How to prepare for Christmas Day on a budget

Reduce the stress and expense this Christmas with these 5 simple tips:

Set your budget and stick to it

Planning is key here. For $100 you can feed a family of 4-5. In saying that – you have to be realistic. You may want a gourmet seafood buffet, but you might have to settle for roast pork and all the sides instead. Take a look at supermarket catalogues and compare best value for money when deciding on your menu for the day.

Share the day’s food with a pot luck!

If you are catering for a large group of friends and/or family, sharing the load might be the best way to go. Ask your guests to each bring a plate of food to reduce the expense and the time spent on cooking and preparation. Plus it is a great way to increase the variety of food available on the day while sharing in the excitement of everyone tasting each other’s dishes.

Think outside the square

Christmas gifts can add up. When considering gift purchases why not consider running a Secret Santa or Kris Kringle gift draw with an agreed spending limit? Or DIY vouchers for tasks like babysitting, picnics homemade dinners or even housework. Other ideas may include second-hand bargains from Op shops, antique stores and second-hand bookshops. These can be a treasure trove for the thrifty Christmas shopper. You can often find good quality items at a fraction of the price you’d pay at big name stores.

Work with what you have

You don’t need to have matching specialty Christmas bowls and serving platters to make the table special. Use what you have. Pick up a cheap green tablecloth and red napkins and create your own Christmas centrepieces by adding red food colouring to the water in a clear vase or by adding some white tissue paper to a bowl and placing a few Christmas tree ornaments in the middle.

Plan ahead for next year

It might seem a distant thought but by putting away $5 a week from the start of the year you will be able to enjoy a little more freedom and spending money next Christmas.

Christmas can be a tough time. The Salvation Army have always been an organisation you can turn to for help. If you need help start here

Download you free cookbook

The cookbook, prepared cooked and devoured in The Salvation Army Bayside Kitchen is aimed at keeping families full without breaking the budget, has recipes for soups, dips, salads, curries, casseroles, cakes and slices.