How to get Christmas food on a budget

Food bills are just another area that shoot up in price for the festive season. From extra food, alcohol, the turkey and trimmings there's no denying that over Christmas we buy (and eat) more food than usual but lets face it that's just part of what makes Christmas fun isn't it? So how can you get your Christmas food on a budget? Well it turns out there's lots of ways you can keep your food bill down over Christmas!

Shop at budget supermarkets

If you're a fan of my money saving posts then you'll know that this is my favourite tip for pretty much anything. I cannot stress how much shopping at budget supermarkets can save you. If you shop at the likes of Aldi and Lidl then you'll get the same great quality products that you'd find at any other supermarket for a fraction of the price. Also Aldi and Lidl tend to get some really great bits in that you won't find in other supermarkets. Black forest mince pies or pigs in blankets pizza anyone?! 

The same goes for alcohol, for anyone who enjoys a Christmas tipple or is hosting a party for the festive season then you'll know that the cost of alcohol can very quickly add up. By switching to budget supermarket alcohol though you can definitely make a saving. I'm going to use Aldi as the example here as that's where we shop but here are a few quick alcohol comparisons between Aldi's version and alcohol available from Asda:
Canti Prosecco £10 at Asda or Castellore Prosecco £5.99 from Aldi
Martini Asti £9 (or £7 when on Rollback) from Asda or Asti £4.99 from Aldi
Gordon's gin £16 from Asda or Oliver Cromwell gin £14 from Aldi

These are just a few examples but these kinds of savings can even be made across beers and ciders too. We never buy branded alcohol now because Aldi stuff is just as good!

Don't overbuy

It's so easy to get carried away with overbuying food and being left with loads of stuff you're not going to eat or throwing things away because they've gone out of date. With so many tasty offerings available it's easy to just keep adding things to your basket and before you know it you've spent loads of money on food that's going to end up in the bin. Realistically you just need to be a little strict with this one but other ways you can help yourself is making a list before you shop, planning out what food you'll need on what day and not shopping when you're hungry as you're more likely to impulse buy. 

Buy in bits

Rather than doing one big Christmas shop we like to add a few bits to our food shops in the months running up to Christmas whether it's an extra bottle of wine to put away or a bag of roast potatoes, adding a few extra bits will stop you being hit with a massive bill all in one go. December is already a really expensive month and usually the month where pay dates are out of whack meaning your wage has to stretch a little longer so rather than being landed with a big food bill if you can spread the cost out in the months leading up to Christmas it really does make a big difference.

Utilise leftovers

Even if you don't overbuy everyone always has leftover at Christmas. I'll be honest, I absolutely love Christmas leftovers and there's actually lots you can do with them. Turkey sandwiches are the obvious choice when it comes to using up left over meat but one of my favourite things to do with all the Christmas dinner leftovers is bubble and squeak and it couldn't be easier to make. Throw all the dinner leftovers in a bowl, cover or seal and store in the fridge, the next day mash up all the leftovers then fry in a little bit of butter. Nope it's not all that healthy but then it's Christmas so who cares, I love bubble and squeak so much and the leftovers will store well in the fridge for a couple of days. If you have a lot though, portion it up and freeze it and it should last well in the freezer for a month or two. Other good options for leftover recipes are turkey curry, creamy turkey pasta or even Christmas turkey pizza. Don't forget you can actually freeze leftover turkey too once it's cooled so you could even batch cook some turkey recipes then freeze them for a later date!

Traditionally Christmas is an expensive time of year but it doesn't have to be that way and there are definitely lots of ways you can make savings on pretty much anything to do with the festive season. I hope you found these tips useful and that you can utilise them this year when you do your Christmas food shop.

If you found this post useful or you have any great tips for doing a Christmas food shop on a budget, let me know in the comments.

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