Save money and make delicious, cheap Christmas meals.

hristmas is a time for family gatherings and eating traditional holiday meals. It is a particularly a stressful time if you are on a budget and struggling to provide food for your family, so we have some tips below on how to save money on your Christmas meals during this timeframe. Since the holidays are expensive in other ways as well (gifts, toys, travel, etc.) every dollar saved on a meal or food can make a big difference.

Save money on Christmas meals by using coupons, sale items and frozen foods. Or find some different suggestions on affordable holiday dishes to male. Below are some inexpensive food ideas to feed your family during the holiday season.

Some potential meals and ingredients to use at Christmas

Cakes: Save money on baking ingredients by using cake box mixes. Cake mixes like Betty Crocker and Pillsbury cost about $1.29 at your local grocery store or Target, and you may be able to find other deals on these items too. This can be used to make fun cupcakes for kids or holiday cakes to share with friends and family.

Potatoes: For about $5, potatoes can be used to make french fries, mashed into creamy potatoes as a side dish and several other dishes.

Bananas: For about 0.19 cents each, bananas can be used to make smoothies, oatmeal bars, banana bread or creamy ice-cream. All of those can be a good dessert for your family at Christmas.

A Bag of Baby Carrots: Cost $2.50 or less. Carrots can be used as an appetizer, side dish, salads or in dessert treats like carrot cakes.

Apples: An average of $1.60 per pound. Apples can be used to make holiday pies, tarts, Apple pops covered in chocolate and hard candies for kids, baked apples and many others.

 

 

 

 

Eggs: A dozen eggs can cost under $3, and it can be used to make several Christmas meals like stuffed eggs, salads, scrambled, casserole and much more.

Chicken Breast: About $3-4 per pound. Chicken can be stuffed, baked, grilled and used to make any affordable Christmas dinner.

Additional ways to save money on Christmas dinner

Shop in bulk as well. Stores such as Costco (if you pay the membership costs), Wal-Mart, and most grocery stores sell larger sized items as well. If you are making a Christmas dinner for several people buying in bulk may save you 10 to 20% off the cost according to Consumer Reports and other research organizations. You can buy meats, fruits, veggies, and other holiday food at these stores.

In addition, Wal-Mart has an app called savingscatcher.walmart.com that will auto automatically compare prices for nearby stores, and if other grocers are selling the Christmas food for less money, Wal-Mart will refund you the difference. If may be the closest thing to “free money”.

Get free recipes for affordable Christmas dinners. There are many websites that offer creative, affordable Christmas meals. They update them each year. The ingredients on these sites will be inexpensive and they tend to be higher quality as well. Use recipes from sites such as https://www.geniuskitchen.com/ideas/holiday-entertaining-6487 or http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/19841/holidays-occasions/christmas/budget/ for ideas.

Free meals from charities: Of course, if you can’t afford any of this, or would rather sepend your limited money in other ways, there are places that service meals. Charities, churches, and other groups may all offer free Christmas meals to the needy.

In addition to low-cost food ingredients, your local food pantry may also have various canned foods like beans, soup, tuna, and other canned fruits and vegetables that can be used for Christmas meals. Green beans, cornbread. Stuffing/dressing are also inexpensive Christmas foods.

 

By Jon McNamara

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