I made Christmas Dinner for £2.20 – Savvy money saving student shares her story

Money savvy student Poppy Barr shares her money saving ideas with www.nhsdiscountoffers.co.uk, as the 23yr old tells us how she is making a Christmas dinner – all for just £2.20 a head.

Here is her story…

“…It’s no secret that Christmas is one of the most expensive times of year, and with the impact of Coronavirus in 2020, money is tighter than ever.

Statistically in the UK, the average household spends an extra £800 in December, with a 16% increase in money spent on food in the run up to Christmas (ref). But is it possible to cut costs without cutting the magic of Christmas?

Poppy set herself the challenge of a Christmas dinner for under £5.

As a keen foodie and budgeting enthusiast, I set myself the challenge of creating a Christmas dinner for under £5 a head.

After looking online for the best deals, I settled with a shop full of bits from Asda and found I could make a meal with all my favourite Christmas dinner elements for just under £2.20 a person.

Shopping List (for 4 people):

●     Potatoes (1kg) – £0.40

●     Stuffing (120g) – £0.23

●     Brussel sprouts (320g) – £0.51

●     Carrots (320g) – £0.19

●     Parsnips (320g) – £0.31

●     Meat-free chicken style joint (500g) – £5

●     Vegetarian cocktail sausages (200g) – £2

●     Onion gravy (40g) – £0.14

As a vegan, I managed to cut costs by avoiding expensive meats and replacing them with plant based alternatives.

I also based my costs on weight, and while everyone’s portions will vary, it gives a good idea of just how much you can save if you choose the cheaper options!

While the classic Christmas dinner is great, I also wanted to see what additional extras I could fit into my £5 budget.

For an additional 75p per person, I managed to spice up the meal with components I personally can’t go without – fresh rosemary and garlic for the best roast potatoes, milk and flour for homemade Yorkshire puddings, swede and carrot mash (my personal favourite side) and both bread sauce and cranberry sauce so the whole family is happy.

With the spend still at just £2.95, this of course leaves room for dessert.

Mince pies for £1, a Christmas pudding for £2 and custard for 88p – the perfect finish to a delicious yet inexpensive meal – taking the total spend to just under £4.

When you consider what you would be spending if you chose a restaurant for dinner this year, the potential savings are crazy!

There are, of course, other ways to ensure you’re staying savvy with your Christmas dinner, regardless of the ingredients you opt for.

Although it’s tempting to save time by buying everything pre-prepared, this adds pounds to your shopping total and let’s be honest, nothing beats homemade roast potatoes.

Shop around for the best deals and plan in advance – avoid the last minute panic and throwing all-sorts into the trolley on Christmas Eve.

And finally, do not buy too much – while we don’t want anyone to go without, will you really need a kilogram of stuffing or 48 pigs in blankets for a family of four?

Food waste is huge at Christmas so plan out how much you will need and make sure you have some great leftovers recipes to whip out on Boxing Day.

I have written for a number of online publications and enjoy looking for ways to help people save money in the UK. Feel free to contact me for any feedback or correspondence via email, or follow on Twitter or take a look at my Linkdin profile.

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