By Jo Scarratt-Jones, author of Eat Well for Less.
Christmas is a time of year when even the most sensible of shoppers can lose their way a little in all the excitement and find food spending can sky rocket. Yet, with a few simple tips and tricks up your sleeve you can save time, money and still rustle up festive feasts for your family and friends.
- Always make a meal plan and check what’s in your cupboards before you write your festive shopping list. You’ll reduce the risk of overspending and overbuying.
- Instead of spending money on expensive pre-made cheese boards, buy your cheese separately and make up your own. You can save money, choose only the cheeses you like AND end up with more. And lots of cheeses freeze well too.
- Always short for time in the kitchen and find yourself spending a fortune on readymade shortcuts? Lots of Christmas day fare can be prepared way in advance and frozen ready for the big day, for instance gravy can be frozen up to 3 months in advance!
- Don’t ignore salmon trimmings, they’re perfect to make a paté and are a cheaper alternative to smoked salmon and taste just as good
- Always head for the premium range mince pies? Not this year, why not conduct your own blind taste test to compare to some own brand alternatives…you might be pleasantly surprised!
- Christmas dinner leftovers can be transformed into a delicious Turkey pate, Coronation Turkey and a hearty veg soup on Boxing Day.
- Don’t throw away leftover christmas pudding. Crumble it up and add to ice cream for a delicious dessert. Try this with other cakes and puddings too.
- Spend a fortune on fizz? Cava is made in the exact same way to Champagne for a fraction of the price. You could secretly test it out on some friends and see if they notice the difference.
For more top tips to carry you through Christmas food shopping and cooking, check out the Eat Well for Less cookbook here.
Or for festive recipe inspiration from Eat Well for Less, take a look at these Cheese Twists, this Turkey Pate, Shredded sprouts with chestnuts and bacon or this warming Braised shin of beef with creamy mash recipe, perfect to keep you going over the holiday season.