Some Festive tweets and a few questions to think about
On Monday evening, I hosted this weeks regular Twitter chat between the Money Bloggers using the hashtag #MondayMoneyUK. We tweeted from 9pm to 10pm, then for 10 minutes the next morning, I spoke about our discussion on Share radio.
We were talking about Festive food this week and I thought it might be interesting to go through some of the things here that we talked about, and take it a bit further.
So, question 1 was
How Do You Provide The Festive Food Of Your Choice Without Breaking The Bank
Planning seemed to be the answer here. And of course there are meal plans like this one, where you can really keep on top of costs. The ones I have written work out to be less than £1.50 per person per day for a whole week of festive food.
Some recommended preparing all the vegetables beforehand and freezing them, taking advantage of any price reductions or bargains you can find. I really must get into the habit of popping out inthe evening once a week to see if I can finding any of those amazing bargains I keep reading about!
If you spend the holiday with family and/or friends, you really don’t need to buy that much extra. The food you will be feasting on will be provided by someone else, so maybe take them a really nice hostess gift and leave it at that.
Remember that you are feeding 5 (or whatever) not 5000. You don’t need to buy the whole shop. It’s very tempting when we go food shopping at this time of year. There are SO many wonderful looking things sitting there on the shelves, and supermarkets are super skilled at persuading us to buy. It’s mega easy to put a lot in your basket, when you were only intending to put a little. Try and shop extra mindfully this month if you can.
The shops are only shut for a day or two, you don’t need to cater for a siege in a castle.
A turkey crown can limit how many leftovers you need to use up, although personally, I would much rather have the dark meat any day of the week. I don’t care for the white meat much, I find it rather dry and tasteless. If I needed to budget tightly, I would go for a turkey thigh joint. And if you prefer beef, or would rather have a chicken, please do that, don’t feel you HAVE to have turkey.
Savvymum suggested an ingenious idea that I hadn’t heard before. Write to manufacturers in the hope they will give you vouchers or coupons. I don’t know a huge amount about couponing, so pop over to savvymum.co.uk if you want to find out more about it.
Avoid things with Christmas packaging, they tend to be charged at a much higher price
We have saved our Nectar points for two years, and this year, they will be buying all the Christmas food. Feels free, and in a way, it is.
Then we went onto question 2
What Is Your Best Quick And Easy Festive Recipe Or Tip
To avoid spending 17 hours in the kitchen, do the recipes you know well. Unless you enjoy it, and want to, there really is no need to hand weave your own stuffed chestnuts.
It only needs to be one meal on one day, you don’t have to go overboard if you don’t want to. There’s nothing obligatory about any of the things that have become ‘traditional’. I have a friend who never intended to marry (although she did, in her forties) and still goes away on holiday (with her husband) to far away places for several weeks in December and January, not taking part in any festivities around the 25th.
Bubble and squeak came up a couple of times – sprouts squeak, ooh, yes please!
To help with the prep, enlist helpers, bribe with booze if necessary and make a plan with timings if you think it will help
Don’t be scared of using the microwave to save time. Christmas pudding, for instance, takes a minute or two in the microwave.
What Is Your Favourite Way To Use Leftovers
Post Christmas Day, meeting up with friends or family could be an opportunity to start on those leftovers
The turkey, ham or beef can all be used in meat pastes. I have made many variations on these, they are delicious on toast for breakfast or in lunchtime sandwiches. There are lots of suggestions here, and the next three posts afterwards that all offer suggestions for seasonal leftovers
Then there is turkey curry; cold turkey and ham with coleslaw ; turkey and mango chutney sandwiches ; creamy turkey pie with mash.
And you’re allowed to eat cake for breakfast at Christmas! Loved that particular suggestion!
Don’t be scared to freeze things, or just keep anything in date in the cupboard. Christmas puddings will last until next years Christmas. I freeze any leftover cheese and use it up gradually that way
Do You Provide LOADS (Too Many?) Of Seasonal Treats, Limit Them, Or Let Other People Bring Them
This is one I struggle with. I’ve bought several seasonal goodies so far this year and not one of them still exist. Sigh. I seriously struggle with will power where chocolate is concerned and Mike goes hunting for it too
So, for me, not buying treats too early is the tip, or asking guests to bring a treat as the hostess gift rather than a bottle or flowers
Get stuff you really like eg a box of fancy chocolates, not 3 mahoosive tubs. Try to avoid too much rubbish, if it’s in the house, you will eat it
Or maybe give away any leftover after the holiday days. At other times of year, I either won’t offer biscuits to people who visit, or ask them to take the rest of the packet home as I find them irresistible. It’s strange, I won’t rush out to buy any, but if they’re there, I can’t leave them alone.
On the other hand, you can feast over the holidays, then go back to sensible eating in the new year.
How Many Days Do You Feast. Just The Holiday days; Whenever You’re Invited Out; The Whole Of December And Bits Of January
This varied hugely in our discussion. One person said that Christmas was literally just one day. Another had one day off between the 23rd and 2nd January. I have numerous social occasions throughout December and if I don’t eat sensibly in between, I won’t be able to get out of the house by January. In fact, I have started doing 600 calories on Mondays and Thursdays to help with just this issue. I’m hoping to be in the swing of it by January and to carry on with it to help with the ever ongoing diet.
When I was going out to work, rather than doing what work I do from home, Christmas finished when I went back to work, and many do that now.
Others do the main holiday days only, going back to normal in between.
Whatever you do, loosen your corsets for that time and really enjoy it – I love December !
Take care of your family and your budget
Before putting together the meal planners, Lesley surveyed what was needed. Of the existing 14 budget meal plans, most are cheap meals for 2 people so can be sized up or down. Others are cheap family meals for 4 people, or meals for one