18 festive food savers
  1. Before you go on a food shopping spree, check your cupboards. You might unearth some forgotten jars of mincemeat, cranberry sauce and dried fruit and nuts for home baking and save you forking out for more.
  2. Check if your local butcher, deli or food store offer a savings scheme to help spread the cost through the year.
  3. Bulk-buy and split packs with family and friends. Use discount warehouse membership cards from Costco and Makro.
  4. Try to buy something extra in your weekly shopping in the lead up to Christmas. Cheeses, pates and crackers can be bought ahead of time as well.
  5. Keep an eye out for reduced items that you would be buying for Christmas dinner that you could prep and freeze ahead of time. Things like sausages and bacon to make your own pigs in blankets are great for this.
  6. For party food watch out for 3-for-2 deals and pop in the freezer.
  7. Head to the discounters. Aldi and Lidl's Christmas ranges usually rate highly in taste tests.
  8. Book supermarket delivery slots as early as possible. Late evening/mid-afternoon slots tend to be cheaper and some stores even offer free delivery with a certain spend and after a specified time.
  9. Make your gravy ahead of time by saving a roast chicken carcass and freezing it. It will taste a lot nicer than shop brought for a fraction of the price.
  10. Don't be tempted to spend a fortune buying prepped veg, pre-stuffed turkeys and all the other expensive short cuts. Get the whole family involved in prepping the big meal. Grandchildren will feel useful and are more likely to eat what they have helped to make.
  11. Remember to check out the local market for your veg – you might also get cheap holly and mistletoe from there to decorate your house with, too.
  12. If you’re really not fussed about which meat you have for Christmas dinner then the supermarket is definitely worth a visit about an hour before closing on Christmas Eve. You could get up to 90 per cent off as they're clearing the shelves of gammon and beef joints. 
  13. Think about portion sizes for the main meal. Just because your whole family is descending onto to you doesn’t mean it’s the feeding of the five thousand. Think about your portion sizes and don’t overbuy, especially on extra. If the bread sauce never gets eaten don’t bother buying it. LoveFoodHateWaste has a handy portion calculator here.
  14. Turn leftover turkey into risotto, stir fried rice, fajitas, curry, stew or jambalaya. The meat can be portioned up and frozen to keep fresh too. And if you have gravy left over from Christmas dinner, you can add shredded turkey meat and freeze for a roast dinner treat at a later date. Check out our Turkey Stroganoff recipe here.
  15. You can easily make festive sweets like Christmas cakes, Yule logs, and mince pies to give as presents. Making chutneys, jams and fudge to keep and use over the festive period is also a great alternative to gifts. Get children involved with making the goodies and they’ll mean more if you’re giving them as gifts to family. Check out our fun Chocolate Snowmen Cupcakes recipe here and Spiced Fruit Chutney recipe here.
  16. Off on a winter getaway? Get your Christmas booze from duty free and again stock up on spirits when they are on offer.
  17. Sparkling savers.  Premierestateswine is offering a case of 6 Prosecco for £39 - £6.50 a bottle.
  18. Never pay full price online. There are numerous cash back sites available now where you can get paid to do your online shopping from lots of huge retailers.

Did you know: 25 per cent of us buy supermarket-own ranges to be able to afford Christmas.

Top tips for the perfect Christmas Dinner and our favourite festive food revealed!