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Welcome to delicious Destinations, a GourmetStation blog. Through the charater of T.Alexander and occasional real-life guests, our aim is to share with you light-hearted fun ideas about food, gift giving, entertaining and culture. At the same time we would love you hear from you. Please share your experiences from home or abroad.

tis the season to be jolly -

Posted: December 13, 2008
by: Robert Jackson

and maybe just a little frugal this year!


Yes, Christmas is almost upon us, and it is indeed the season to be jolly! However, this year we are all feeling the effects of the economic slowdown, and that will undoubtedly impact upon how we all celebrate this most wonderful occasion. So I want to share with you my top ten tips for how to enjoy a traditional Christmas celebration without having to take out a second mortgage to pay for it!

  1. Shop early, or late for your gifts. Buying your gifts in November (or before) can save you a very significant sum. Many stores will have sales on at this time. Or if you have the nerve, shop on the last day or two before Christmas. You will often find bargains at this time as merchants try to boost their sales and move Christmas stock.
  2. If you’re really canny, buy next year’s Christmas decorations and cards immediately after Christmas. You will find some incredible bargains at this time!
  3. If you have the flexibility in your choice of menu, buy some of your groceries on Christmas Eve afternoon. You will find perishable foods at huge discounts. 
  4. Think about using less expensive cuts of meat and slow roast them for extra tenderness. One of my favorites which often appears on my Christmas menu is slow roasted shoulder of pork. And although I am a great advocate of using fresh food whenever possible, do compare the difference in price between a frozen turkey and a fresh one. This year especially, you will find that frozen is a good deal cheaper. And if you brine the turkey first, no one will ever know the difference!
  5. Don’t waste any unused food. Once it is cold, cling wrap and refrigerate. Be inventive with it over the holiday period and use it for making derivative dishes.
  6. If you have the skill and time, try making some of your own gifts along with the Christmas cards too. Home made foods are always particularly well received. Not only is this very satisfying, but it can also be great fun for the kids!
  7. Rather than buying new, dig out last years Christmas decorations and just freshen them up. Again, making some of them yourself along with the kids can be great fun.
  8. Encourage some well chosen guests to prepare certain dishes and bring them along. Not only does this help share the cost, but it also means that you will have less to do!
  9. And of course, a Christmas celebration without the odd drink or two is unthinkable! If it’s not a formal occasion, encourage your guests to bring a bottle, or two! And don’t be tempted into buying expensive champagne and fine wines when a good bottle of Cava or mid-range popular wine is just as acceptable. And keep plenty of soft drinks available which always helps a limited stock to go a lot further!
  10. Set yourself a budget – and stick to it! Don’t be tempted to be over extravagant and don’t buy huge quantities of food that will never get eaten.

But also don’t forget that Christmas comes but once a year, and it is such a special celebration, that I believe that it’s worth making that little bit of extra effort, and perhaps enjoy a few small extravagances that won’t break the bank!

So wherever you are this festive period, I wish you good health, peace and prosperity……..and above all,  a very Happy Christmas!


If you would like a few more useful tips for making the most of Christmas, do please take a moment or two to check out my Christmas Newsletter.





Your Comments

These are some great ideas, although I doubt I will be asking anyone else to cook--I learned my lesson from the Sugar Free Vegan Pumpkin Pie Incident of Thanksgiving 2005.

Also: Snazzy Xmas themed cocktails don't have to be especially spendy; check this one out: http://urbzen.com/2008/12/10/christmastini-anyone/

Posted by: StephanieInCA at Dec 14, 2008 5:05:13 PM