white snow and blue sky with christmas trees and presents

Our SuperSaver Andrew Watson shares his tips on how to feed eight people for £2.66 each!

Provident employee Andrew Watson gives his tips on saving money on your Christmas dinner

Christmas is a time for giving and we’d like to let you know how you can give your guests more and serve up a full Christmas dinner menu for eight people for under £22!

Like most people I like a bargain and don’t see why you need to pay more at Christmas to enjoy a slap up feast to be proud of.

Bargain Christmas Dinner

Let’s get started on creating a bargain Christmas dinner by checking your cupboards for any ingredients that you can use for this year’s festive feast. For example, is there a Christmas pudding/cake sitting on the back of a shelf? These tend to have a long use by date and they could still be fine. Flour and chicken stock cubes will help to make your own gravy or you may even have some Sage and Onion Stuffing tucked away?

Next place to look was the internet and with a bit of Googling I came across the Good Housekeeping Christmas dinner budget basket article, which saved me a load of time searching supermarket websites for the best deals in town. Using this guide gives you a great starting point for your meal, where you go from there you decide…

The good news is that this year’s cheapest basket is 3% cheaper than last year’s!

The survey takes into account 11 key Christmas dinner items from the top ten supermarkets to find out how cheaply you can buy them, and from where, to bring you the ultimate price Christmas dinner!

They only use fresh veg and compare the same items each year to give a true comparison. They calculate the total cost as a consumer would, so for example if a retailer only sells mince pies in packs of 6 then they multiply the price by two.

And there’s more good news here because the current competition between the traditional supermarkets and the discounters shows the difference is getting smaller! Apparently there’s only a £5.48 difference in price between the Iceland basket and that of seventh-placed Sainsbury’s.

The answer in short?

In Good Housekeeping’s annual Christmas budget basket shop, Christmas dinner for eight people from Iceland cost £27.84 – with fresh veg included.
Now we know why Mum’s go to Iceland!  😎

Tackling The Turkey

The largest expense on the day is the turkey and there is a massive range of prices for creating the centrepiece of your festive table.

The cheapest turkey is Lidl with a frozen bird for under a tenner, next up are the discounters Iceland and Aldi with frozen turkeys for just a little more at £11.

Three of the big four supermarkets Tesco, Asda and Morrisons have turkeys for £12 each. At the higher end of the market, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, the Co-operative and M&S sell turkeys starting in the £16-17 range.

One point to make: if you’re thrifty and disciplined when it comes to using up leftovers then you could make your turkey stretch to several other meals. It’s often cheaper per kilo to buy a larger bird. BUT! If you end up throwing away leftovers then you’ll be better off buying only what you need. You can even opt for a smaller bird than you might think. Allow a minimum of 500g on-the-bone weight per person (so a 5kg turkey would serve 10) but keep costs down by replacing some of that weight with a sausage meat stuffing for example.

Make Your Own Gravy

Why not buy a whole, fresh Turkey? The giblets and the roasting juices make a delicious gravy, why not add a spoon of flour and a chicken stock cube, along with a splash of wine if you’ve got a bottle open! 😉

Drum Roll Please…

So, are you ready for the Good Housekeeping Christmas budget basket breakdowns? Here they come.

THE ULTIMATE BUDGET BASKET

  • Lidl Braemoor Turkey, £9.99
  • Co-op Maris Piper potatoes, 1.5kg, £1.50
  • Sage and Onion Stuffing, Morrisons, Asda,Tesco, 2x 85g, 30p
  • Aldi Sprouts, 750g, 49p
  • Aldi Carrots, 1.2kg, 49p
  • Tesco Parsnips, 750g, 90p
  • Tesco Everyday Value cranberry sauce 185g, 50p
  • Sainsbury’s Basics Christmas pudding, 2x 454g puds, £2
  • Brandy butter Aldi and Lidl 200g, £1.49
  • Sainsbury’s Basics Mince Puffs x8, 65p
  • Christmas Cake: Iceland Large Iced Fruit Bar, 800g, £3

Basket total: £21.31
Total per person: £2.66

 

As these prices were correct on the 17th of November there’s probably some better deals out there as the big day approaches and the pricing war heats up!

Please don’t forget to factor your transport costs into this as this could soon change the actual price of the ultimate budget basket.

Lastly I hope you all have a great Christmas with a bargain Christmas dinner on the table and plenty of Christmas cheer!  :-)