[author title=”” image=”http://www.dgwgo.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Untitled-3.jpg”] Written by Eileen Adamson of Change Financial Coaching

“Eileen is based in Dumfries and provides “Your money, sorted” online coaching courses designed to help you to save money, take control of your finances and manage your money more effectively[/author]

Click here for Eileen’s FREE Booklet which is packed with many other money saving ideas

As if you haven’t spent enough already, you now have to whip up a wonderful Christmas Dinner without breaking the bank.  The following 10 tips give some ideas on how you can cut the cost of your Christmas Dinner, as well as ensuring that you are organised enough to actually enjoy your dinner!

Research by Unilever has shown that Britons throw out leftover food  equivalent to 263,000 turkeys 740,000 Christmas puddings and 17.2 million Brussels Sprouts.  Figures show that we throw away nearly 10% of every Christmas dinner, adding up to a shocking £64 million of wasted food at Christmas.   When we take time to think of the number of people, both in this country and throughout the world, who do not have enough food to feed themselves, it is even more shocking that we, as a nation, are so wasteful.

1. Waste away

I am sure most of us are guilty of throwing out some food over Christmas, so taking time to think about foods that you commonly waste is a great way to save some money on your food shopping. Go against tradition—if nobody really likes Christmas pudding or mince pies, then think about cutting them out altogether. Don’t let the adverts or offers persuade you to buy food that you won’t actually use. What foods do you often throw out? Think back to last Christmas – what unnecessary foods did you buy?

2. Plan, Plan, Plan

A major part of saving money at Christmas is planning in advance and using my festive menu planners should help you to do this easily, as well as helping to reduce your stress levels!  Have a look at this brilliant, easy to follow list of ingredients for a Christmas Dinner, which will also help you to plan more effectively.

3. Homemade, made easy

If you have a little time to spend planning and cooking then you can save money by preparing and cooking yourself, rather than buying pre-prepared foods.  BBC Good Food have some great ideas for easy to make recipes that can be made up to 1 month in advance, so you can spread the workload.  For some fantastic ideas for tasty dishes that won’t break the bank check out All Recipes website.

4. Root to Fruit

Use your leftover potato peelings to make this really tasty potato peel soup – honestly delicious and is an amazing way to reduce waste.  To really reduce the cost of your vegetables try root to fruit cooking with other vegetables —broccoli stems and cauliflower leaves also make fantastic soups

5. How much do I need?

Often we overspend on food because we are not sure how much we need to buy, so we buy extra, rather than run short.  This fantastic portion planner  can help you to decide how much of each item you need to buy and therefore help you to only buy what you need.

6. Tasty Turkey

The price and quality of food can vary wildly, but it doesn’t always follow that the more you pay, the better the taste or quality.  To ensure that you get good value for money read this before buying your turkey—the results from research done by Money Saving Expert might surprise you!

7. Savvy Shopping

At any time of year it is a good idea to shop around, but at this time of year it is vital.  Comparing prices between supermarkets can save you a substantial amount with prices for Christmas Dinner ranging from £3.27—£7.21 per person in 2014.  If you have 10 people for dinner you could save yourself nearly £40 on your dinner by swapping the most expensive supermarket for the cheapest.

8. Best before v use before

Remember that “best before” dates mean that you can still eat it after that date, it just might not be as fresh.  However “use by” dates mean that for safety reasons you shouldn’t use them after the date.  Storing food properly to prevent wastage can save you a lot of money.

9. All in good time

Avoid overcooking and wastage of food by ensuring that you are organised in the kitchen.  These timer apps are fantastic for timing various things at once—making it easier to have everything ready on time

10. Christmas Challenge!

Challenge yourself to throw nothing out this year—there are amazing things that you can do with leftovers.  Even the cranberry sauce can be used for various different recipes.

Remember to download my helpful planners to keep you on track for a stress-free and enjoyable Christmas Day.  I also find that alcohol helps, so make sure you are well stocked up on your favourite tipple, and have a fantastic time over the festivities!

Merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year x