Are you on a tight budget this holiday season, with only $50 to spare for Christmas dinner? $50 might seem to be a small number when we are talking about having 10 people for dinner, but in reality it can be done quite simply. Take a look below at the Christmas dinner menu for $50 or less.
Before I prepare a Christmas dinner menu for $50 or less, here are some tips for budgeting your Christmas dinner.
1. 15 lb. turkey for $8 or less at any major grocery store one week prior to Thanksgiving. Buy the turkey and freeze it until Christmas.
2. Vegetables for Christmas dinner. Fresh vs. frozen vs. canned. If you are particular about your vegetables, then canned is definitely not the way to go. Although canned can be more budget friendly, frozen or fresh vegetables do taste better. Buy your vegetables when there are sales. You can pick up green beans, carrots, cabbage, yams, or any other vegetable for low prices on sale day. Keep your eye out.
3. Prepare your own desserts. Many people do not realize that preparing your own desserts is a lot more budget friendly then buying pre-made desserts by up to 50%. Each time you buy a dessert that is pre-made, you are paying for the time they took to make it. Instead of doing so, make it yourself. It taste better, and keeps your budget intact.
4. Go where the sales are, even if you have to go to three different grocery stores. A week before Thanksgiving is one of the best times to buy packaged food for less. Stuffing mixture, canned foods, frozen vegetables, pie filling, etc. These things can be kept in your pantry until Christmas dinner comes along. Pay attention to sales and coupons during that specific time, guarantee it will save you money.
5. Have your guests bring one covered dish. There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking guests who are attending a holiday dinner to bring a covered dish. This ensures that there will be enough food for everyone at all times. If it easier, have them pick what they would like to bring.
Now let’s begin with the $50 Christmas Dinner for 10. You will need to buy butter ($1.50), eggs ($1), mayonnaise ($2), brown sugar ($1) and of course salt and pepper for seasoning which is not included in the budget.
1. 15 lb. turkey – $8 – (sold at your local grocery store the week before Thanksgiving)
2. 2 lbs. of fresh greens beans. $2.50 (Green bean casserole) Cook green beans until fork tender, place in over dish, sprinkle with salt, and top with crispy onions ($1.00 a can)
3. One 5 lb. bag of potatoes. $3.50 – (Mashed potatoes) Boil potatoes until fork tender. Drain, mash, add salt & pepper to taste, one stick of butter, and 1/2 milk. Mix until desired consistency.
4. Two bags of carrots, 1 lb. each. $2 (Glazed carrots). Boil carrots until they are fork tender. Place inside a oven pan. Sprinkle with brown sugar and allow to cook on 350 for 30 minutes.
5. Two boxes of pasta, 1 lb each. $2 (pasta salad) Buy a couple of Roma tomatoes ($1), can of olives ($1), and small bag of shredded cheese ($1.50)
6. Two boxes of stuffing, $2. Follow directions on package.
7. Two bags of frozen corn, $2. Allow corn to defrost before cooking. Once defrosted, place into water and allow to cook for at least 30 minutes. Drain, season to taste, a few tablespoons of melted butter.
8. 2 lb. cabbage, $2. You can either boil the cabbage, or you can pan fry the cabbage. To boil, cut cabbage into pieces and place in salted boiling water for at least one hour. To pan fry, cut cabbage into thin strips and place in frying pan with butter until fork tender.
9. 3 lb. bag of apples, $2.50. Peel and cut apples into slices. Place apples inside buttered pie dish, sprinkle with brown sugar. Place into a 350 degree over for 45 minutes and allow to cool.
10. One lettuce head ($1.25), bag of croutons ($1), three roma tomatoes ($1) Two cucumbers ($1), and two salad dressing of choice ($2.50). Prepare salad in a large bowl, and place in center of table with salad dressings.
After all is said and done, a total of $42.25 has been spent on this wonderful, Christmas dinner. That leaves you a little over seven dollars to buy some apple juice and 7-up to mix together for a festive punch. You can find all of these items at this price at any super center grocery store nearest you.
I recommend before buying the items listed above that you go online or check your newspaper for coupons. You could save even more by doing so.