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What food are you buying on a budget this Xmas?

(54 Posts)
Lottie4 Thu 04-Dec-14 09:35:18

Just wondering what food others buy who need to keep food spending low at Xmas. Money is tight this year, but we'd still like a few treats and to feel it's Xmas. What do you buy for Xmas Day & Boxing Days meals etc, tea, snacks for guests?

We may have friends Xmas Eve and family one afternoon, so will do something snacky. We've got my Mum Xmas Day and mother-in-law Boxing Day (DH feels we should cook for her so need to think about two different meals and she has to have meat, nothing fancy).

So far I've bought some Lidl crusty bread to bake, Lidl Stollen cake, pickled onions (while on offer) and have got some Tesco value tortillas and nuts. Husband has been making some homemade wine (not sure what visitors will think, but that's what'll be on offer - actually it's not bad!).

GoldfishSpy Thu 04-Dec-14 09:36:50

Lidl Panettone and Baklava and gingerbread and xmas tree decs.
They also do nice coated nuts etc. They have a website with all their Christmas offers on.

26Point2Miles Thu 04-Dec-14 10:02:37

2x£1 tubes of pringles from asda!!

annielostit Thu 04-Dec-14 12:13:19

I plan my meals for Christmas, not ridged but so there's meat in. My organised guests get a pot of chilli/curry rice crusty bread & cheese board. This saves faffing around with 20 plates of 'nibbles'. This only costs about £10 all in.
As long as I have pate, pizza, cheese & bread going on drink sessions are fine. Lidl do a nice pate for 50p 1 blue cheese cheddar and a soft brie.its enough.
My DM doesn't do fancy either, when she comes I go I've her chicken or a steak with salad or a potato dish. She will eat cold meats - you might have some knocking about on boxing day.

squoosh Thu 04-Dec-14 13:19:03

Have a chicken instead of a turkey. Cheaper and tastier in my opinion.

PeoniesforMissAnnersley Thu 04-Dec-14 13:25:08

How about making mini mince pies? Jars of mincemeat are v cheap from Aldi/Lidl and pastry costs very little to make from scratch, they look lovely.

You can make coated nuts really cheaply too, get big bags of mixed nuts and roast in oven with mix of sugar, spices etc. www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1803648/sweet-and-spicy-nuts

DH will usually make a basic pizza dough (loads of recipes online) and then do big tear-and-share garlic and herb flat breads, costs pennies and looks amazing!

mulled wine - get cheap red wine and mull at home, you can get away with the cheapest wine as all the sugar and spices and fruit make it yum anyway. You can add orange juice too to make it go further.

For Xmas day I serve: breakfast: scrambled eggs, toast, smoked salmon, spinach for savoury people, christmassy pastries for sweet tooths (DH makes these, they're like Almond croissants with mixed peel and some other festive stuff in)
Lunch: chicken (we hate turkey grin, roasties, red cabbage, carrots, sprouts, roast parsnips, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce. I make loads as we eat "christmas dinner sandwiches" very happily for days!

Pudding: xmas pud + ice cream/cream, chocolates

tbh the thing we have found to keep costs down is to make things ourselves, it depends how rushed you are, work hours and DC etc, we are lucky to have time to do this!

squoosh Thu 04-Dec-14 13:33:14

Ready made puff pastry is cheap and can be used to make a host of things that can look quite impressive, sausage rolls, savoury tarts, sweet tarts........

squoosh Thu 04-Dec-14 13:35:15

Jus Rol croissants in a can taste good and only cost about £1.20 for 6, might be nice for Christmas morning breakfast.

HelpMeGetOutOfHere Thu 04-Dec-14 13:39:59

Turkey crown this year instead of a whole turkey.

Not really because of cost, but because for the last couple of years we have been disappointed with turkey on Christmas day and spent a fortune on it. No one eats the brown meat anyway. so £20 in M&S instead of £80-£100 in the farm shop.

I brought the gammon this week and froze it as half price in sainsburys. so £8 instead of £15. Not bothering with beef as again no one eats it.

Paxo stuffing (or aldi) as not keen on the sausagemeat stuffing.

ive been looking out for offers instead of just buying in one big shop. 12 bottles of Heineken is £9 in waitrose currently, so brought a couple of boxes, pringles buy one get one free so got 4 tubes.

We have scrambled eggs and crispy bacon for breakfast with orange juice.

Lunch is turkey crown with roast and mash, sprouts, mashed swede, roasted carrots & Parsnips, cauli or broccoli, cranberry sauce. Gravy is just chicken gravy made with stock pots and granules blush

dinner is a buffet at my parents, but would be sausage rolls, quiche, salad, French bread etc. Keep costs down, buy Iceland frozen sausage rolls, aldi quiche, part bake baguettes/ciabatta brought in advance.

M&S do a lovely Viognier wine, but its £8 a bottle so on the look out for deals or cheaper brand.

HelpMeGetOutOfHere Thu 04-Dec-14 13:40:38

oh and Costco prosecco as its just as nice as the waitrose/m&s one but only £5

squoosh Thu 04-Dec-14 13:46:06

A pack of smoked salmon trimmings and some own brand cream cheese makes a lovely big portion of smoked salmon pate.

TheRealMaryMillington Thu 04-Dec-14 14:13:05

Lidl prosecco is amazeballs

We make cinnamon rolls for xmas breakfast - make the dough xmas eve, let it rise and eat whilst opening stockings, utterly delicious, costs virtually nothing and keeps everyone going. They are only good on the day you bake them so we eat them all up.

OnIlkleyMoorBahTwat Thu 04-Dec-14 14:14:53

Aldi and Lidl prosecco is also only a fiver a bottle and lovely. Just take whatever money you have to Aldi and/or Lidl and buy whatever takes your fancy.

It's pretty much all fantastic and half the price of Waitrose/M&S which usually means that I just buy twice as much.

Stripeyclock Thu 04-Dec-14 14:45:19

I think the key is not getting caught up in the hype of 'You have to have xyz'.

Last year I was unwell and hit the supermarket late. I bought way more then I needed because I got caught up in the hype. So much was unneeded!

Also look for normal foods which are not in Xmas packaging in case there is a mark up. Peanuts for example.

I think it's nice to make some healthy things too as people are sick of 'treat' foods by Boxing Day! Luckily these tend to be the cheaper items. So if you are doing a buffet at any point, a big bowl of roast vegetable salad would be nice or similar healthy salads.

Good luck.

Kaekae Thu 04-Dec-14 15:34:10

I also try not to get caught up in the Christmas food hype. I agree with the Christmas packaging of foods, I have learnt to avoid most of it because it is all marked up and usually just goes to waste.

Notso Thu 04-Dec-14 16:29:04

TheRealMaryMillington could I please have your recipe? They sound lovely.

Greengrow Thu 04-Dec-14 16:45:12

There is probably little people can do as well to ensure Christmas is happy as exclude all processed foods, sugar, chocolate and alcohol. It is the mixture of all those things which cause a family row and having 5 - 6 hour gaps between eating which makes people happy and healthy. Intermittent fasting is free and little makes you feel as good.

Go for a roast chicken - just as nice as turkey.

TheRealMaryMillington Thu 04-Dec-14 16:54:59

Notso I do variations on this one vegan version but there are lots to choose from. I usually add some cardamom to the dough too for a Swedishy vibe. I never do to the frosting.

MackerelOfFact Thu 04-Dec-14 16:56:42

A box of crackers from the pound shop and some sprigs of holly and fir in a vase, plus some candles on the table, will make it feel Christmassy regardless of what you're eating. A box of chocs will only be a couple of pounds but they feel a bit special to pass around while you're playing board games or watching a movie or something on Xmas day.

Agree with chicken for Xmas dinner. Leftover Xmas day meat (cook up some extra chicken drumsticks or something if there isn't much left as they are cheap) with some mash, salad and pickles would be fine for Boxing Day.

Mince pies and sausage rolls are good snack foods for guests, or just go to the pound shop or similar and get a selection of crisp-type snacks to put in bowls for people to help themselves.

zipetwhippet Thu 04-Dec-14 18:24:12

Like others - a small chicken not turkey which only does enough for the Christmas meal.
I am doing a big party on boxing day and will be making most of the cakes and biscuits myself, cheaper and nicer.
All drinks from b and m- saves a fortune. fizzy cans are 29p for example.
We never buy a silly amount of Christmas food, I hate feeling too full - just a few nice extras.

Lunaballoon Thu 04-Dec-14 18:30:04

Another family here having chicken rather than turkey. I'll make a knockout homemade stuffing plus all the trimmings which will still make it special and much more economical than ££££ turkey.

happybubblebrain Thu 04-Dec-14 18:48:33

For a little party I'm making sweet onion and cheese tartlets, vegi sausage rolls, crisps, veg and dips, mince pies , gingerbread stars and stollen.

On Christmas morning we're having cinnamon rolls.

We are having a completely vegetarian Christmas with garlic, potato and cheese bake, quorn escolopes, roast parsnips, yorkshire puddings, glazed carrots and lots of green veg. We're going to have some cakes but no Christmas cake or pudding as nobody likes it. And I'm going to do something fancy with cranberries - I think they're only 89p in Adlis right now.

I'm going to stock upon upon Adli cheeses and crackers. Rosemary crackers - mmmm. And I'm going to make sure I go on Aldis on Christmas Eve when everything gets reduced.

TheRealMaryMillington Thu 04-Dec-14 18:53:56

We're having a turkey crown from the local butcher. Lots cheaper than the whole birds we used to get, plus even the kids will eat it. I also make ace homemade stuffing, and mountains of veg. Xmas dinner foods last for at least 3 - 4 meals, including soup from the leftover veggies, which is fantastic.

We won't buy boxes of chocs, though there will be chocolate in everyone's stockings - plenty of it.

We don't have many plans for guests but if friends decide to come over we will do homemade pizzas, a cheese board with tons of oatcakes, celery, chutney, grapes and make it look abundant, or maybe Gary Rhodes Parsnip Fritters ignore the blue cheese whip it is rank utterly yum, with cranberry sauce, probably homemade with lots of orange in it, smells like Christmas all by itself.

chicken much nicer than turkey anyway from what I remember. But we're on nut loaf and veggie sausages these days - dh and dc all veggies. Anyway what's essential we agree are the roasties smile

LucilleHendrix Thu 04-Dec-14 19:28:22

I have bought bits each week, crackers one week, biscuits next, home made mince pie ingredients the next, 2 boxes of chocs today, it has worked well for us......I bought a chicken and a piece of pork last week to freeze for Christmas & Boxing Day....just breaks it up a bit. Using my £25.00 voucher from Mr M's for a few beers, a bottle of wine for Xmas lunch and any extras we may fancy....smile

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