Let's do Christmas lunch . . . on the cheap

WHAT with the grim economic outlook and family budgets suffering their biggest squeeze for years, the last thing anybody needs really needs at the moment is the whole family turning up for an expensive Christmas dinner.

Good Housekeeping magazine reckons the cost of providing the traditional lavish lunch has gone up by 10% this year, which is bad news for those battling with soaring energy bills, insurance, petrol and food prices.

But there’s some good news in the Good Housekeeping December issue.

The mag trawled the shelves of six leading supermarkets to find the ingredients for the full festive feast . . . and all for just £2.89 a head.

The budget basket, with 11 essential items from Sainsbury's, Morrisons, Tesco, Lidl, Asda and Co-op costs £23.08.

Good Housekeeping Consumer Editor Caroline Bloor said: "It's disappointing, but not surprising, to find the price of laying on Christmas dinner for the family has gone up this year.

Our advice is to track down the cheapest source of fresh veg, use own brands and budget ranges where you can get away with it, and don't buy extra food just in case. This will all help balance out the increased cost of luxury items.”

The Good Housekeeping £2.89 Christmas Dinner across all supermarkets: The ingredients* are:


  • Turkey: Lidl Glenfell frozen self basting turkey (3.8-4.4kg), £9.99
  • Stuffing: Two packs of Tesco Value stuffing (15p for 85g), 30p
  • Cranberry sauce: Tesco standard cranberry sauce (200g), 50p
  • Potatoes: Asda 2kg bag of King Edward potatoes, £1.40
  • Parsnips: Two bags of Morrisons parsnips (500g for 50p), £1
  • Sprouts: Lidl 1kg bag of Green Grocer's frozen button sprouts, 99p
  • Carrots: Sainsbury's 1.5kg bag of Basics carrots, 75p
  • Christmas cake: Morrisons Iced whole Christmas cake (800g), £3.49
  • Mince pies: Two packs of Sainsbury's Basics mince pies (six for 63p), £1.26
  • Christmas pudding: Two Tesco Value Christmas Puddings with cider (454g for £1), £2
  • Brandy butter: By Sainsbury's (200g), £1.40

Good Housekeeping has also indentified the cheapest store for a one-stop bargain food shop - the Morrisons Christmas basket costs £28.24 or £3.53 per head.

The magazine also suggests spreading the cost of the Christmas meal by buying frozen and store-cupboard foods well in advance.

It’s enough to make Scrooge smile!