Christmas dinner on a budget

Christmas can be an expensive time but you don’t have to blow your budget to make it a special day. These great tips will help you get the most value out of the silly season.

BUY SEASONAL

Summer has to be one of the best times of the year for buying seasonal fruit and vege and a surefire way to help your Christmas dollar go further. Strawberries, avocadoes, corn, beans, salad greens and tomatoes are just a fraction of what’s available this time of year. They’re healthy and in-season so make the most of them. Here’s a couple of our favourite dishes to get you started.

RETHINK THE TRADITION

Most Kiwis are fond of a good old fashioned Christmas roast, but there are alternatives to the traditional ham and turkey. Try one of these delicious chicken or lamb recipes this Christmas and watch them line up for second helpings.

Making your own nibbles can be fun (especially if you rope the kids in) and will go further than pre-prepared alternatives. Get adventurous with entrees, side dishes and finger food. Dips and bruschetta are incredibly easy to prepare and your family and guests will love them.

LEFTOVERS

Leftovers are arguably one of the greatest things about the silly seasons. Everyone loves them and they’ll stretch a Christmas dinner for days. You can strip that chicken or turkey and use it in a fresh summer salad, and make the most of that leg of ham by storing it correctly. A ham on the bone (in a ham bag or prepared damp tea-towel) can last up to two weeks… if the kids don’t get to it first! Here’s some great recipes to keep you going.

SHOP NOW FOR CHRISTMAS

We all know Christmas is coming, so why not stock up ahead of time. Purchase your dry ingredients early or when they’re on special, and keep an eye out for groceries that will keep. Always check your cupboards you never know what you might already have in there, and set aside a baking day for treats such as Mince pies and Christmas puddings. They can be cooked months before they’re needed.

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