at just over £1 a head each and can be made with frozen mixed vegetables to bring the price under a pound. Carrots, peas, sweetcorn, swede, and parsnips. All frozen and really low in price, and worth it if you’re only cooking for four and the kids aren’t fond of vegetables.
This Christmas shop is based on Asda, but closer to Christmas, the two budget supermarkets tend to put the vegetables on their specials, meaning you can either go lower or up the vegetables.
Chicken legs 68p
Stuffing mix 9p
gravy granules 5p
Total: £1.03 (based on Asda and correct at time of publishing.)
Living on a reduced income means you may to to start making smarter choices. Make your money work for you and really start to look deep into your family finances to find out if and where you could save money.
Free Money Saving Course
Come join our free money saving course and save your family more money. We walk through all our tips and help you set a saving goal that you can stick too.
Join us here and get saving today! It’s free!
What Else Can You Do to Save Money Over the Festive Period?
We all struggle, but if you really need to get the most out of what you buy, then these top Christmas dinner budgeting tips will help. We have 45 of the Best Home Finance Tips When You Are Living on Less post here but our top 7 tips are:
1.Start a monthly budget and stick to it. That way you know what you have coming in and what you can save if anything that month. Use my FREE downloadable budget planner to help.
2. Use money managing apps like Plum* to keep your money under control and help you save.
3. Set a financial saving goal to help you and your family save. Join our free Email Money Saving Course to learn how you could save your family more.
4. Use a site like Switchcraft* who automatically switch you on to the best energy deal for you. We saved around £500 this year by using them.
5. Check Your Cupboards. If you have half eaten packets of dried fruit or long forgotten minced meat, then use that to make your own dessert. Chestnuts can be used in your stuffing, the old onion going off can go in your soup; anything can be chucked in to make your dinner that extra bit special. Think of it this way, it’s not costing you any more money and you get to clear your cupboard at the same time. Win!
6. Buy Online. If you can’t stand shopping in person, then check out the online retailers. Many have some great deals running this time of year, including Muscles Foods or other delivery services that ship fresh meat straight to your door. (Remember to shop around and check it is the best deal you can get.)
7. Leave Prepped Vegetables. Don’t be tempted to buy pre-cut vegetables thinking that they are convenient. Get everyone involved and prep the night before. All the vegetables can go in the fridge in till the morning then cooked as normal.
8. Downshift. This is when you swap your normal branded items for the supermarket’s own brand. You start at the bottom and work your way up, stopping when you’ve found something you like. On some products, you may like the cheapest, when others it could be one or two versions up. Things like cranberry sauce, gravy, stuffing mixture all can downshift.
- Here’s How to Have a Christmas Day Dinner With all the Trimmings for Just £3.36 a Head
- Christmas Dinner Leftovers: 13 Feasts Made From Your Christmas Dinner
- 1p Saving Challenge: How to Save Over £100 in 30 Days
9. Swap Meats. Sub turkey for a chicken leg or a ham. It’s far cheaper and looks good off the bone, or Miguel Barclay from One Pound Meals debones his and makes a ballotine. Gammon and brisket are another cheaper meat ideas.
10. Don’t Panic. Come December, most people’s houses look like they are preparing for a lock-in, with a lot of food not even opened. Don’t panic buy. It’s all too easy to go crazy on Christmas eve when you look at what you have and it doesn’t look enough. It will be, and it’s far more important to not overspend.
11. Meal plan. I know it sounds simple but many people “go rouge” during the Christmas and New Year week. Plan and keep to it. Use all those leftovers and enjoy the money you’ve just saved on that week’s shop.
How much do you spend on Christmas dinner? Could you do it for one pound a head? Let me know in the comments below.
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.
Love this post? Then why not save it to Pinterest so you can easily find it later.
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