It’s easy to get carried away over the Christmas 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.
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.)
To keep the price extra low, we also eat frozen vegetables. Carrots, peas, sweetcorn, swede, and parsnips. All frozen and really low in price, and worth it if you’re only cooking for four.
What Else Can You Do?
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.
However much you buy there will always be leftovers. Go for a smaller plate, you can always have more.
This might seem crazy, but buying a bigger bird could save you money. if you’re thrifty and well-organized when it comes to using up leftovers then you could make your meat stretch to loads of other meals.
It’s often cheaper per kilo to buy a larger bird anyway, especially when buying online.
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!
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.)
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.
Compare the shops
Start online and use a comparison tool like MySupermarket.com to get an idea of how much meat is. Most joints will feed six, so if there’s nothing in your price range online start hitting the discounters to see what offers they have.
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.
Sub turkey for a chicken leg. 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.
You can use a site like MySupermarket not just for comparing prices, but for also tracking them too.
It gives you a handy little graph that shows items rise and fall and helps you work out if it is worth running out to the shops just for a kilogram of carrots.
- One Month of Cheap Aldi Slow Cooked Dinners Plus a Free Month Meal Plan
- FREE Money Saving Printables, which includes Meal plans, Shopping Lists and Budget Planners
- Here’s How to Feed a Family of Four for Under £16 a Week
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.
How much do you spend on Christmas dinner? Could you do it for one pound a head? Let me know in the comments below.