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Budget Christmas dinner for under £50

Budget Christmas dinner for under £50
Image source: Getty Images


It’s fair to say that 2021 is proving to be an expensive year. It seems that everything is going up in price, including food. So I’ve taken on a challenge to see if it’s still possible to have a budget Christmas dinner for under £50.

The good news is that my budget Christmas dinner, mainly from Asda and with a little bit from Tesco, just sneaks in at £48.28. And that’s including two bottles of wine, a Christmas pudding and six Christmas crackers.

How to cook a budget Christmas dinner

The biggest cost of a traditional Christmas meal is the Turkey. And the best way to get the price down is to buy frozen. Frozen meat is just as nutritious as fresh meat as it is frozen immediately after it’s prepared for sale. The main thing to remember is to allow plenty of time for it to defrost before you cook it. A medium frozen turkey takes up to 52 hours to defrost in the fridge.

It’s always possible to go to town on all the Christmas dinner trimmings and feel you need to buy everything from the premium ranges. But I’m sure I’m not alone in having several family members with very traditional tastes. There’s nothing wrong with good old Paxo stuffing and Colman’s bread sauce, especially if you’re on a tight budget.

I’ve chosen my basket of budget Christmas dinner food mainly from Asda. That’s because many of us will be shopping from home this Christmas. If you want to brave the Christmas crush at Aldi or Lidl, then you may be able to get your Christmas dinner even cheaper.

Don’t buy too much

It’s easy to be seduced by all the offers in the supermarkets at Christmas time. But if you’re on a tight budget, remember that’s it’s only possible to eat so much on Christmas Day. My daughter loves to eat herself silly, but even she often can’t manage a mountain of veg and a second helping of Christmas pudding!

My top picks for a budget Christmas dinner

Main course

I’ve chosen a medium size turkey simply because a medium turkey offers plenty of meat for the average family. You’ll still have lots of leftovers. I’ve picked Maris Piper potatoes because they make good roasts and excellent mash. Of course, other potatoes are available that may be even cheaper! 

  • Tesco frozen basted medium British turkey (5.3kg) £16 
  • Asda Maris Piper potatoes (2kg) £1.18
  • Asda pigs in blankets (16) £3
  • Asda grower’s selection carrots (1kg) 43p
  • Asda grower’s selection parsnips (500g) 50p
  • Asda grower’s selection brussel sprouts (500g) 85p
  • Asda yorkshire puddings (12) 62p
  • Paxo sage and onion stuffing (100g twin pack) £2 
  • Colman’s bread sauce 65p
  • Asda cranberry sauce (200ml) 59p
  • Asda Extra Special turkey gravy granules (100g) £1.49

Dessert

I’ve included a Christmas pudding and cream, but I didn’t have enough in the budget Christmas dinner pot to stretch to brandy butter. If you have some brandy and sugar knocking about in the cupboard, then it’s easy to make your own.

  • Asda Christmas pudding (800g) £4
  • Double cream (600ml) £1.99

Drinks and crackers

I’ve chosen the cheapest crackers. I mean, what’s the point of expensive crackers? They might have a slightly nicer novelty paper clip, but no one ever keeps them anyway. The hats and the jokes are the same in the cheap crackers.

  • White wine: Black Tower fruity white wine £4.99
  • Red wine: Hardy’s stamp shiraz £4.99
  • Asda Home premium silver crackers (6) £5

Total cost £48.28

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