Money saving tips for festive food
This Christmas, many of us want to treat ourselves and our families to some feel-good food.
Whether you’re catering for a large party, a small family dinner or just want to enjoy some delicious luxuries over the festive period (because, why not?) the costs can soon stack up.
If your budget is tighter than Santa’s waistband or maybe you just like to be savvy with your spending, you can still have all the trimmings AND save money at the same time. All you need is a trusty freezer!
Image credit: westlondonwaste.gov.uk.
Your freezer is your new best friend, your Christmas hero, your little helper!
Making the most of your freezer will help reduce your food waste and costs. It acts like a pause button, giving us more time to eat the food we buy. Once frozen it won’t spoil and puts the ‘use by’ date on hold.
If you’ve got a pack of ham in the fridge and you’re not going to eat it in time, just put it in an airtight bag or container, freeze before the ‘use by’ date, defrost when needed and use within 24 hours. If it’s a lot of ham, freeze it in smaller portions and only defrost the amount you need. Just a couple of ham slices left? Freeze it! You can add it to pasta dishes, salads, soups and more – take a look at these recipes for ideas.
Lamb, beef, fish, seafood, chicken, minced meat, bread and cakes are all commonly frozen foods, but did you know you can freeze eggs, dairy and fruit as well? Some food, like eggs, need a bit of preparation first and others, like yoghurt, may change texture once they’ve been frozen but taste just the same in a smoothie or stirred into a curry.
Before we can start freezing anything we need to create some space, so take a look at what’s in those frosty depths and make a point of creating meals that will use up frozen food in the run up to Christmas.
Once you’ve created space, why not get ahead of the game and start preparing your Christmas food? Mince pies, roast potatoes, sausage rolls, pigs in blankets and lots more can all be made ahead and frozen.
Not sure how much to cook for your Christmas dinner?
If you are guilty of buying too much for fear of running out over the Christmas period, stocking up on freezer friendly food will ensure you always have food available and you only need to defrost the amount you need, so it won’t go to waste. Winner, winner, Christmas dinner!