Christmas dinners are often very costly affairs. Entertaining guests for Christmas dinner can also be quite expensive, sometimes just as expensive as buying gifts. You should consider how much money you will spend on food before you begin planning your menu. Consider buying pre-made foods such as pre-cooked meats and vegetables to save money. Also, remember to plan ahead so that you can save money on ingredients ensuring a merry Christmas for your family and your wallet.
Step 1. Set a budget in advance and follow it
You don’t have to spend outrageously at Christmas; set a budget in advance and stick to it. A great way to keep to your budget at Christmas is to pay cash rather than using your credit card.
Step 2. Keep it simple
A simple meal in the form of roast chicken, prawns on the beach, or a simple meal created with seasonal ingredients will taste delicious and won’t break the bank.
Step 3. Plan your menu in advance
Make a list of the items that you will need for the day, from snacks and drinks to desserts and coffee. This will not only save your sanity, but will also help you decide whether your menu plan requires additional preparation or breaks your budget.
Step 4. Track store prices
By having a menu plan and shopping list for Christmas Day, you can start to pay attention to store prices and purchase items at a discount when they come on sale. Meats can be purchased in advance and frozen, while nibbles and drinks can be purchased at a deep discount and stored until the big day.
Step 5. Serve fancy-restaurant sized portions
Preparation and presentation can make all the difference. Cook and serve adequate beautifully presented portions instead of large portions to prevent overeating, as well as ensuring that food doesn’t go to waste. Guests can always return for seconds, and leftovers can be used later.
Step 6. Cook your food from Scratch
Instead of buying convenient foods, make your own snacks, stuffing, and prepare your own seasonal fruits and vegetables yourself.
7. Reduce the size of the appetizers if you’re serving a full course meal.
There is nothing worse than filling your stomach with peanuts, potato chips, and other nibbles that are expensive and might prevent guests from enjoying the main meal.
8. Be a mate — bring a plate
It makes hosting a large Christmas meal a lot easier if your guests bring a plate. In our family, everyone picks out what they will bring from a general list of dishes (such as salad or dessert). This ensures that not all guests bring the same thing so you’re not all stuck eating infinite portions of potato salad
9. Pack a Punch
If you are planning Christmas, you can ask your guests to bring their own drinks. Alternatively, look out for specials on alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages months in advance.
Another little secret is punch! You can extend the more expensive alcoholic drinks further and may even be able to stop Uncle Kosta from singing carols in his underwear.
Whether you’re feeding a crowd or making simple foods from scratch for the occasion, Christmas dinner doesn’t have to blow the budget. Plan ahead, buy food on sale and cook simple foods from scratch to avoid the hangover of the New Year.