Golden turkey, pigs in blankets, roast potatoes all covered with lashings of gravy. Christmas is a time for overindulgence and many of us are already dreaming of our Christmas Day feast and the other festive nibbles.
Unfortunately, all this indulgence comes with a price tag. In fact, according to Good Housekeeping, the average cost of just Christmas dinner itself was between £26.43 and £43.98 last year.
In this guide we’ll share some useful tips and tricks to keep the cost of your Christmas shopping under control and how to have a memorable festive feast without breaking the bank.
The main event
Whether turkey, goose or even if you’re going down the vegetarian and vegan route, the centrepiece of your meal is going to cost the most.
To make sure you’re getting the best deal, why not try a comparison site like MySupermarket.co.uk.
Like Santa without his beard, Christmas dinner would not be complete without the trimmings.
Pigs in blankets, roast potatoes and yes, even Brussels sprouts. They’re all essential parts of the festive feast.
While these are certainly are not the most expensive things you’ll be buying this December, there are ways to save some money.
It can be very tempting to save yourself some time and buy things pre-prepared, so you just need to throw them in the oven.
But unfortunately, this often comes with a price tag much higher than buying things you have to prepare yourself.
Use your leftovers
One reason Christmas dinner is more expensive than other large meals is because we often buy far too much.
But don’t despair and don’t think you need to subject yourself to a week of cold turkey sandwiches.
Leftover turkey can be used to make curries and casseroles. Cold roast potatoes can be used to make bubble and squeak with any spare veg. Even the turkey carcass can be used to make stock for a warming winter soup.
Be best friends with your freezer
A great way to save cash both before and after Christmas is to make the best use of your freezer.
Take advantage of pre-Christmas deals to stock up on things you’ll need in December and keep them fresh in the freezer.
Buying frozen turkey and goose can often be a lot cheaper than buying fresh.
Then after the meal, don’t just throw things away. Make use of the tupperware and takeaway containers you’ve stashed at the back of the cupboard and freeze them for later.
Plan your meals
This is actually just good advice in general, but particularly at Christmas when there is a temptation to overspend.
First, make a meal plan. What relatives are coming over and when? What days are you out for office parties? Who loves Brussels sprouts and who can’t stand them?
By even having a basic plan, you’ll reduce the chance of having ten boxes of mince pies, three packets of instant stuffing, five jars of cranberry sauce, four Christmas puddings and six cartons of brandy butter left over.
Share the cost with others
If you’re hosting over Christmas, expenses can soon add up. Why not ask if guests can bring along snacks or part of the festive meal with them? Beverages and puddings are one of the easier items to transport, and they can be some of the costlier things on your Christmas shopping list.
Know how to spot a good deal
Supermarkets are full of special offers, BOGOFs and three for twos at this time of year.
While some of them might be a good deal, like with all sales, this isn’t always the case.
Check the label on the shelf to see how much you’re getting by size or weight to make sure you’re paying a fair price and not just being taken in because it’s on offer.
Trading down brands is another good way to save some money on the optional extras, which could go towards your Christmas turkey.