Christmas Week Food. Lots of festive flavours & not many £££’s
Christmas Meal Plan
If you are on a tight budget, Christmas food can be very difficult, causing stress, and maybe even debt too. Happily, you can enjoy a delicious festive meal, and eat well for the rest of the week too, without spending a fortune. If you don’t know where to start, or would like to know how to do Christmas dinner on a budget, have a look at this step by step, 7 day Christmas meal plan for the entire Christmas week.
If you are single, you might want to enjoy a lovely Christmas lunch with a friend, or if there are more of you, multiply up accordingly. If you do multiply up, look at a bigger joint rather than 2 of the 800g ones, it will probably be better value.
If you are going to cook for yourself, most of the leftovers will freeze or keep in the fridge or store cupboard, and you can spread them out over more days. I have tried to put in as many festive flavours as I could, using seasonal spices, cranberry sauce, stuffing, sage and mince pies.
Suggested Christmas Week Meal Plan
|23rd December||oats with cinnamon syrup or muscovado||spicy lentil soup||spanish omelette, wedges|
|Xmas Eve||dried fruit & cinnamon oat bars||spicy lentil soup||smoked salmon pasta, mince pie|
|Xmas Day||smoked salmon, scrambled eggs, toast||turkey, stuffing, pigs in blankets, gravy, cranberry sauce, roasties, roast parsnips, brussels. Muscovado & mixed fruit pudding with cream||turkey sandwich, stuffing, sausage rolls, cranberry sauce|
|Boxing Day||pancakes, red fruits, mixed spice||turkey soup||Turkey and onion pie, Frozen fruits cheesecake|
|27th December||cinnamon toast||spiced parsnip soup||gnocchi, sausage and stuffing|
|28th December||oats with cinnamon syrup or muscovado||spiced parsnip soup||pizza, turkey, stuffing, sausages. Mince pie|
|29th December||dried fruit & cinnamon oat bars||turkey soup||quiche, eggs, bacon, leftover veg|
|Home made Mince pies, or a bought box|
If you don’t want turkey, a pork joint or chicken at the same price can be substituted and used throughout the week
You will need to buy or have available in the cupboard the following list which was originally priced at Asda in November 2016, and is still pricing up well in December 2020
You can either get Muscovado sugar, which I love for the nutty, deep taste and is used here on the Christmas dinner menu for pudding, or you could use ordinary sugar and add a little black treacle to get that nutty flavour. Use the rest of the treacle to make Ginger Cake – find the recipe here or there are lots of other ideas to use black treacle on this Pinterest board
Priced at Asda November 2022 using Asda.com
You will need £36.96 at the checkout. The food eaten during the week, if you follow all the suggestions, comes to around £29.06 or £2.08 per person per day. Not bad for a week of great Christmas eating!
|Item||You will need||Left at the end of the week||Nov-22|
|smoked salmon pieces, 120g||120g||£1.90|
|eggs, 12 medium free range||8 eggs||4 eggs, 71p||£2.15|
|bread, smartprice, 800g||half the loaf||half the loaf, 20p||£0.39|
|Brilliantly Buttery Spread, 500g||250g||half the pack, 55p||£1.10|
|turkey breast joint, 780g||800g||£7.50|
|cranberry sauce, Chosen By You, 200g||90g||110g, 46p||£0.85|
|packet of value stuffing, 85g||two thirds||one third, 8p||£0.25|
|brussel sprouts , 200g||80g||120g, 60p||£1.00|
|sausages, Asda, 8 sausages 454g, any flavour||454g||£1.50|
|cooking bacon, 500g||250g||half the pack, 42p||£0.85|
|flour, smartprice, self raising, 1.5kg||1.1kg||400g, 15p||£0.58|
|parsnips, 2 * 500g||680g||320g, 42p||£1.30|
|dried mixed fruit, smartprice, 500g||260g||240g, 53p||£1.10|
|double cream, 300ml||300ml||£1.35|
|muscovado sugar, 500g||250g||half the pack, 5p||£1.00|
|rapeseed oil, 1 litre||half a litre||half a litre, £1.20||£2.40|
|mince meat, 411g – OR||all of it||£1.25|
|box of 6 mince pies, £1.25|
|you will also need|
|Asda digestives, 400g||100g||300g, 41p||£0.55|
|value soft cheese, 300g||150g||150g, 62p||£1.25|
|greek yogurt, 500g, need 200g||200g||300g, 60p||£1.00|
|onions, 1 kg||1kg||£0.65|
|carrots, 1 kg||1kg||£0.49|
|value oats, 1kg, need 530g||530g||470g, 33p||£0.70|
|cinnamon, 34g pot||most of it||£0.70|
|frozen summer or black forest fruits, 500g||500g||£2.40|
|bag red lentils, 500g||250g||half the pack , 57p||£1.15|
|2 sachets yeast||1 sachet||£0.35|
|Price of leftovers|
|2000 plus 2500 calories||£2.08 per person, per day|
|11% protein, 36% fat, 54% carbs, 31g fibre pp|
|Govt. recommendations 10-35% protein, 20-35% fat, 45-65% carb, 25g fibre pppd|
|This plan has, per person, a total of 5.2 portions of fruit and veg per person|
There will be be leftovers, as shown in the table above, which can be carried forward to next week. Or just eat them, those digestives wouldn’t last long in my house! You could get a value bar of chocolate for 35p, melt it in a small bowl and drizzle it over the biscuits with a teaspoon
For ideas other than mince pies to use the mince meat, have a look at this post, I particularly like the brownies. Masses of ways to use the bacon too, how about this baconey tomatoey pasta. Cheap and very delicious
I have suggested a traditional Christmas lunch, with many favourites, and lots of ideas to use up your ingredients during the rest of the week.
Christmas Day lunch
Main Course – Roast turkey (or pork), pigs in blankets, stuffing, home made gravy, roast potatoes, sprouts, roast parsnips, cranberry sauce
All sourced at Asda, prices and details of ingredients in the shopping list. I used pork, as at the time of photographing it, no Christmas turkey was in the shops. It was extremely lovely. If I was served this for a Christmas lunch, I would be more than happy. If there are more of you than 2, multiply up the shopping list and recipes (buy a bigger joint of meat, rather than 2 or more of the smaller ones, as the bigger joint will be better value, you will get more meat)
200g of cooked turkey joint
Tblsp rapeseed oil
75g Brussel sprouts
50g cooking bacon
Quarter pack of stuffing
1 tblsp cranberry sauce
Tblsp value flour
Cook the turkey according to the pack instructions.
Cut the sausage into 4. Bash the bacon out into a flat piece and wrap the sausage lumps in pieces of the bacon. Set on one side.
Mix the stuffing with the amount of hot water given on the packet, form into small balls and place on one side.
Peel and cut the potatoes into chunks and boil for 10 minutes. Drain and shake well to get some fluffy edges. Whilst still hot, drizzle with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Put in a baking tin.
45 minutes before the turkey is done, put the potatoes in the oven.
20 minutes before the turkey is done, put the parsnips, stuffing and pigs in blankets in the oven.
When the turkey is done, remove it from the tin, place on a warm dish, cover and leave to rest. Put the roasting tin on the hob and make some gravy with the juices. Depending on how many juices you have, you may need to add a little water/white wine/stock. Add a bay leaf if you have one, and a bit of grainy mustard too if you have it. Add the flour and whisk like mad until it thickens, add more flour if it needs to be thicker (it depends on how much liquid there is) whisk in any lovely tasty bits stuck on the tin.
Serve everything up immediately
If you have room, follow with this delicious pud. It takes just a few minutes to cook in the microwave. It can be prepared the previous day and kept in the fridge ready to cook or reheat. If you are reheating it in the microwave, just heat it for a few seconds or it will go rock hard
Pudding – Muscovado and mixed fruit pudding, with double cream
This makes 4 servings, so if there are 2 of you, keep 2 for another day. They freeze well.
100g self raising flour
100g muscovado sugar, or ordinary sugar and a tblsp of black treacle
100g buttery spread
100g mixed dried fruit
serve with 50ml double cream per person
Weigh out the sugar and put 1 tbslp in with the fruit, along with 60ml hot water, and leave the fruit to soak and plump up. You could microwave it for a few seconds to help it along a bit.
Put the remaining sugar and the butter in a bowl and beat together until creamy. Add the egg yolk and beat. Now add half the egg white, beat, and repeat. Add the flour and gently stir through, not too much, lots of stirring will make the pudding leathery.
Now, you have a few options. You can bake this in a dish in a medium oven for half an hour until golden, or steam it in a slow cooker for 2 hours, or microwave it practically instantly.
You can use 1 dish, 1 pudding basin, or divide it into 4 in ramekins, individual sized pudding basins or even microwaveable teacups or small mugs.
I used 4 little plastic pots with lids. The mix should only come about halfway up the pots, or the mix will spill out as it expands in the microwave. Put the soaked and plump fruit, and remaining juice into the baking dish / pudding basin(s) and the pudding mixture on top, dividing equally if using individual dishes.
Microwave in 1 dish for 6 minutes or individual servings for 5 minutes.
These puds have a lovely festive flavour from the Muscovado and dried fruit.
It could be enjoyed with cream, as here, or with custard or ice cream, or any combination of the three you fancy. A flavoured ice cream would be lovely, maybe Muscovado again, or rum/brandy, or a fresh lemony one, or how about a chocolate or coffee one.
If you have any, or have the funds to get any, you could substitute any other dried fruit. Chopped dates would be lovely, maybe with a few chopped walnuts mixed in, or figs, or fine chopped apricots. Or an exotic version with dried mango or dried pineapple. If you have any, you could use anything containing alcohol to soak the fruit in – Blue Curacao anyone? Or use a dollop of mincemeat and leave out the sugar. All these suggestions will supply lovely Christmassy flavours.
So, we have spent quite a bit and had just one meal so far. It might be a huge meal, and hopefully, a delicious one, but it won’t keep you going for the rest of the week. How can we make best use of what we have left? Here are my suggestions to make best use of your leftovers, and for eating during the festive week, starting on Christmas Eve eve. You will need to buy, or have available in the cupboard, the extra groceries as shown above, to make these suggestions
Breakfast porridge with cinnamon syrup, or muscovado sugar
Lunch spicy lentil soup, add some ginger and turmeric to the soup for a warming and wintery flavour
Dinner Spanish omelette using carrot, onions and bacon, served with home made oven wedges. 2 eggs each
Breakfast dried fruit & cinnamon oat bars
Lunch spicy lentil soup,
Dinner smoked salmon pasta , mince pie
use some of the dried mixed fruit in place of the jam in the oat bars, soak them first and add a little sugar, add some cinnamon too, if you like, to lend a bit more Christmas flavour
Use the flour and oil to make oil pastry and your own mince pies, you will get loads more mince pies that way, or buy a box of 6
Use a value pack of smoked salmon pieces, using half here, and half in the scrambled eggs on the 25th
Breakfast Smoked salmon & scrambled eggs, toast
Lunch Roast Turkey and trimmings with Fruity pudding & cream to follow
Tea Turkey sandwich with stuffing & cranberry sauce
Make 3 sausage rolls each, cutting 1 sausage into 3 per person and use either the oil pastry, or buy a pk of pastry
Breakfast Pancakes with red fruits, with mixed spice or cinnamon
Lunch Turkey stock soup with kidney beans, onions and carrots
Dinner Turkey and onion pie , followed by Frozen fruits cheesecake
mix cinnamon or mixed spice into the pancake batter at breakfast for a festive flavour. Serve with a few red fruits from a value frozen bag. Defrost them and macerate with a little sugar to make a lovely juice.
Using a little turkey, or any bones for flavour, make a soup for lunch, adding some drained kidney or other beans and any veg you have handy
For dinner, make a pie using scraps of turkey, you could add some stuffing too if you like, and you will probably have a sausage or two that you could use here, or save for another day. Follow with a quarter of the cheesecake each and serve with a few more of the red berries
Breakfast cinnamon toast
Lunch spiced parsnip soup
Dinner gnocchi with sausage and stuffing. Use fresh potato rather than dried, as in the recipe, as you will have fresh in the cupboard, to make the gnocchi, followed by the rest of the cheesecake
Use a sausage each in the gnocchi and a little stuffing if you like
Breakfast oats with cinnamon syrup
Lunch spiced parsnip soup
Dinner pizza – any turkey, stuffing or sausages left?
Add any scraps of turkey left, and maybe a tiny bit of stuffing, to the pizza, or slice up any sausages left. Any leftover carrot or parsnip medallions would be delicious on the pizza. This pizza doesn’t use a tomato sauce base, or cheese on top either. Pizza is one of those base recipes that can accommodate a wide range of leftover ingredients. As well as the turkey, stuffing, sausages and vegetables suggested here, you can top a pizza with any combination that you think will taste good. I’ve never tried a pizza topped with leftover curry, but I bet it would taste great, its not that different to nan after all!
Breakfast dried fruit & cinnamon oat bars
Lunch turkey soup, as 26th
Dinner Make a quiche using 2 eggs in a two portion quiche and fill up the dish using bacon, grilled until crisp, onion, any veg available, a drizzle of cream if there’s any left and maybe serve with parsnip and carrot medallions, roasted in the oven, or home made oven wedges – or both! Spice them up with curry powder, or sage and rosemary if you have any
I hope this has given you a few ideas. You can eat festively, and deliciously, without breaking out of your budget. These ideas don’t neatly use up all the ingredients you will need within the week, but all the ingredients suggested are used by lots of recipes on Thrifty Lesley, so you won’t need to waste anything, you will be able to use them up by using recipes in the following weeks(s). All the leftover ingredients will freeze, or sit in the store cupboard until you use them
Mary – I’m so glad you like them. Let us know how you get on?
You are a genius Lesley. Thank you for your ideas for Christmas menus. That’s me sorted!
I love big noisy gatherings, especially at Christmas. Don’t know that I could think about it yet though!
For the last few years -because of family issues- we have gone out for Christmas dinner. It is lovely having all the work done for you but at £75 a head it is not sustainable so this year I have decided to cook Christmas dinner. I know it is only February but when eating out for the big day you have to book very early to get a place. At the prices your chrismas dinner cost we can afford to have a festive dinner every week for the cost of one meal out.
Oh bugger! I seem to have left some of the cheesecake ingredients off the list. I’ve adjusted it now
Sarah, to make the cheesecake, as well as the ingredients you already have from the list, you will need 100g digestives for the base, 150g soft cheese (I always use the cheapest I can find) and 125g thick Greek yogurt. This makes the quantity in the posted recipe, which is 4 portions
I do hope this hasn’t messed you up too much
Duck crown sounds wonderful!
I just did our shop and saw as we were leaving that cheesecake is featured but the cheese for it isn’t on the list. Otherwise, we seem to have come slightly under this lists budget via Lidl even though we got duck crown instead of turkey (that’s what they had at a good price!). Looking forward to it.
Looks great! Getting in the Christmas spirit!