Oh, how quickly the year is passing! I can’t believe it’s already October and Christmas is just round the corner. Are you worried about your Christmas food budget?
Fear not. There are many different ways in which you can manage your Christmas food budget.
In this post, you’ll get amazing tips to trim your food budget right down to the bare bones, but with your Christmas guests hardly if ever noticing the difference 🙂
It is true that the average American family does spend lots of money on their Christmas dinner. But you do not need to go into debt to prepare and enjoy a delicious yet budget-friendly Christmas with family and friends.
Ready to find out how to save lots of money on your Christmas food bill?
Read on . . .
Save Your Christmas Food Budget Tip #1: Amount of Food Needed
One of the most important things you can do to save on the cost of your Christmas dinner is to manage the quantity of food you’re shopping.
When buying, estimate slightly more than enough food, rather than an amount that’s much more than your number of guests can eat.
Planning for smaller portions means less wastage of your food and money. Also, those who enjoy the Christmas dinner will worry less about putting on excess weight, which is good for health.
In this way, you can easily slash your Christmas food shopping bill and minimize wastage.
Save Your Christmas Food Budget Tip #2: Shopping List
Another great way to reduce your Christmas shopping bill is to make a shopping list of essentials,and stick to it.
Remember to first check your pantry for any useful ingredients that may have been forgotten – you’ll avoid unnecessary spending.
Sticking to your list may take a lot of willpower on your part.
Read this related post for proven practical tips to prevent unneeded spending by avoiding the clever supermarket traps.
Save Your Christmas Food Budget Tip #3: Go Un-traditional
Cut out all the unnecessary frills to save money. There is no need to stick strictly to traditional foods as they tend to cost more during the Christmas season. By way of example, skip pricey fancy items like canapés, unless you plan to make them yourself with the kids.
Be brave and creative and you will save lots of money. Your guests will likely be pleasantly surprised when they enjoy having something a bit different than the usual Christmas dinner.
Save Your Christmas Food Budget Tip #4: Decide Where You’ll Shop
Where you do your Christmas food shopping is a major factor in saving on your food bill. Buy at well-known discount grocery chains such as Aldi and Lidl – they often offer the best deals and discounts.
But make sure that they ARE the best prices by comparing the offers with those of other supermarkets.
Save lots of time and gas by comparing prices of major food items online. Then create a shopping list for each store that offers the best deals in certain pricier items.
Save Your Christmas Food Budget Tip #5: Don’t Just Buy Near Christmas
You can also buy needed foods and ingredients whenever they are on sale, even at other times of the year before Christmas.
Save Your Christmas Food Budget Tip #6 : Time to be Creative
Most of your savings will come from your choice of what to buy. For example, make it a point to buy less meat and fish, and more vegetables instead.
You can choose one or two mains, but steer clear of offering a whole range of meats like chicken, turkey, lamb and beef at your Christmas dinner. This will bring you good savings.
Buy less smoked salmon. Or you can buy cheaper smoked mackerel as a substitute.
Often frozen meats cost a lot less, but still taste delicious, especially when skilfully cooked. This is a good chance to improve your cooking skills to take your Christmas food to the next level.
Buy a smaller turkey, or buy cheaper rolled turkey or turkey breast instead.
You can buy much cheaper sliced honey baked ham. It goes further than a pricey leg of ham.
Rather than paying through the nose for expensive cuts of beef, use beef brisket or pork belly – you save money on cheaper cuts, but they sure taste fantastic when casseroled!
Save Your Christmas Food Budget Tip #7: Go for Alternatives
You won’t just save money when cooking these alternative dishes. An added bonus is that your guests will very likely welcome these delicious alternatives, rather than the usual fare like roast beef.
This is a great time to become more creative in your Christmas cooking.
For instance, roast potatoes with some yummy bacon for a delicious twist. Buy the usual unwashed potatoes and not gourmet potatoes. Prepare other cost-effective staples like rice and pasta.
Save Your Christmas Food Budget Tip #8 : Buy Based on Value
Use seasonal vegetables that are great value, instead of the traditional pricey vegetables.
You can save by using ordinary supermarket turkeys, but cook using a better recipe.
Avoid pricey pre-stuffed birds. Stuff your turkey yourself, with mix of sausage, mince, onion, bread crumbs and eggs.
Use chicken gravy granules or canned chicken gravy rather than pricey fresh gravy
Save Your Christmas Food Budget Tip #9: DIY Prep
Get kids to help with food prep and save money e.g. Christmas cake and mince pies.
Choose to buy a plain Christmas cake and have fun decorating it with your kids.
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Save Your Christmas Food Budget Tip #10: Have Meal Alternatives
Instead of serving a single humongous Christmas dinner, you can choose to spread out your holiday eating across two casual lighter meals.
Having a Christmas lunch rather than dinner is less tiring for you as the host.
Another great idea is to plan for a potluck Christmas dinner – you can send your guests a Padlet board that has specific food items on it. They will place their names next to the items that they’ll bring. This prevents duplicate dishes and simplifies your own cooking and food prep.
Even if you are not having a potluck Christmas dinner or lunch, request guests to bring their specialties. For example, Christmas pudding.
Save Your Christmas Food Budget Tip #11: What to do after Christmas
What do you do after your Christmas dinner?
Never throw away the leftovers. Sometimes, the amount may seem very little. However a portion or two here and there will soon add up to provide a tasty mid-week lunch.
You can also freeze leftovers to add to future meals.
Make sure that you store or refrigerate any excess food soon and properly, to avoid any spoilage and waste.
These foods are great for your meals in the following days when you need to recover from the Christmas celebration.
Save Your Christmas Food Budget Tip #12: Pets
Don’t let festive food go to waste.
Salvage the half eaten food after the dinner and reward your pets. Even bits of salad leaves will much be appreciated by your pet rabbits.
You’ll save on pet food. Just remember to make sure the foods are safe for your pets. For example, dogs must avoid foods like chocolate, garlic or onions.
When you use as many of the above proven saving tips as possible, you’ll guarantee yourself a far more economical and enjoyable Christmas dinner.
It will be better for your pocket and give you peace of mind to enjoy the company of family and friends during the Christmas period.
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