Christmas lunch - budget?

(21 Posts)

I've rashly invited everyone to lunch this year - 11 people in all. Usually we go to my parents. My mother is a fabulous cook and christmas dinner is literally the best meal of the year.

I can't scrimp on quality really. I'm thinking definitely turkey for this many. Ham, sausages, stuffings, roast parsnips and potatoes, several different veg dishes. Christmas pudding. Wine, pudding wine etc.

My parents are being cagey about how much it usually costs. What do you reckon? £100? £200? More? Am getting a bit scared grin

girlywhirly Sat 10-Aug-13 09:48:31

I couldn't put a price on it, but there are ways of trimming the budget without sacrificing quality.

If you are having ham as well as sausages, you could have a slightly smaller turkey. Try to picture a dinner plate with the food on it, with portions of everything you intend to make. Then you can do a rough calculation of how much meat to get dependent on portion size, number of people and whether you want leftovers for sandwiches. If you are having starters as well as pudding this will reduce the amount of main course food needed. You can do lots of sausages to eke out the meat as well, and these are good eaten cold another time so won't be wasted. Make sure there are plenty of potatoes and veg to fill everyone up too.

I would hope that your guests will bring wine with them so that you don't have to supply it all. However, you could look out for special offers in the supermarkets from now and start to stock up. I would guess that there will be pre-lunch drinks, so allow about half a bottle of wine per adult with the meal, then a glass of pudding wine, and liqueurs/brandy /port with coffee. There will always be someone who drinks less/more/not at all because driving, so it evens out. Remember to have plenty of soft drinks/mixers. By buying stuff that keeps, you can spread the cost over a few months.

chanie44 Sat 10-Aug-13 10:34:25

Why don't you ask your guests to bring a dish?

TheSecondComing Sat 10-Aug-13 10:38:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BillComptonstrousers Sat 10-Aug-13 10:40:40

I normally spend about £180 on 5 adults and 3 children. But that is for everything. Breakfast, lunch, supper. Nice non alcoholic drinks, big cheeseboard, starters, puddings, lunch with all the trimmings, chocolate etc.

BillComptonstrousers Sat 10-Aug-13 10:41:49

And I get a turkey crown from M&S that serves 6 people but there is always masses of meat left.

chanie44 Sat 10-Aug-13 10:42:27

Why don't you ask the guests to bring a dish each? We often do this in my family. The host normally does the meat, others bring roast spuds, veg or pudding.

You could start buying some of the items with long shelf life now eg condiments, wine et If you buy a few items with your normal shop, you won't notice it.

The main thing is to not go overboard on food and drink as you can only eat so much in one day.

WipsGlitter Sat 10-Aug-13 10:44:34

I think our turkey is about £60 on its own. Depends on the quality of stuff like wine, meat etc.

I definitely ask people to bring something

Why the change this year? <nosey>

Gulp.

Crikey, who knew? Years of blissful ignorance. I feel a bit ashamed I never offered to help financially.

Chanie - sounds like a plan! I think DM offered to do pudding, and MIL usually makes us a cake. Wine I can probably outsource to dad.

Turkeys £100? And nobody really likes it in my family. But I guess smaller birds don't provide enough meat?

Thanks for all the replies so far.

Better get saving £100 in the £2 jar so far smile

Wips we've just finished a big building project and now finally have the room to host. Feel it's about time we offered too.

LegoAcupuncture Sat 10-Aug-13 10:54:20

Go for a turkey crown rather than a full turkey. More meat and less (if no) waste.

M&S do trays of roast parsnips and roast potatoes at Christmas time, they are delicious and worth the extra cost.

LegoAcupuncture Sat 10-Aug-13 10:57:05

Oh and wrt budgeting, I get a £20 M&S voucher every month and then order all my food from there, collect it Christmas Eve. Totally stress free and you even get a mince pie and glass of Buck's Fizz while you wait grin

blue2 Sat 10-Aug-13 11:01:18

I collect my Nectar points through the year and usually splurge it on my Christmas food shopping. I usually manage to wipe off £70-80 each year.

Great tips so far, thank you.

I'm saving Tesco vouchers up and have lots of unspent nectar points too.
Will get people to bring a contribution.
Turkey crown sounds great - is it hard to cook so it doesn't dry out?

lunar1 Sat 10-Aug-13 14:25:06

I do the same as Lego and buy marks vouchers every month. I normally cook for 8 people and it costs about £180 for everything.

I get a turkey crown and a large ham joint. There are plenty of leftovers. That doesn't really include
Much alcohol though, maybe 1 bottle between is and that is normally one of the many that dh gets given every year.

lunar1 Sat 10-Aug-13 14:26:06

Cover the crown with streaky bacon, it keeps it really moist.

I think you can brine a turkey crown before cooking.
I'm looking into that this year as ours was a bit dry last year.

girlywhirly Mon 12-Aug-13 09:09:32

You can also roast a turkey crown breast side down, so that it is sitting in the meat juices while it cooks. You can turn it over the other way up part way through cooking to brown the skin. Or you can stuff butter under the skin which melts and bastes during roasting, or put lots of streaky bacon rashers over the top. The reason turkey is dry is that it isn't a fatty meat, so it needs a bit of help. Providing moisture during cooking helps too, such as some wine in the roasting tin, or a half onion or an apple cut in two in the body cavity. Provided you roast for most of the cooking time with foil over the turkey, steam generated by these will help keep it moist. Obviously the resultant meat juices will make tasty gravy!

Another important thing to do is rest the turkey before you carve, during this time the meat juices, instead of evaporating in the steam, settle in the meat and you should have a moister result. Remove the cooking juices for your gravy and re-cover turkey with foil, and towel on top to retain the heat. You then have a chance to make gravy, and sort out the rest of the meal. You need to be careful not to over cook turkey as well, as this will dry it out. M&S usually have cooking instructions with their turkey crowns which is helpful. In the days I used to cook them they were never dry. Now it is just DH and I we have a large free-range chicken which we prefer to be honest.

Thanks that is very helpful smile

Turkey crown seems the way to go!

raisah Mon 12-Aug-13 19:26:56

Buy your ingredients in large catering packs from wholesalers such as Costco & JJWholesale. It will keep costs down for food, drinks & presents.

Costco has a membership option for the public as well as businesses. You don't need to register for JJwholesale, you just order & pay online and collect during your specified time slot.

Haribojoe Sat 17-Aug-13 16:17:45

Loving the idea of buying a £20 M&S voucher every month and then doing the Christmas shop with them.

Definitely doing that next year wink

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