How to save money on Christmas lunch or dinner
Make a list
Santa shouldn’t be the only one making a list. It sounds simple, but making a list of all the food required for your Christmas celebration before you head to the shops can stop you from buying unnecessary products.
Sticking to seasonal produce where possible will also help reduce grocery costs and you might even want to think about switching up your usual turkey or ham for a more affordable, crowd-friendly cut of meat like brisket.
You can also indulge without being excessive. Rather than serving skewers full of prawns, you might opt for canapes with a single prawn and a spoonful of home-made salsa on each cracker, for example.
Or try this easy smoked salmon recipe, courtesty of Celebrity Chef Gabriel Gaté, who hosts a French-themed dinner for RACV Club Members every year.
Buy early, buy on special
If you know that you’re going to need a lot of non-perishable items for Christmas, such as flour, tinned or frozen foods, dried fruit or even boxed chocolates, it’s a good idea to start stocking up early. Putting an extra item in your basket and setting it aside in a special cupboard for Christmas spreads the grocery costs across several weeks and months, rather than slamming you in December.
Likewise, if you notice specials on non-perishable items that you’ll need for Christmas, including items like tableware, it’s a good idea to buy them before the silly season truly kicks off.
You can save even more money by buying Christmas gifts early, or when they go on sale as well. Impulse buys a couple of days before Christmas are often more expensive and may end up not making suitable gifts.
Share the load
Whoever is hosting Christmas lunch or dinner need not carry the financial burden of that alone. Speak to friends and family attending your celebration to see if you can work out a shared arrangement. For example, you provide the main and everyone else brings either a starter, side or dessert.
You could even try a potluck-style Christmas meal or opt for something less formal like a barbecue.
The cost of Christmas isn't just financial. The seasonal feast also has environmental costs but these can be reduced by opting for more plant-based foods on your menu, not gratuitously over catering, and using local and seasonal produce wherever possible. RACV Members save on Woolworths gift cards.