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How to keep food costs down at Christmas with Becky Brown - Derby Days Out

How to keep food costs down at Christmas with Becky Brown

Do you dread the 'Big Christmas Shop'?

Do you find yourself piling the trolly high with lots of Christmas goodies and 'deals'?

Do you find that your shopping bill is a lot more than you wanted to pay?

Here are some tips and tricks for you – 

  • PLAN PLAN PLAN – write down a list of what you need to buy and make sure you stick to it
  • THINK, would you usually purchase a huge tin of biscuits? If not, do not do it at Christmas. It is only a bargain if you originally intended to purchase. The tins are still expensive, why not purchase the packets of biscuits separately to SAVE MONEY
  • Why not buy a few bits every week in the lead up to Christmas
  • Have you noticed that a lot of 'Christmas Foods' are placed at the front of the supermarket, and they are bulk buy? Brussels, carrots, potatoes etc. This is purposely designed by the supermarkets to encourage you into buying a big bag of food rather than just what you need
  • Visit your local greengrocer – the food is cheaper, local, lasts longer, less packaging and you are supporting your local economy – DID YOU KNOW that the average apple in a supermarket is already a year old at the point of purchase?!
  • Pre-order your turkey from your local butcher – again you are supporting your local economy, the meat is fresher and they cost an average of £12 compared to £22 in supermarkets
  • Be aware of Christmas branded products – you will pay A LOT more for food that has a Christmas theme on the packaging – buy single packs for cheese instead of a cheese board for example
  • A BARGAIN IS ONLY A BARGAIN if you were going to buy that item in the first place
  • Use left over Christmas dinner to make BUBBLE AND SQUEAK on Boxing Day
  • Make turkey and vegetable soup with left-overs, portion, and freeze
  • Buy a big bag of sausage meat from your local butcher – you can make meat stuffing, pigs in blankets, scotch eggs, sausage rolls – IT'S A FRACTION OF THE COST when you buy these items ready made and HEALTHIER FOR YOU


We all love to indulge at Christmas, which is perfectly fine, it is a treat. Here are a few swaps you could make that will not make you feel like you are missing the indulgence of Christmas – 

  • Add lemonade to your wine to make a spritzer
  • Drink gin and slimline tonic
  • Have pittas to dip instead of breadsticks
  • Make your own seafood sauce
  • Add lots of chopped veggies to your buffet and houmous
  • Add low fat cream to you mince pie or Christmas pudding
  • Try to avoid platters and stick with what you need
  • Make your own festive ham
  • Buy dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate

For more advice and tips from Becky, visit https://simplicib.co.uk




2 tbsp olive oil

3 to 4 large red onions, sliced

2 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice

2 star anise

1 cinnamon stick



  • Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onions and brown sugar. Stir on a low heat for 20 minutes to ensure the onions do not burn. Add the five-spice, star anise and cinnamon stick and allow to cook for another 10 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar, cooking for a further 10 minutes, still on a low heat. If the ingredients get too dry add a little water
  • Once it is sticky and caramelised allow to cool, remove the star anise and cinnamon stick (careful not to burn yourself). Place the chutney in a jar or container and place in the fridge where you can keep for 6 – 9 months


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