Christmas dinner is the most eagerly anticipated meal of the year.
But, as we all know only too well, it can hit you hard in the pocket.
Worrying figures have revealed one in three Britons will be putting their Christmas on credit this year, according to the Money Advice Trust.
One in five of the 2,000 people surveyed will be putting their Christmas food on credit.
Unfortunately, your dinner is going to cost more for families this year, as WalesOnline points out.
A survey of supermarkets has found that the cheapest one will cost 18% more than it did last year, with the impact of inflation and Brexit being blamed for the rise.
Good Housekeeping tracked the price of 11 Christmas dinner essentials, including a turkey, mince pies and cranberry sauce, across 10 supermarkets.
The budget basket from Lidl cost per head is £2.94 which is an increase of more than 18% since last year.
The supermarket is still the cheapest with dinner for eight costing on average £25.53 and £25.68 at rival supermarket Aldi.
the Liverpool Echo have put together a list of 15 ways you can save not just time but also money when cooking this year’s festive fayre.
Make a list – and check it twice
It’s all too easy to come out of the supermarket with an aisle’s worth of food if you go in blindly.
A list of all the items you really need is your friend here. Do NOT buy anything that isn’t on the list.
As above, forearmed is forewarned.
Decide in advance how much you’re willing to spend and pay cash not credit in order to stick to it.
For a delicious turkey, cook the legs separately from the crown. Not only will this cut down on your cooking time, it’ll also make sure the meat is cooked to perfection.
In fact, if you want to be super-efficient, you can cook the legs the day before as they won’t dry out if reheated.
Most veg can be prepared in advance, to save you stress on the day.
Roast potatoes can be cooked before, while any vegetables that are steamed or boiled can also be par-cooked in advance.
Just remove them from the heat when they’re still a bit crunchy and rinse with some cold water so they don’t carry on cooking. You can even cook them all in the one pot to save on washing up.
Christmas Eve jobs
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Doing the following tasks on Christmas Eve will take the pressure off Christmas Day:
- Set the table. A great way to make sure you have everything.
- Sort all the cooking and serving dishes, the glasses, silverware and napkins for the dinner.
- Put white wines and Champagne to chill.
- Remove all frozen foods from the freezer.
- Trim the Brussels Sprouts and refrigerate.
- Make the Dill Sauce for the salmon, if not already done.
- Stuff the turkey.
- Get to bed at a reasonable time, always helps to start Christmas Day refreshed and well rested.
Swerve the starter
This might sound crazy, but it makes total sense. With all the Christmas gluttony, it’s not like anyone’s going to miss it.
Concentrating on the main event will save you so much extra grief. And you can always bring out a cheese board later.
Buy your dessert, rather than making it
The supermarkets are full of delicious offerings that can save you from slaving over a hot stove for hours.
We particularly like Lidl’s Deluxe Belgian chocolate sponge with clementine centre (£3.79) and Tesco’s Finest* Belgian white chocolate, heritage raspberry and prosecco baubles (£10)
Keep it simple
In the era of Instagramming our every bite, there’s pressure to make everything perfect. But a simply meal, using fresh seasonal ingredients, will taste delicious without costing a fortune.