Including a Christmas dinner shopping list
If you’re looking for Christmas dinner 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.
The cost of cooking a Christmas day dinner is rising, with the average Christmas day menu coming in at a whopping £10.71 per person. But with a bit of planning, it’s still possible to have an indulgent Christmas dinner on the cheap.
This post gives you loads of Christmas dinner ideas that you can use to make the day extra special without costing you a fortune.
Cooking Christmas dinner may seem daunting but it really doesn’t have to be. If you are a beginner cook, you can still have an amazing Christmas dinner.
Money Saving Printables
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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 overspend.
Keeping your budget on track over the Christmas period isn’t easy. Using these money saving Christmas hacks could help you keep more money in your pocket.
If you are 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.
For more money saving tips to help you and your family save money have a look at:
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.
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.
Shop online to save money
Look at the below stores to see if you can save some money:
Remember to come join our Facebook Messenger Group for all the latest deals, freebies and quick family money saving tips!
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:
Just like other cashback sites you can earn money by purchasing the products you would normally buy through OhMyDosh.
Unlike other cashback sites though, OhMyDosh* is completely free to use with no subscription needed for the better deals.
Once you see a deal you like, click on it and check you are happy with the terms and conditions as this could affect the payout.
Use apps to budget
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!
Plum is a free app that helps boosts your bank balance*. It’s the smartest app for managing your money. It analyses your spending patterns and automatically puts your money away for you, so you don’t have to think about it.
It takes all the pressure off you having to do anything. By using a smart AI app, you can get a better grip of your finances and set more aside.
Plum works by linking all your bank accounts and analyses your ingoings and outgoings. You still have complete control though over your money. You tell Plum how much you aim to set aside and it will do it over time. If you are unsure, then let Plum work its magic and work out how much you can afford to put away.
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.
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 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 other cheaper meat ideas.
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.
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.
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.
Look here for our full list of 21 Christmas Dinner Starters That Won’t Break the Bank
Roquefort Peach Bruschetta
Spinach ‘n’ Cheese Baked Mushrooms
Onion and Cheese Tarts
Carrot, Parsnip and Swede Soup
Parma Ham Wrapped Figs
Traditional Christmas Dinner Menu
Christmas day dinner on a budget can be done, especially when you use sites like Muscle Foods who offer premium meats and hampers*.
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.
Feeding eight at Christmas is no mean feat, but by being a bit savvy with your money, you can easily feed everyone on the day for under four pounds a head.
What was included in the £45 Christmas hamper:
3.4kg Luxury Fresh Turkey
6x75g Meaty Breakfast Pork Sausages
10x35g Breakfast Bacon Medallions
10x35g Unsmoked streaky bacon
16x 28g Chipolata Sausages
454g Pork Sausage Meat
10 x 25g Pigs in Blankets
12x30g Sage and Onion Stuffing Balls
2kg Whole Roasting Potatoes
1kg Whole Carrots
500g Unpeeled Brussels Sprouts
800g Whole Red Cabbage
How to have a budget Christmas day dinner
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 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.
What our traditional Christmas day dinner looks like
Luxury Fresh Roast Turkey Hen 3.4 kg
Unsmoked Streaky Bacon
Pigs in Blankets
Sage and Onion Stuffing Balls
Whole Roast Potatoes
Unpeeled Brussels Sprouts
Whole Red Cabbage
This is based on the above package from Muscle Foods* and using gravy granules.
If you’re looking for some Christmas day starters then have a look at our huge list here.
What was actually ate:
Half Luxury Fresh Turkey Hen 3.4 kg £15.00
5 Unsmoked Streaky Bacon £1.10
10 Pigs in Blankets £2.50
12 Sage and Onion Stuffing Balls £2.50
1.5kg Whole Roasting Potatoes £5.63 (includes all veg below)
750g Whole Carrots
500g Unpeeled Brussels Sprouts
600g Whole Red Cabbage
3tsp of gravy granules 15p
Cooked Total: £26.88 = £3.36 a Head for 8 people
Everything that isn’t eaten, wrap up tight into air packed boxes and put into the fridge ready to turn into leftovers.
It comes in at just over £4 a head each for eight people and can be made with frozen mixed vegetables to bring the price down if you’d prefer. 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.
If you are looking for £1 a head meals then have a look at:
What can I make with Christmas dinner leftovers?
Make any leftover meals the next day, and freeze any you aren’t going to use this week.
If you are a beginner cook or need to change your meals then have a look at Spicentice.
They send out packets of spices with easy to follow instructions so you can make a meal from scratch.
They are great to use if you are new to cooking from scratch or if you are looking to get your family eating new budget-friendly meals and have no clue where to start.
We tried them at the start of this year and loved them. We got stuck in a food rut and they helped by giving us ideas while keeping our food budget really low.
We made the below meals using Spicentice. Try them for yourself here:
Christmas day leftover ideas
This would work great with our leftovers we made out of our Christmas day dinner:
Baked Turkey Pesto Alfredo
Leftover Turkey Casserole
Red Cabbage, Bacon and Potato Hash
Egg and Bacon Muffins
Turkey Smothered Sweet Potatoes
Boxing day menu
Everything that wasn’t part of the Christmas menu was made from food in my cupboards. None of it is life-changing, just simple kitchen staples that we all have around, like tinned tomatoes, puree, eggs and rice.
Not all the hamper was used for our big Christmas day dinner, so the next day we also had a huge Boxing Day breakfast which included:
6 x 75g Meaty Breakfast Pork Sausages £2.50
8 Breakfast Bacon Medallions £3.12
Tin of beans 30p
3 Eggs 21p
£6.13 = £1.53 a head for 4 people
Plus, we still had sausages to use so made:
Sausage Hot Pot
This sausage hot pot is very simple and it froze really well.
800g tins tomatoes 68p
Baked beans 30p
10 Chipolata Sausages £1.90
25g brown sugar 5p
Total: £2.93 = 73p a head
The kids love helping me make this simple sausage plait. It lasts all week and is perfect for lunch boxes.
227g Pork Sausage Meat £1.75
320g puff pastry £1.50
Total: £3.25 = 81p a head for 4 people
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Sausage and Maple Syrup Traybake
6 Chipolata Sausages £1.08
2 tbsp maple syrup 6p
2 tbsp wine vinegar 5p
Red onion 24p
3 apples 96p
Total: £2.94 = 73p head
What do you think? Could you make dinner for eight for under four pounds? Let us 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.
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