Budget cook reveals how to make Christmas dinner for 94p per person

A BUDGET cook has revealed how to make a Christmas dinner for just 94p per person.

Edward Crofts, 27, from Palgrave in Suffolk, has worked out how to make a festive feast for four adults for £3.73 all in.

The meal includes all of the festive favourites, such as cranberry sauce, roast potatoes, carrots, red cabbage and stuffing, without relying on ingredients already in your cupboards.

All of the ingredients were bought from budget retailer Aldi to help him keep hold of the pennies.

But to save cash, the founder of budget food blog Quid Kitchen swapped out the traditional turkey for a roast chicken leg instead.

"I quickly realised that turkey wasn’t going to be an option, as it’s more expensive than chicken," he told deals forum LatestDeals.co.uk.

"Next, I began looking at the different cuts and what was the cheapest. The answer was the legs.”

While a whole 4.7kg turkey will set you back around £12.49 (Aldi), Edward spent just £1.69 on 1kg of chicken legs.

Even though leftover turkey meat can be used for meals in the days after Christmas, the bargain hunter saved £10.80 by switching to the smaller portions.

Unfortunately for some, Brussels sprouts didn't make the cut due to their inflated prices at this time of year.

Edward spent 41p on a kilogram of carrots, 19p on a kilogram of potatoes, 8p on an onion and 45p on red cabbage (800g).

“I looked into various vegetables to add, such as sprouts, but at the time they were a bit more expensive than the other veg I selected,” he said.

Edward’s tips for Christmas grocery shopping

IF you're yet to pick up your Christmas food, Edward has some advice for staying on track:

  • Work out the key meals you're going to have between Christmas and New Year and make a plan
  • Go into a shop with a list of ingredients as you stnad a much higher chance of staying on budget
  • Treat yourself because it's Christmas but don't be pressured into spending hundreds on extra food and drink
  • There's no one supermarket to go to for the cheapest ingredients, so work out where you can get your favourites and staples for less and go from there.

"The closer you get to Christmas, however, the prices can get crazy low so if you are making this meal during Christmas week, you may be able to get more veg for your money."

Earlier this month, we reported how Aldi, Tesco and Lidl had slashed veg prices to just 19p ahead of Christmas.

Not wanting to skimp on flavour, the cook picked up a 200ml jar of cranberry sauce for 45p, onion stuffing mix for 29p and chicken casserole seasoning mix for the gravy for 17p.

He explained: "I worked out that the cheapest way to make the gravy was from a sachet of chicken casserole seasoning mix.

"Traditional granules would have yielded a lot more gravy but they were more expensive as they came in larger packets of around 500g.

"To keep it to £1 per head it worked out better to buy a smaller 25g sachet that could be easily split between the four meal potions.

"I guarantee if you were to do a blind taste test between your usual gravy and my sachet mix gravy, you would not taste the difference."

Edward started his blog back in March after cutting short a backpacking trip when the coronavirus pandemic hit.

Unemployed himself, he was inspired to find ways and share tips on how to cook on a budget, especially at a time when thousands of workers were being made redundant.

He said: "When I speak to people about recipes and costing often I’m met with quite a lot of skepticism trying to convince people that you can cook hearty meals for less than £1.

"But when you show the mathematics behind it and the ingredients that go into each meal, it's easy to see how it can be done."

Edward isn't the only one to share tips on how to make a bargain Christmas dinner.

Dad-of-one Miguel Barclay, 35, from London, reveals how to make a cheap festive feast for just 96p a head.

If you're looking to save cash, here are a few swaps you can do on December 25 to make the meal cost less.

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