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Christmas Feast on the Cheap

It's that time of year again when everything is jolly, jingling and sometimes expensive. But you don't have to blow the budget to throw together a top-notch Christmas feast. Follow these tips for Christmas cheer!

Get your Christmas lunch ideas early

If you plan your Christmas lunch or dinner menu well in advance you’ll avoid last-minute stress and will be able to make the most of foods on special in the lead-up to Christmas. 

  1. Choose your menu, find the recipes, and make a list of the ingredients you'll need. 
  2. Check the pantry, fridge and freezer and cross off anything you’ve got already. 
  3. Use one colour to highlight the ingredients you need to get a few days before, and a different colour for the ones that can be bought in advance.
  4. Keep an eye on supermarket prices. When items from your 'buy in advance' list go on special, stock up and save money. Having a plan and sticking to it helps avoid impulse buys that aren’t on the list or in the budget. That being said, it also pays to be a little flexible if it turns out that the fresh ingredients you want are too expensive or not available.

Sides that sparkle

Fruits and vegetables that are in season are some of the cheapest foods at the table. A gorgeous potato salad, a one-ingredient simple sorbet, or a crunchy coleslaw are great and easy additions to the menu. Better yet, they’re all colourful, cheap and healthy – what’s not to love? Check out FOODcents or LiveLighter for delicious healthy recipes that won’t break the bank.

Many hands make light work

Ready-made dishes such as cheese boards, pre-prepared salads, dips, gravy, cakes and fruit platters save time but are much more expensive. Make the most of helping hands on Christmas morning and prepare these from scratch. Better still, ask your guests to bring a dish. This gets everyone involved and shares the work and the cost.

Smart leftovers

Put leftovers in the fridge as soon as people have finished eating. Not only will they stay fresh and safe to eat, but people will be less likely to keep picking and will still have room for dessert. Get creative with your leftover meats after Christmas by adding them to salads, sandwiches, omelettes, fried rice, and bubble and squeak.

Christmas is a time to celebrate and spend time with family and friends. With a bit of planning, you'll have a delicious and healthy meal without breaking the bank!

If you need a little extra help, our Christmas loans can help you spread the costs over a few months to turn a stressful time into a fun festive season.

 

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