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7 tips for saving money on food at Christmas


Want to enjoy a Christmas dinner without breaking the bank? Check out these top tips for a frugal festive feast!

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7 tips for saving money on food at Christmas

#1 Christmas Pot-luck dinner

When you add up the costs for a starter, main, dessert and booze it can quickly spiral out of hand. If friends or family are coming to your house, ask them to bring a plate to share, like a starter, some sides, or a desert, and their own drinks. This will help split the costs and the ease the workload as well as pressure in the kitchen!

#2 Replace traditional meats with less expensive alternatives

Traditional meats such as turkey or glazed ham can be very expensive. Why not go for something a little cheaper such as roast chicken with some homemade sauces and stuffing, or some oyster blade steak that can be marinated and turned into a stuffed roast. There are also cheaper meat-free options available such as a nut-roast!

#3 Choose vegetables that are in season or buy frozen or canned vegetables

Shape your Christmas dinner around traditional veggies that are in-season during December as they are often cheaper. These include; green beans, broccoli, cabbage, carrots and peas.

Frozen or canned veggies can be cheaper than fresh. They are equally nutritious, and really convenient, with long shelf lives if stored correctly, not to mention fast to cook. Just watch out for added Sodium (salt) in canned vegetables and chose low salt varieties. For frozen vegetables choose one without sauces and seasonings which can contain excess salt and hidden kilojoules.

#4 Offer low or no-alcohol fruit based drinks (e.g. iced tea, flavoured water)

Alcohol can easily spiral your budget out of control. Swapping to non-alcoholic fruit based drinks (e.g. iced tea, flavoured water) will not only save you money but will also support the people who have to drive home. Check out our iced fruit tea recipe here.

#5 Plan ahead and take stock of your pantry

Before you start planning your Christmas meal, work out what you already have that can be put to good use. Check your pantry for canned veggies, herbs, spices and seasonings to accompany the Christmas dinner or for use in home-made sauces.

Also think about your budget and how much you would like to spend on Christmas dinner and then work out what you will serve on the day. With some pre-planning and careful sourcing you can make really great food on a tight budget.

#6 Bulk up meals with salads and sides

An Australian Christmas is usually a hot and sticky affair, with the oven blazing and temperatures soaring outside. A cool salad is the perfect side in sweltering conditions. Remember to serve it straight from the fridge. Rather than filling up your guests with expensive sides and nibbles, try a big salad bowl with potato or rice filling and add cherry tomatoes, celery and other veggies for Christmas colour. For some inspiration on salad recipes click here.

#7 Use up your leftovers

There are often leftovers at Christmas so prevent food waste by using up the leftover food. Re-use the turkey or chicken in a delicious boxing day curry, or chop and mix into mashed potato and turn into patties or use some of the leftover veggies in a frittata

Christmas doesn’t have to burn a hole in your pocket. Try our festive budget recipes including beef noodle salad & vegetarian roast and our Christmas dessert recipes including: Mango and lime rice pudding and BBQ Pineapple to feed four for less than $40.

Your Personal Healthy Eating Quiz

What you eat or don’t eat affects how you look, feel and perform. Take our short quiz to find out what foods you could introduce to help you be your best.

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What is healthy eating?

Eating healthy is making sure you enjoy a wide variety of foods from each of the five major food groups daily, in the amounts recommended. The five major food groups as recommended by the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating are:

  1. vegetables and legumes/bean
  2. fruit
  3. lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, legumes/beans
  4. grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fibre varieties
  5. milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives, mostly reduced fat.

Foods are grouped together because they provide similar amounts of key nutrients and eating a variety of foods from the list above helps to promote good health and reduce the risk of disease.

How do I improve my diet?

If you want to improve your diet you have come to the right place. By completing the Healthy Eating Quiz you’ll receive instant personalised feedback and a report on your diet quality to highlight any areas where you can improve your overall eating habits. Your score is based on the frequency and variety of the foods consumed from the five major food groups mentioned above. No Money No Time can help you improve your score by providing tips, goals and suggestions. On top of this we will provide quick, cheap and healthy recipes as well as credible answers to diet hacks, myths and FAQ’s.

Is my diet healthy?

Dietary habits are different between people. Some people choose to follow a particular diet (i.e., Keto diet or vegan diet) while some have to make changes due to certain food restrictions or health conditions. If you want to know if what you usually eat is healthy, then do the Healthy Eating Quiz today to give you the answers in less than 10 minutes.

Why is healthy eating important?

Your HEQ score and personalised feedback report is based on the frequency and variety of healthy core foods you usually eat. This is important because no single food contains all the nutrients we need to stay healthy. Some foods are higher in nutrients than others and people who have a lot of variety in the foods they eat are more likely to be healthy and to stay healthy. In other words, if you can eat a large variety of vegetables as opposed to only 2-3 types of vegetables, the benefits are much greater. This type of diet also helps you to feel better, think better and perform better during your usual daily activities.

Take the Healthy Eating Quiz