Our top 5 tips for cutting the cost of your festive dinner.
According to research by the Guardian, the cost of Christmas dinner is set to rise this year by as much as 5%. If you have lots of family and friends to entertain, the cost can soon stack up. But it's still possible to feed a crowd on a budget. Here's our top 5 tips for cutting the cost of your festive dinner this year.
1. Meal planIt sounds obvious, but only buy what you plan to cook and eat over the 3 main days of Christmas (Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day).
- Check your cupboards and freezer for what you have already have
- Make a shopping list - and stick to it!
- Compare the cost of your Christmas food shop across all the top supermarkets, using the LatestDeals app.
- Stock up on groceries that have a longer shelf life, or things you can squirrel away in the freezer. This will help you spread the cost.
- Check out the reduced section of the supermarket chiller aisle. You may be able to grab a bargain on things like pigs-in-blankets, stuffing, or party food. They can then be popped in the freezer until they are needed.
- Use any saved up loyalty card points to put towards your food or drink shop.
2. Wait until the last minuteIf you’ve got nerves of steel then you could wait until the last minute to do your food shop. Many supermarkets heavily reduce fresh produce the closer it gets to Christmas. It could save you a small fortune if you are prepared to take the gamble.3. Plan for leftoversEven if you’ve made a meal plan, there will still be leftovers. Make sure you have a few delicious recipes up your sleeve to avoid waste, and save you money. Be a bit more creative than turkey sandwiches,with these fantastic ways to use leftovers from Moneyaware.4. Make aheadAvoid the stress and try and make-ahead some of your Christmas lunch or party staples. It will also help you avoid panic-buying more expensive shop-bought alternatives. Bread sauce, stuffing and cranberry sauce can all be made in advance and popped in the freezer, Try Jamie Oliver’s make ahead gravy, which uses chicken wings as a thrifty base.5. Save money on your Christmas partyGathering together friends and relatives needn’t be expensive. Why not ask everyone to bring a dish or a bottle of something to drink, this will help you spread the cost and make it more manageable. Or why not plan a party between Christmas and New Year- it's a great way to make use of your (and your guests) leftovers!
Got more ideas to add to this list? Share them with us on Twitter with the hashtag #LowCostXmas, or over on our Facebook page.