Festive frugal feats: Christmas dinner on a budget
Oh come all ye hungry! Whether it’s your Dad’s famous glazed ham or the trifle Aunty Mary makes every year, food is one of the things we remember most about this time of year.
But putting amazing food on your holiday table shouldn’t mean forking out a small fortune, even with the rising cost of food. Below we’ll share some of our favourite tips for how you can save money this Christmas, without sacrificing on great taste and good festive fun.
Make a budget and stick to it
Everyone’s Christmas budget may be a little bit different so the first place to start is to work out how much you can afford to spend and work your way back from there. If you’ve got no idea on what hosting a Christmas meal will cost, a realistic place to start may be around $10 a head. No matter what your budget, there are still plenty of ways to create a magical meal.
Download our Summer Savings Guide to get two bonus entertainer menus for $10 per person.
Pick one hero recipe
The trick to turning out a festive yet frugal feast is to focus your attention on 1 or 2 hero recipes. It may be one hero cut of meat like a turkey or glazed ham, or perhaps you’re more of a sweet tooth and want to save your sizzle for a showstopping dessert. Whatever it is, build your menu around your hero recipe, and keep the rest simple.
Let savvy sides be your saviour
With your Thermomix®, it’s easy to whip up tasty and impressive side dishes that are savvy savers. The smell, taste and texture of freshly baked bread is guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser and can be created from as little as a few dollars. While sides like roast potatoes, rice salad and seasonal vegetables also help to bulk out your festive feast.
Make a list and check it twice
Whether you’re naughty or nice, Christmas is a time of excess – be it food, alcohol, carols, gravy or glitter. If you’re a chronic over-caterer, it can be easy to overestimate how much food you'll need at Christmas, only to end up throwing some away or eating leftovers for days. Use our online recipe platform Cookidoo® to plan a moreish menu and create your shopping list all in one go! Shopping online can also help to prevent those extra in-store impulse buys.
Make it from scratch
Shortbread, fruit mince pies, puddings and pavlovas – these are the things that make Christmas feel oh-so-Christmassy, but they all add up! Luckily, it’s easy to whip up these items from scratch with a little help from your Thermomix® (your very own Christmas elf). Can you see how your Thermomix® is already starting to pay for itself?
The best gifts are homemade gifts
From teachers, to neighbours, to your secret Santa and host thank you gifts, sometimes it can seem like your Christmas gift list is as big as Santa’s! Ho-ho-hold spending money on throwaway items that are bad for your wallet and the environment and instead opt for homemade gifts jam-packed with sentimental value.
Looking for homemade gift ideas? Click here to check out our blog for some spec(tac)ulaas recipe ideas!
The more the merrier
If you love to host events but don’t want to break the budget (or your back!) cooking for everyone, simply invite your friends and family to bring a plate. You can discover some fabulously festive Christmas platter inspiration on our blog, or by exploring our top Christmas recipes! Make one of two of your favourite dishes in your Thermomix® and let your guests do the rest. It can be hard asking for help, but you’ll find that most of your guests appreciate the opportunity to get involved and help out. This way, your Christmas spread will be so beautiful and abundant with everyone’s ideas and favourite dishes on there and you’ll have way more time to eat, drink and be merry.
And don’t be afraid to outsource dessert. There's always someone happy to bring along a cheesecake or pavlova!
The most important ingredient
Remember, Christmas isn’t about food – it’s about much more than that. Any meal is a feast when you’re spending time with the people you love.
By making and using cookies, shortbread or gingerbread biscuits in your Thermomix® you can create a festive showstopper dish that doesn’t cost much, and with a little styling, has a big impact. Here’s your inspo: