Christmas is looming on the horizon, and this means many of us will be getting prepared for the festive period, and trying to prepare for all the obligations and costs that come with it. One of the biggest challenges modern households face is the expense that is related to Christmas, and one of the key aspects of the day that we all want to make sure is just right is Christmas dinner.
Inflation, rising energy costs, and other issues have led to a stark rise in the cost of a traditional Christmas dinner, and this is why looking for cost-effective solutions is even more important. There are plenty of ways to save money this Christmas, if you know where to start, and focusing on a budget-friendly Christmas dinner is one of the main areas you can achieve this.
Coming up with ideas that will allow you to enjoy a cheaper and more affordable Christmas feast could be just what the doctor ordered, and will save you a ton of cash in the process. Check out the best tips for creating a Christmas dinner plan that will feed four for just £15.
Planning Christmas Dinner
Christmas is a magical time of goodwill, merriment, and love, but the reality is that it is also a lot of money and effort for just a single day. Spending can get out of hand if you let it, and it is easy to overspend, but if you are planning effectively, you can ensure that you only actually spend what you need. If you try to figure out how many people you are feeding, you can determine an affordable budget, and stick to it more easily.
Let Tradition Take a Back Seat
So you always make cauliflower cheese, bread sauce, and brandy butter, but they typically never get eaten. Well, this year how about going without? Just because you have a tradition, it doesn’t mean you always have to adhere to said tradition. Sometimes, making cuts and omissions will help you to make unexpected savings, so this is something we would recommend.
Also, keep in mind, shops are only really closed on Christmas Day, so you don’t need to buy in bulk to get you through the holiday period. Just buy what you need, and you can always head out again if required.
A lot of people are too proud to say yes to an offer of help, but this is something that could save you a good amount of money. If people offer to bring things with them to contribute, say yes. Be specific with what you want them to bring, and include different aspects of the meal, and you can simply reheat it in the microwave when it is ready for serving.
Leftovers are a core part of Christmas dinner, but you might also have a lot of money tied up in them. If you find you are a family that has a lot of leftovers, you can counteract this by buying a much smaller bird, and thus reducing on leftovers, and also on cost.
Buying a crown or breast joint might be preferable to a whole bird, and making sure you buy frozen is a great way of being able to get better value, and make a more cost-effective choice. If you’re feeding a lot of people, you might consider buying a couple of breast joints, as they are great value, and easy to store. You can find a wonderful option for Christmas dinner from as little as £5 per head.
Bulk it Out With Sides
Something else that you can use to help you save money here is to make sure you bulk out your Christmas dinner using sides. Minimising your spend on the meat, and instead using the money for cheaper side dishes is just sensible economics, and can make for a memorable and delicious meal.
You can bulk out the feast by stocking up on things like stuffing, Yorkshire puddings, and sausages. Think about the kinds of sides that people typically tend to enjoy, and make sure you have plenty of those available to help bulk out the dinner, and complement the meat in the process.
£15 Christmas Dinner
If you have a tight budget, you can still have a great Christmas feast for you and the family, and you can even make some switches in order to make the most of this. Here is a flexible three-course meal for four people, as well as a vegetarian option, for less than £15.
Starters are a bit of a luxury for some families, but for others they are a mainstay; if you are keen on having a starter, choosing something light typically works best. Something along the lines of a soup or salad would be ideal for this, and if you bulk buy cheaper ingredients for the meal, you can use some of it for the starter too.
Turkey might be an option if you can afford the premium, but otherwise a roast chicken will be more than adequate for your needs. It’s going to be much cheaper, and it is just as versatile, and it is perfectly complemented by the trimmings too.
Your main course of roast chicken, roast potatoes, pigs in blankets, roast carrots, stuffing balls, sprouts, peas, and gravy is perfect for any family Christmas time.
Nut roast might be the go-to option, but this is not necessarily the best vegetarian meal of choice. Making a veggie roast, and using a handful of nuts or cheese can really help to make a cost-effective difference. Mushroom wellington is also a fine choice, and something you need to consider as a veggie alternative.
Christmas pudding is definitely a tasty luxury, but if you’re on a budget, you can definitely do away with this. Going for a more basic pudding is definitely the order of the day this year, and you could even try a chocolate orange pudding for maximum deliciousness and minimal cost.
More Ways to Save
It is important to think about more ways of being able to save money in the process of developing your plan for the perfect Christmas dinner. Going for meat alternatives, and making your own sauces are some of the best ways of being able to save more money from your family Christmas dinner this year.