5 Cost-Cutting Tips for a Magnificent Christmas
1. Stick to the Basics
You may be used to preparing everyone's special dishes, but that can mean a lot of extra work and money. Christmas won't be any less joyful with only one stuffing dish instead of five. Plan ahead and make a well-rounded menu that has a little bit of everything instead of too much of everything.
Here are some basic recipe ideas to get you started:
2. Give the Gift of Food
What could be more meaningful than giving homemade treats for the holidays? No need to buy expensive presents, we all know gifts made in the kitchen come straight from the heart. Buy some festive ribbon and decorate ordinary mason jars to fill with tasty goodies! Show your loved ones how much you care by making some of these delicious gifts.
3. Make it From Scratch
Store-bought baked goods can be outrageously expensive. Spend a little money on baking ingredients (if you don't already have them in the pantry) and make one bag of flour go a long way. Don't be intimidated by the idea of baking, just follow these very simple recipes and you'll have beautiful desserts without the bakery prices.
Cakes: Fast 'N Fabulous Fruitcake
Get more Christmas cookie recipes here!
4. Minimize the Meal
If you're willing to ditch the traditional dishes, why not have a cocktail party instead of an elaborate sit-down dinner? Serve festive cocktails and other beverages and let guests nibble on small, bite-sized appetizers and dips while they mingle. Keep it casual and everyone will have a great time (and you don't have to baste a ham all afternoon!).
Try some of these recipes for a cost-conscious Christmas cocktail party:
Drinks: Old Fashioned Eggnog
5. Lighten the Load
Repeat after me: There's no shame in asking for help! Let your friends and family pitch in for the meal and make this Christmas potluck-style. We recommend assigning guests different parts of the meal (stuffing, appetizers, cookies, salad, fruit, etc.) and letting them choose exactly what to bring. Make sure to check in with them to avoid duplication. Not only does this cut down on your food costs, but everyone feels like part of the meal!