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How much will you spend on your Christmas dinner this year?

Christmas food shop

According to research, you could well be serving up your cheapest ever Christmas dinner this year – that’s if you’re willing to shop around for it. So do you know what the cost of your Christmas dinner is likely to be?

I can picture it now. Me, in say, 30 years’ time. It’s Christmas Day, and I’m sitting round the dinner table ready to tuck into my Christmas lunch, probably in some sort of tacky interactive Christmas jumper, imparting my wisdom to younger relatives/anyone who’ll listen.

‘Back in 2016, you could feed a family of eight for under £20 on Christmas Day and still have change for a small bag of sweets,’ I’d tell them, sagely.

Christmas on the cheap

‘Pah! £20? For Christmas dinner?’, I hear you collectively scoff. But, according to a Good Housekeeping, it really can cost that.

In a compiled index that tracks seasonal food, if you shopped around for the 11 traditional ingredients of a Christmas dinner (turkey, potatoes, stuffing, Brussels, carrots, parsnips, cranberry sauce, Christmas pudding, brandy butter, mince pies and Christmas cake) in the supermarkets where they were cheapest, you could do it for £19.82 or £2.48 per head.

The index also suggests that the expense of entertaining on the big day has dropped more than 10% since the magazine began tracking the cost in 2009.

And with grocery prices expected to increase due to the rising cost of importing food and the declining value of sterling, 2016 could see you tucking in to your cheapest Christmas dinner ever.

Interestingly, separate research, compiled by interiors firm Hillarys, found a Christmas dinner for four in 1975 cost nearly £55, after adjusting figures for inflation.

Shopping around

But if, like me, you’d rather not traipse around and just buy all your Christmas food from one place, then according to the index you’d best head to Aldi, where you can get all 11 items on the list for £22.03 – 11% less cheaper than last year’s cheapest, Iceland.

Of course, on the drinks front, Which? taste test results for this Christmas awarded Aldi a Best Buy Taste Test for its Aldi Veuve Monsigny Champagne Brut and Aldi Exquisite Collection Argentinian Malbec.

For those of you willing to splash out this year, the index has priced your bill at the check-outs in M&S closer to £50.

Bargain hunting

Have you spotted any amazing Christmas bargains in supermarkets? Would you be willing to shop around to make your Christmas dinner as cheap as possible?


Doesn’t counting the cost of Christmas rather spoil the occasion?

One thing I have always been curious about is what constitutes “all the trimmings” that usually appears in a Christmas menu. Apart from a dud Christmas cracker and possibly a thing that goes “whoouueeerr . . . err . . . err. . . uhh” when you blow into it I cannot imagine what else is included.

Rather than buy a cheap traditional Christmas dinner (can a turkey producer really give you anything worthwhile in that budget?), if that was all I could afford to pay I’d far rather produce a different dinner that had decent ingredients. Perhaps a meat and potato pie followed by baked apples, leaving room for some nice “trimmings”.

I am not a fan of turkey – often dry, not particularly tasty, even when following the ever-more complicated cooking methods and additives that appear in magazines around Christmas. Xmas pud is not to my taste – too sweet usually. I’d rather have a decent beef joint or a sirloin steak One year we’ll have goose again; see if you can get that in the sub £20 budget.

Bah hum………

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Duncan – you’re right – this is a reality of life for many poor folk in the UK. “Dumpster diving” sounds horribly American though – “skipping” seems to be the more usual English term.

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Thanks Duncan,

So for added “media hype” – use “dumpster diving” not “skipping”…

You’re back from a sojourn in the Antipodes? Had a thought, Patrick: you can never sign notes with just your initials, can you? People will be thinking they’ve missed something (you have to think about it)…

Haha, that’s true Ian!