See below for our handy hints and tips for making smart financial choices:
Spread the cost
Christmas may only be a couple of weekends away but spreading the cost of food may help to soften the blow at the checkout and can be especially helpful if you get paid early in the month of December and don’t want to blow all of your pay cheque at the supermarket. This week, add some non-perishable items to your list such as nuts, crisps, boxes of biscuits, chutneys, wine, napkins and spirits so that your shop just before the big event can be mainly to pick up perishables.
Set a budget and stick to it
If you are planning to shell out on some more expensive items such as alcohol, try to think of ways to balance this out with your general shopping. Check the free in store supermarket magazines for coupons, cash in on any loyalty point schemes and choose quality products such as wines and chocolate that are on special offer or ‘BOGOF’.
Utilise your freezer
This week, plan meals based on what you have in the freezer that needs using up so that you can plan your seasonal menus and make sure nothing goes to waste by popping leftovers in there for a later date.
Give foodie gifts
If you are really short on cash, homemade food gifts make great presents with a personal touch. Jams, flavoured spirits, pickles, chutneys, chocolates, biscuits, fudge and brittle can all be made inexpensively at home and make wonderful gifts.
Don’t be afraid to ask for contributions
If you are really concerned about the cost of having your friends and family over, don’t be afraid to ask them to bring a contribution for the table. The majority are more than happy to bring a dessert, some drinks, nibbles or cheese so don’t be shy.