9 ways to save money on hosting Christmas lunch this year

It truly is the most wonderful time of the year, but it can also be the most costly.


Here are 9 tips to host a wonderful Christmas lunch (or dinner) without regretting it financially come Boxing day.


1. Set a budget and stick to it

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. Budgets suck, but they are necessary to achieve your financial goals. It doesn’t need to be a restrictive budget – keep it realistic and achievable, but do your darndest to stick to it.


2. Plan your menu ahead of time

Plan out the menu at least a few weeks ahead of the big day. When you know what you will be serving up, you have the best chance of sticking to the next three tips successfully.


3. Spread the load

Not only will asking your guests to help out be better for you financially, but there will be less for you to do on the day. You’ve already planned out the menu for the day, so now you can ask your guests to bring some specific elements. Ask Aunty Joan to bring her famous potato salad, Mum and Dad could bring the prawns and those who don’t have a talent for cooking could bring the ice-cream or soft drinks.


4. Create a shopping list ahead of time and cross it off as you go

Now you know the menu and which parts of it you need to worry about, list everything you need to buy for the day. Keep your list somewhere you can get to easily (keep it in your wallet, handbag or car, or even store on your notes app of your phone or tablet), and cross things off as your buy them.


5. Look out for specials on things you can buy in advance

For things that you don’t necessarily need to buy fresh right before the day, keep your eye on the catalogues in the weeks leading up to the day. If you have turkey on the menu, these can be bought frozen. If you’re doing a ham, these are usually vac packed and last for weeks or even months in the fridge. Gravies, nuts, herbs etc will just about keep forever so if you see them on special, grab them.


6. Cook from scratch where you can

Generally speaking, it is cheaper to cook from scratch than to buy pre-made. This doesn’t mean you need to make the fruit mince pies from scratch if that is something that daunts you, but where making from scratch doesn’t take too much more effort than buying premade (like salads), do it.


7. Don’t go overboard on nibbles

Some nibbles are nice to have, but don’t go overboard. Wouldn’t it be a shame if everyone fills up on chips and dip and half of your beautifully cooked and collaborated meal goes to waste.


8. Make drinks BYO

Gone are the days when the host is expected to supply all the alcohol for a party. As long as your guests know to BYO, they should be happy with that. Some cold water and a few soft drinks should be plenty.


9. Decorate practically

If you want to decorate the table, think about doing it practically. Think things that are either edible or entertaining. Scatter some candy canes, chocolate Santas, bon-bons and some trivia cards for a bit of table conversation.



* The information contained in this report is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs.



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