Baby all I want for Christmas, is food

Be elf sufficient this year and make your own christmas dinner! Victoria Affleck is here to help us create a festive feast without us becoming ‘Saint Nickel-less’

12th December 2016

Christmas is almost here and it’s almost time to go back to our families and eat all the Christmas food you can possibly stomach – that’s what Christmas is for, right? Before you head back to the ‘rents house, why not end the year with a bang (not literally) and have a roast dinner with your flatmates/friends?

You might be thinking this is a disastrous idea and will end up with you being even closer to dipping into your overdraft, or even further into your overdraft, but it doesn’t have to be expensive if you shop around and find the best deals. Between the presents, food, alcohol and decorations, Christmas is often the most expensive time of the year for everyone, but it is possible to not break the bank completely. For a little contribution of just a mere few pounds per person in a group of roughly 8 people, you can cook a hearty Turkey roast dinner for as little as £20 – bargain.

Although this entirely depends on where you choose to shop for your ingredients. A recent survey published last month suggests that the most expensive place to shop for the essentials is (unsurprisingly) Marks and Spencer cashing in at £49.50, whereas on the other hand, the cheapest supermarket is Aldi cashing in at just £22.03. However, if you wanted to shop for all your produce at the likes of Tesco, you wouldn’t be set too far back, with the total coming to £28.08 – just £6 a head for a group of 8. If you choose to shop around and make the most of the bargains from the many supermarkets at your disposal, you can get all ingredients you need for under £20.

Good Housekeeping magazine found in its annual festive shopping basket cost survey that if you chose to shop at Aldi, Asda and Morrison’s you could bring the cost down to just £2.48 per person for a group of 8, totalling £19.82 for the whole shop.

Good Housekeeping’s £2.48 a head Christmas dinner: the 11 ingredients

Turkey: Asda – £8 (2.8-4kg)

Potatoes: Aldi – 29p (2kg)

Stuffing mix: Asda and Morrison’s – 30p (2 x 85g)

Brussels sprouts: Aldi – 58p (2 x 500g)

Carrots: Aldi – 29p (1kg)

Parsnips: Aldi – 58p (2 x 600g)

Cranberry sauce: Lidl and Asda – 55p (200g)

Christmas pudding: Aldi and Lidl – £3.49 (907g)

Brandy butter: Aldi and Lidl – £1.25 (200g)

Mince pies: Lidl – £1.49 (12 pack)

Christmas cake: Iceland – £3 (2 x 400g)

Total – £19.82

Yes, it can be a nuisance travelling to different shops to get the cheapest ingredients, but if it means being less in debt than shopping at your local store, such as Marks and Spencer or Sainsbury’s on Northumberland Street which will set you back a whole £30 and £15 more, it is worth it.

The Good Housekeeping survey tracked the price of the 11 main Christmas ingredients across 10 of the major supermarket chains across the UK and found prices were the cheapest since it began its survey eight years ago. The overall cost has dropped 10.8% since 2009, when the price for Christmas dinner was 30p cheaper at £2.78 a head. However, reports suggest that the price could fluctuate enormously next December due to the result of this year’s referendum and leaving the European Union, so now is the best time to cook for your friends – arguably it’s now or never!

Have a great Christmas and whatever you do, don’t get too drunk and accidentally burn your kitchen down…

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