Is your turn to host Christmas lunch this year? Good for you! There’s nothing quite like preparing a delightful feast for your loved ones and getting to watch them enjoy it. It’s what the festive season is all about.
The only thing is, doing Chrissy lunch this year looks like it’s going to be a bit more pricey than previous years. The cost of living crisis and inflation has made hosting pretty tricky, and we all know how expensive holidays get regardless.
The great news is there’s lots of ways to feed your guests without breaking the bank. All it takes is just a little bit of careful planning — and luckily for you we’ve got it all laid out, plain and simple.
How To Keep Your Chrissy Lunch Cheap Yet Chic
Plan Your Meal Far In Advance
If you plan what you intend to serve for Christmas lunch well in advance, you can prepare your budget and pantry accordingly. You can even buy items a few weeks out and freeze them, ready to thaw and serve on Christmas. Not only will this save some previous funds, but it’ll also help with the stress of hosting the day too. Future you will thank past you for being so prepared.
Shop The Sale Items
Supermarkets always have useful things on sale. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, keep a close eye on your local supermarket sales. When do things go on sale? Can you start nabbing essentials for your pantry on sale now, instead of doing a few massive shops the week before Christmas Day?
Avoid The Meat
Meat is an expensive source of protein. It might be traditional to have a ham or turkey on the table at Christmas time, but this year might have to be a little bit different. And that’s OK!
It can be a lot more affordable to try non-traditional Christmas meats at this time of year — for example, you might want to try roasting a whole chicken instead of a turkey. You’d be surprised how far one chicken can go when it comes to feeding a crowd.
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous or have to cater to some non-meat eaters, you can try an all-out vegetarian spread. Stuffed mushrooms and capsicums are a delicious and filling alternative to a meat-heavy main. You can also try your hand at a nut roast or tofu dish. Enjoy the challenge of trying something new!
Throw A Potluck
If you’re the kind of host who doesn’t want their guests to lift even a finger when they visit, you might want to change your thinking this year (slightly!). Doing a potluck Christmas — a gathering where all the guests bring a different meal — will take a massive weight off your shoulders when it comes to hosting. If you assign meals to your guests depending on their availabilities in the lead up to the day, you’ll end up with A) enough food to fill everyone’s festive tummies and B) way, way less financial and emotional pressure to cater for everyone on your own.
This is also a great alternative for people with dietary requirements, because they can bring something they feel comfortable eating themselves.
BYO Drinks, Ploise
Providing enough alcohol for all your guests is Expensive with a capital E. Maybe you could change things up a bit this year and request that guests bring their own drinks to your Christmas Day gathering. Everyone will understand where you’re coming from, seeing as we’ve all been suffering under the same cost of living crisis for most of the year.
Make Your Own Decorations
Decorating your home in preparation for your guests is half the fun of having people over for Christmas, but it can really add to the overall cost of hosting. Christmas trees, wreaths, ornaments, garlands — is it all really necessary? Not really, but if you can’t live without a little festive cheer throughout the house you can save a lot of money by being a little thriftier with your decorations.
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You don’t need to buy a traditional Christmas tree. Many people make gorgeous, minimal Christmas trees out of long branches, or existing house plants. You can make a sweet garland out of coloured paper. Call up older family members and see if they have any decorations you can borrow for the day. Do NOT spend your last pay cheque for the year on a giant blow-up Santa for the front lawn.
Sure, lettuce may be under $10 now but times are still pretty tough. Head to our Bougie But Broke vertical — brought to you by Cheddar — for more money saving hacks.