The countdown to Christmas is well and truly on and if you haven’t already started planning your festive feast, here are a few ideas to help you get started which won’t break the bank.
Many of us are guilty of having over-stocked cupboards with tins and boxes of food we’ve forgotten about. If this sounds like you, don’t buy a single thing until you’ve had a look to see what’s in there (and still in date!). Try to plan dishes around these items.
A bar of cooking chocolate can be whipped into a basic but impressive chocolate mousse, and a tin of chick peas can be blended into a tasty hummus dip.
Buying a few bits and pieces each week will help spread the cost – stock up on items with a long shelf life for example dried fruit, nuts, drinks, frozen foods etc.
Fresh v frozen
Compare prices on frozen and fresh produce. Frozen meat, fish and vegetables can often be a lot cheaper than its fresh equivalent and will last until Christmas and beyond.
Stuff the turkey?
Turkey is the default choice at Christmas but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea and there are plenty of cheaper alternatives. We checked one supermarket chain to see how prices compare per kg*.
- A large turkey: £7.50 per kg
- A whole duck: £5.00 per kg
- A gammon joint: £4.60 per kg
- A large chicken: £2.91 per kg
Do it yourself
It might be more time consuming, but if you’re organised, making your own Yuletide favourites can actually be fun as well as cost effective. Foods that you prepare yourself will almost always be cheaper than ready-prepared supermarket equivalents. This goes for everything from frozen canapes to mince pies.
The lead up to Christmas is the retail sector’s busiest time of year and they’ll fight hard for your business with impressive offers. Make the most of discounts on essential items like toilet rolls, batteries and washing powder and stock up for the next few months.
If you’re entertaining friends and family on Christmas Day, your drinks bill can quickly run away with itself by offering them wines, beers and spirits. One savvy option is to prepare a mulled wine or a spiced Christmas punch. You’ll get away with using a cheaper wine than if you were pouring it straight the bottle and everyone will love the smell as they come in from the cold.
*Prices taken from Tesco.com on Saturday 7th November 2015.