It’s the festive season once more, which means tinsel, paper hats, high spirits and low bank balances. Christmas is the one time of year we as a country collectively abandon our savings strategies, disregard our diets, and pledge to pass out in a food coma before the afternoon is over.
Christmas lunch starters
Even the most punctual person can get thrown off their schedule during Christmas time, so if you’re hosting the festive lunch, don’t expect everyone to show up on time and all at once. However, you don’t want to be a bad host, which means providing your guests with a variety of tasty treats and Christmas snacks to tide them over until the main course.
- Asparagus with sesame seeds and fresh herb tahini
- Prawn & avocado lettuce cups
- Smoked salmon tartines with red-onion caper relish
- Herby rice and mozzarella croquettes
- Christmas Burger Sliders
Christmas lunch main courses
- Stuffed Roast Chicken with potatoes
- Sliced Leg Ham with Mango, Avocado and Chilli Salsa
- Crunchy asian noodle salad
- Potato, pea and mint salad
- Crunchy silverbeet slaw vegan salad
Christmas Desserts and Baking
Everyone seems to have a sweet tooth over the festive season, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who can’t fit a little extra into their ‘dessert stomach’. The best part about baking during Christmas is that these also work well as extra gifts to give to friends and family if you’re on a budget.
- Loaded banana split pie
- Hot cross bun jam doughnuts
- Lemon dessert lasagne
- Gingerbread-spiced maple syrup nuts
6 simple tips to save money on your Christmas lunch
1. The biggest Christmas expense is wasted food
Whether it’s Christmas lunch or dinner, we have a habit of overbuying produce and wasting food. In fact, Australian’s on average waste $1,036 p.a. – a good portion of that likely at Christmas lunch.
2. Don’t let Christmas be an excuse for decadence
Christmas is often a time of decadence. Put your self-control to work by starting with Christmas lunch - focus on getting the most out of your ingredients without ruining your budget.
3. Avoid too much variety with your Christmas lunch recipes
Variety at the Christmas lunch table means extra preparation and extra cost. Try to avoid excess variety by sticking to tried, tested and popular Christmas lunch recipes that your family and friends love.
4. Ask family to bring useful foods items to help prepare the Christmas lunch
Forget the Lindt chocolates that were leftover from Easter, get your family to contribute key items to the Christmas lunch itself.
5. Prepare a Christmas lunch that doesn’t utilise Christmas only ingredients
To save even more money, avoid buying Christmas only ingredients. Mince pies and Brandy Cream come at a premium each December.
6. Don’t buy multiple types of Christmas meat for lunch
Turkey, ham, chicken, where do you stop? This year try and buy one type of meat, say a large leg of ham, and simply prepare in multiple ways.