If it’s your turn to host the family Christmas gathering this year, you might be wondering just how you are going to get through the day without massively blowing the budget. It is possible to hold a great Christmas day on a budget, all it takes is a little forward planning along with deciding ahead of time what to spend on and what to save on.
Reuse last year’s Christmas decorations
It’s expensive, and also wasteful, to replace Christmas decorations each year. This year, I bought just a few new decorations to use alongside decorations from previous years. I can’t get enough of anything pastel right now, so I found a few packets of pastel ornaments from Woolworths, along with this Xmas sign. I also found pretty pastel Christmas Bon Bons to add to the table.
Get creative with serving ware
I purchased one new piece of serving ware, which was this ‘Joy’ serving platter from Woolworths. Then I raided my cupboard to see what else I could find. You can even serve finger foods in drinking glasses, just like the Rum Balls that I served in a martini glass.
Create a meal plan and shopping list
Meal planning is always a great way to save money, and christmas day is no exception. Create a meal plan for the day, including all snacks, meals and desserts. Then write up a shopping list, and be sure to stick to it.
Choose a main meal that feeds lots of people with little effort
Keep the main meal budget friendly by choosing something that can stretch to feed lots of people. I choose this half leg of ham, which can easily be served cold or warm, although frozen turkey or a roasted leg of lamb are also perfect for Christmas. Sticking to just one type of meat makes keeps the day simple and keeps costs down. Roast potatoes are always great alongside ham and are very budget friendly. Finally, add a few different salads, which are a great low cost way to add variety. If your guests have offered to bring a dish salads are perfect for this.
Keep desserts simple
I love baking, so I find it easy to get carried away with baking too many treats, which can get expensive, not to mention the time it takes. Sometimes it’s actually cheaper to buy pre-made Christmas treats, and it’s a whole lot less stressful too! It’s safe to say this year I’m sticking to pre-made Christmas desserts, including a Woolworths Chocolate and Salted Caramel Bombe, Woolworths Matured Christmas Pudding and of course fruit mince pies.
If you want to get a little creative but are still short on time, bought pavlova bases are always fantastic. I topped mine with chocolate ganache, whipped cream and fresh strawberries.
Ask guests to bring a side
If you are struggling to keep the day under budget, consider asking family and friends to bring along a salad, side dish or even a dessert.