Cooking Christmas Dinner on a Budget

by Pam on December 5, 2009

ways to save money on Christmas dinnerFor those of you who enjoy eating turkey dinner with family at Christmas, there a few things you can do to serve a great meal with all the trimmings, without breaking your budget.

For one thing, turkeys are relatively inexpensive compared to other meat you can buy, especially when it goes on sale during the holiday season.  Always be sure to buy your turkey on sale, and compare prices with other grocery stores as some have better deals than others.

Secondly, I find it’s cheaper to make your own cranberry sauce than to buy it canned, and it tastes ten times better.  The best time to stock up on cranberries is right after a holiday, so I recommend buying your cranberries right after Thanksgiving and then freezing them to use for Christmas.  You can often get a package for less than 60 cents.

If you’re inviting family and friends over for dinner, suggest that they bring a salad or dessert.  They will want to feel that they have contributed anyway, and it will save you time and money if everyone brings something.

Potatoes are fairly cheap and you can often find a twenty-pound bag for four dollars.  You can use dried out bread to make stuffing, or if you’re like me, you can buy Stove-Top stuffing when it goes on sale.  I’ve seen it as cheap as 88 cents a box.

You can make gravy from the good stuff at the bottom of your turkey roaster, so all you need is a bit of flour or cornstarch and water for thickening.  So you see, hosting a turkey dinner at Christmas does not have to cost you a lot of money – especially if some of your guests are helping out with salads and desserts.

If you do end up making a salad, make one from scratch instead of buying the more expensive pre-made ones.  Although the ready-made ones are convenient, you are paying dearly for them.  A suggestion is a simple ceasar salad.  All you need is some romaine lettuce, a few veggies, and most importantly, the croutons. 🙂

Making Christmas desserts can get expensive, depending on what you want to serve.  Shortbread cookies and sugar cookies are some of my favorites and they are not that expensive to make.  If you’re looking for inexpensive dessert ideas, search in Google and you will be sure to find something that interests you.

Happy cooking!

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