Following on from How To Survive Christmas On A Budget, Part One, part two will focus on decorations, food and some cheap recipes to see you through the holidays without too much stress on your budget. Handmade decorations, indulgent food and simple, straightforward recipes will make the busy holidays much easier and better for the wallet!

 

Decorations:

  1. Pick a colour scheme for your decorations, and then stick to it. We use purple/silver/gold as our colour scheme for decorations, with the occasional red here and there. Once you decide on a colour scheme you like, you can pick various items up over the year for decorating your house.
  2. Make them! This is especially good if you have children; how about making some paper chains or a snow globe? These could be done fairly cheaply and can be put anyway you like.
  3. Buy them in the sales. This could be tricky now, although I’m not totally sure, but buying decorations in the sales can lead to massive savings. Keep your eye out for some good bargains!
  4. Make some edible ones. What about some cute gingerbread stars to hang on the tree? These would look fantastic, though I’m not sure they’d last for long in our house.

 

Meal Planning:

  1. Be realistic about how much food you need. Obviously, this is a very personal one, as it depends on how many people will be eating Christmas dinner.
  2. Don’t go crazy over “festive foods”. Each year when we do grocery shopping near Christmas, I see people will trolleys piled high with all the festive foods that seem to magically appear in shops at Christmas time. Now, I appreciate some are good (hello mince pies!) but the catering size packs of twiglets, mini chedders and crisps shaped like stars? Are they necessary?
  3. Use chicken instead of turkey. This may seem against the rules to some, but we now alternate between chicken and turkey for the meat, depending on how many people are going to be around the table. When we’re at my parents, we have chicken as my dad prefers it to turkey. Chicken is also a lot cheaper!
  4. Eat the leftovers on Boxing Day. We never bother planning a big meal on Boxing Day, instead we use what’s leftover and spice it up a bit. Whether is bubble and squeak with leftover sprouts, or a platter with cold meats and some salad, leftovers are used up on Boxing Day.

 

Recipes to help out:

  1. Delia’s Mince Pies – from the Queen of cooking, these are easy to make and very tasty.
  2. Jamie’s Mulled Wine – you can buy bottles of mulled wine but I do like making our own.
  3. Gingerbread men – perfect for having a with a cup of tea when you’ve got 5 minutes spare.
  4. Croissants – not that I’ve actually managed to make these successfully, but we do have croissants on Christmas morning. One day, I will manage it!

 

So there you have it! Part Two of how to survive Christmas on a budget. I hope this has been a helpful post; I’m so looking forward to the holidays, spending time with family and friends and relaxing. I love being inside where it’s all cosy and warm when it’s dark and cold outside. I cannot wait.

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