We made a Christmas dinner for just £5.50 — here's how it turned out
Christmas is just three sleeps away, which means your festive lunch is just around the corner...
With steeply-rising living costs, Christmas can for some seem like just another thing to try and afford rather than enjoy.
But there is really no need to spend a fortune on your festive feast when there are plenty of bargains up for grabs — particularly in the last few days in the run-up to Christmas.
I took a trip to Aldi and Morrisons to buy the ingredients for a budget Christmas dinner — and the prices were excellent.
On entering Aldi, I was met with stacks upon stacks of 1kg bags of potatoes for just 19p — I couldn't believe it. So, of course, I snapped a packet up immediately.
I then went on to the vegetable section where, again, there was an abundance of different kinds of veg for 19p — sprouts, carrots, parsnips, and white and red cabbage.
I chose to go for the spouts, carrots and red cabbage which, with my potatoes, took my total to only 76p.
Following this I made my way into the meat section and, although the turkey options were slightly too expensive for a small budget, you could buy varying-sized whole chickens from as little as £2.75 — probably enough for a family of four.
Despite searching through the vegetarian and vegan sections, I was unable to find a main to satisfy my tastebuds — so I decided I'd wait until Morrisons.
Next up was the stuffing and cranberry sauce — two Christmas dinner staples which couldn't be left out.
A very cheap 29p for the stuffing, which I will only use half of as I'm cooking for two, and just 45p for a jar of cranberry sauce took my total to a low £1.50 — and there wasn't that much more to buy.
I only had the Yorkshire puddings left to get so I headed to the freezer section. I was surprisingly met with a 15 pack for a measly 50p — bargain. Only £2 spent so far.
It was then time to take a visit to Morrisons to find my vegetarian main. Again, straight to the freezer section for cheaper items to keep my budget low.
Although they didn't have my go-to nutroast with cranberry, there were two vegetarian meat roasts on offer — one by Linda McCartney and the other Quorn.
Seeing as I'd had the Quorn one before, I thought I'd give Linda a go at £3.50. Perhaps slightly dearer than I hoped but there was a fair amount there.
All in all, I only spent £5.50 on ingredients for a Christmas dinner which would definitely feed at least four hungry people. If you're a meat eater, the total would be closer to £5.
Many will have noticed not a pig in blanket in sight — well, you can't get everything on a budget!
*The research for this article was done by a reporter at our sister paper in Newark, Notts.