When it comes to planning a traditional Christmas dinner, there’s more to it than food. From extra-wide tin foil to plate warmers, countless items that make their way onto the Christmas shopping list.
However, these dinner items can quickly become expensive or only used once. Whether it’s a necessity or not, Park Christmas Savings are here to help you with budgeting - saving you a pretty penny this winter.
Use our checklist to make your own ultimate Christmas shopping list. Here are a few cupboard necessities you’ll need to cook this year’s Christmas dinner:
- Tin foil - ideal if you need a make-shift lid for trays.
- Baking paper - perfect for all those oven-baked nibbles and sweets.
- Butcher’s string - when you need to tie up the old bird.
- Extra paper plates, cups, and cutlery - save you having to constantly wash up.
- Plastic containers - for leftovers and doggy bags.
- Kitchen roll - for all those ominous sticky fingers and spills.
Set aside the fancy ingredients; here are the real heroes that make up the Christmas dinner:
- Eggs - for quick and easy Boxing Day breakfasts.
- Cheese and crackers - perfect for nibbling in between courses.
- Vanilla ice cream - an ideal scoop with the Christmas pudding or other desserts.
- Puff pastry - make anything from mille feuilles to sausage rolls.
- Sauces - don’t forget the tomato and brown sauce for the festive brekkies.
- Soft drinks - sometimes, a glass of squash or cola goes well with heavy dinners.
Here are gadgets that’ll come in handy this Christmas. Whilst some may be a little fancy, these can relieve stress from the entire cooking process:
- Meat thermometer - never worry about undercooked turkey ever again.
- Electric carving knife - dish out the perfect slices of meat every time.
- Sauce stirrer - gone are the days of endless stirring with this gadget.
- Plate warmer - keep food hot as you load up your plate with delicious sides.
- Air fryer - see it as having an extra oven to ease the burden of cooking.
- Blowtorch - zhuzh up those Crème Brûlée or Christmas puddings with a little fire.
With holiday pressures, it’s so easy to overspend when it comes to your Christmas traditions. Before you start stocking up your basket, here are a few tips that’ll help you save and spend wisely:
Plan out your meals
Writing lists and planning your dinner is essentially the best way to save money. Not only will it help you buy essentials, it’ll also keep you well within your estimated budget.
Planning ahead allows you to shop around for bargains; and avoid any last minute expensive purchases. For example, buying spices from ethnic supermarkets is considerably cheaper than buying them at local ones.
Prepare what you can in advance
A lot of people buy ready-made items to save time when cooking. But sometimes, it works out cheaper by making them yourself.
For example, making mince pies and pigs-in-blankets only requires putting marinated ingredients into puff pastry. Not only is making your own cost-efficient, they often end up tasting better than shop-bought ones. Soon, they’ll become a Christmas tradition every year!
Try shopping at different stores
A lot of us will do our ‘big shop’ at the nearest superstore. Why not venture a little further and shop at different stores? You never know - you could be saving loads this Christmas.
Some supermarkets, like Aldi and Asda, are unbeatable when it comes to price-comparisons. Or if you need to buy in bulk, why not try wholesale or ethnic superstores? Just shop around and compare prices beforehand.
Be smart when brand labels
With clever marketing, bigger brands are forever trying to convince us to buy their product. However, consumers are often left paying extra for just pretty branding.
Be smart when buying brand labels; only buy them if you truly believe you’re getting your money’s worth. Otherwise, shop around for a cheaper alternative. Like store-brands; they often taste just as nice and are at a fraction of the cost.
Use up your loyalty points and vouchers
If you’ve been saving up your supermarket points all year, Christmas is a great time to use them. Most supermarkets will also offer food vouchers in flyers to use for Christmas.
You can even search online for discount coupons on certain brands. Simply print them out and use them at the tills. These little savings really help when it comes to your overall budget for Christmas dinner.
Don’t overbuy food
Every year we overbuy and waste so much food at Christmas. Whilst it’s nice to have a hearty spread, it’s better to be economical with your spending.
Think about how much food you’ll need per head. For example, 1 kg of turkey is usually enough for 4 to 5 people. Also think about kids, as they’ll usually eat less than adults. If you do end up with leftovers, hopefully they’re hoovered up by lunchtime on Boxing Day.
Get help with Christmas budgeting with Park Christmas Savings
When it comes to Christmas, many households face all kinds of financial expectations. Whether you’re cooking for the family or a blow-out party, it’s always best to plan ahead.
That’s where Park Christmas Savings comes in. We offer expert advice on helping you make big savings during festive times. Sign up and get all the budgeting advice you’ll need for all your Christmas holiday traditions.