When Christmas comes around, being on a budget is the last thing you want to think about. Why ruin such a special time of year by feeling like you’re cutting corners? Here are deferit’s top tips for a delish Christmas budget lunch that will have your whole family raving.

1. Ask your guests to bring a plate

If you are going to the effort of hosting Christmas lunch, bringing a plate is the least your family members can do. Don’t feel like this is being cheap! It can save you hundreds of dollars (not to mention time and stress) to have uncle Jim supply a cheese board!

christmas lunch

2. Be smart with how you spend money on food

It’s important to know where it’s fine to cut a few corners without affecting the lunch, and where it’s worth spending a little more. Unless your guests are Michelin Star Chefs no one is going to know whether you got your ham and turkey from Aldi or the finest boucherie. Instead of spending extra money on a fancy ham, spend a bit more on the glaze. This way you’ll save overall, but your guests will notice the fancy flavours of the glaze. Check out this yummy recipe from Recipetineats.

For dessert, cutting corners can also show great rewards. For example, pavlovas are great value as they are basically just egg whites, and the spare egg yolks can be used to make custard for Christmas pudding. I have a sneaky trick to blow away my guests! Douse your Christmas pudding in brandy and set it alight. See how to do it here. This will wow your guests more than an expensive dessert and is dirt cheap. It’s budget, but it’s boujee.

christmas cocktails

3. Be smart with how you spend your money on drinks

Here as well, cutting costs smartly can make a big difference. Expensive wine is for sommeliers and sociopaths. Instead, buy the cheapest spirits you can find and make your own Christmas themed cocktails. Jazz it up with fresh fruits or a coarse sugar garnished rim to make it sparkle. Check out these 12 must-try Christmas cocktails! This seems way fancier and will save you a tonne of money.

christmas decorations

4. Rustic? More like rustCHIC!

Instead of spending a fortune on plastic decorations that you’ll just throw away, go for a rustic vibe. Find some sticks, flowers or vegetation in your garden and decorate your table with them. It will look fabulous and is literally free. Plus, it’s environmentally conscious! Find some inspiration over at Countryliving.

homemade cookies

5. Get the kids involved!

Another great tip is to have your children make Christmas crackers. It is a fun family activity and you can personalise what’s inside the cracker to the recipient. Make it a game, a joke, or a fun little gift the kids make, and it can be way more impressive than a store-bought cracker! Thank you, Jamie, for the guide on how to make it.

Looking for gift ideas for your neighbours? Last year we did homemade cookies for the neighbours which were a big hit. Get out the Christmas sprinkles and cookie cutters, it’s time to have fun! You can even get the kids involved in making Christmas decorations and make it extra special with some homemade scented baking soda ornaments! These look beautiful and won’t interfere with the theme of your existing decorations.

What are your Christmas budget tips? Please share them with us in the comments below.

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