The average UK household spends around £200 on Christmas dinner each year, but by planning in advance exactly what you are going to buy this year could save you a fair amount.
* Plan what you are going to buy for this Christmas meal and stick to it.
* Check your store cupboards and freezer before making your shopping list.
* Shop around for the best deals on Christmas food.
* Empty your freezer before Christmas to allow you to store uneaten food. Make sure you buy plastic containers or freezer bags in advance.
* Mulled Wine - buy the sachets rather than buying ready prepared.
* Make your own gravy and stuffing, not only does it taste much better it is also much cheaper. Store left over bread or crusts in the freezer to turn into stuffing, here is a classic stuffing recipe http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/3056/sausage-sage-and-onion-stuffing but I prefer to add some bacon and dried apricots, they are also cheaper. *Tip when making gravy make sure you cook out the flour for at least 10 minutes. Recipe, here is a recipe for Christmas gravy http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/893639/gravy-for-the-christmas-turkey
* Mince pies - you can either buy them (see below) or glam up cheap mincemeat by adding some orange pith, brandy or whisky with some chopped nuts. If you have a kitchen mixer it's also really easy to make your own short bread pastry, just add all the ingredients to the mixer, all you will need is 375g plain flour 260g unsalted butter, softened, 125g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling, 1 large egg, plus 1 beaten egg for glazing. Then pop into some cling film, put in the fridge and leave to cool before rolling and cutting out your pastry.
* Turkey - you don't always need to buy a large turkey, some people find it quite dry so why not buy a nice free range chicken instead or chicken breasts it works out much cheaper. Or if you want to buy a large bird make sure you use it for several meals afterwards or pop slices into your freezer for another dinner.
* Cheese board, check out the cheese counter as these can work out much cheaper than pre-packed cheeses and just keep to three or four.
Do you have any money saving tips you would like to share with us? If so please let us know on our FB page.
GoodHouse keeping Recommended buys this Christmas:
Winner: Iceland Deluxe Mince Pies, £1.59 for 6
Winner: Tesco Finest* 9 month Matured Cherry Topped Xmas pudding, £5 for 454g
Winner: Lidl Valley Spire Mature Blue Stilton, £1.69 for 220g
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