Are you looking to save money on Christmas dinner? Christmas can be an expensive time. We find ourselves spending large amounts of money on everything. From presents to new Christmas lights to brighten up our home over the festive period.
While other Christmas goodies can be bought throughout December, Christmas dinner is often last-minute. An expense that we can forget to budget for.
If you are looking to make some Christmas dinner savings, CashLady takes a look at some low-cost dinner options that could save you money.
Save money on Christmas dinner by swapping your turkey for some chicken
The BBC news recently reported that the typical Christmas dinner for six has gone up by 14% since 2015. It now comes in at an average of £10.71 per person.
This is not going to be popular with people who love tradition. But, there are some serious Christmas savings to be made by having chicken instead of turkey.
Supermarket budget-brand chicken legs can cost as little as 50p each.
Save money by prepping your own vegetables
Christmas can be an extremely busy time for many of us. The temptation to buy pre-prepared vegetables is often too strong to resist. But when it comes to Christmas dinner savings, it is cheaper to chop our own carrots and parboil our own roast potatoes.
The same goes for stuffing. Buying pre-made stuffing can be expensive. Save money by making your own stuffing. Just add squeezed-out sausage meat to egg, onions and breadcrumbs. You could then freeze this ahead of time so you have less to do on the big day.
Doing your food shopping online can equal Christmas savings
You can save money by avoiding the shops altogether and doing your food shopping online. This is because you are less likely to be tempted by the wide variety of offers shops put on their shelves at Christmas time.
If you buy your food online, you can make Christmas savings by sticking to your list and only buying what you need.
Shopping online also has the added advantage of enabling you to order your shop weeks in advance. This way, you can more effectively budget ahead for your Christmas dinner.
Buying frozen can result in big Christmas dinner savings
Frozen food is cheaper than fresh because supermarkets do not have to spend as much money storing it.
Opting for frozen turkey rather than fresh can result in a cheaper Christmas dinner.
By purchasing frozen turkey, you will also be able to plan ahead and budget for your Christmas dinner. Because you can buy it many weeks before Christmas.
Tradition does not have to equal expense
Many families like to enjoy smoked salmon throughout the festive period. Even if you do not want to sacrifice your salmon, there are Christmas savings to be made by changing how you use it.
For example, you could purchase the cheaper alternative of smoked salmon trimmings to make a smoked salmon pâté.
If you want to make even more savings, you could buy smoked mackerel and make a smoked mackerel pâté instead.
Save money on Christmas dinner by making your own gravy
Seeing a tub of fresh turkey or beef gravy that just needs heating up can be tempting. But by making your own gravy you can make some big Christmas savings.
If you are buying a turkey, you can use the giblets and the cooking juices together with some flour, stock and a bit of wine. (the wine is optional). This can make a delicious gravy at a fraction of the cost.
Not buying a turkey? Use some cheap chicken wings instead of giblets to create a great-tasting gravy.
Homemade mince pies can mean Christmas savings
Who does not like a mince pie at Christmas time? Shop versions can be expensive.
By buying a cheap jar of mince meat and making your own pastry, you could have your mince pies at a fraction of the cost. You could even add your own ingredients to the mince meat by stirring in some cinnamon or nutmeg.
Spend time comparing costs to save money
When it is time to do your Christmas shopping, spend a few extra minutes comparing costs.
If you are buying cheese, for example, this can often be found cheaper at the deli counter than it is pre-packaged in the refrigerator isles.
Make your own crackers to save money on Christmas dinner
Crackers can be expensive to buy pre-made. You are also very likely to end up with little bits of tat such as tiny mirrors or packs of cards that will go straight into the bin.
Why not spend time making your crackers? If you are confident enough, you can make them from scratch.
Alternatively, shops like HobbyCraft offer flat-pack crackers with hats and jokes included for only £2.50 for a pack of 6. You can then fill them with treats such as chocolates or miniature bottles of booze (or even lottery tickets!) that people will enjoy.
Plan how you will use your leftovers
Even when trying to save money, we can still feel that we need a lot of food at Christmas. Buying lots of food does not have to result in wasted money.
Planning meals for the following days will use up your Christmas dinner leftovers. Thus you can ensure your Christmas dinner does not just feed you for one day.
There are many recipes available online on websites such as bbcgoodfood.com. They will help you to turn your leftovers into something wonderful.
In order to save money on Christmas dinner, it pays to be prepared.
Making your own stuffing and gravy and prepping your own vegetables can result in some serious savings on your festive feast.
By planning in advance, you will also be able to budget more effectively.
We hope we have helped to make your money go a little further this Christmas.
Merry Christmas from all of us at CashLady.