First day of December usually calls for Christmas trees, decorations and lots of festivities! With all of the fun, Christmas is a costly time of the year. The Centre for Retail Research found that the average household spend at Christmas last year was £775 and £216 of that was spent on food and drink. At a time when we are spending more, we also seem to waste more. We have come up with some tips, with the help of Love Food Hate Waste to help you stay in budget and waste less during the holiday season.
Without a meal and menu plan for the Christmas period, it is highly likely that we will just buy far too much ‘just in case’ and in the run up to Christmas the temptation to grab and stockpile goodies is strong.
1. The first step in reigning in the panic buying is to work out just how many people will be with you for meals. Take a look at the calendar – there may be a number of gaps that you had forgotten about when a meal will not be needed. Some kind person might even suggest a cooks’ night off or a takeaway.
2. Make a list of all of the mains you intend to have, alongside side nibbles and snacks. It is a good idea to plan meals so that you can use the leftovers from the day before. Portion planning is also key, and if you do find yourself making too much freezing is an option. Even leftover wine and beer can be frozen in plastic bags, tubs or ice cube trays and used to flavour casseroles, risottos and gravy.
3. Be realistic about what your family and guest really consumes. Do you have a traditional pudding, but everyone prefers something lighter? Do you buy brussel sprouts as they look the part on the table however no one actually touches them? Remember food is there to be eaten and not for decoration. Buying and making enough of what everyone like will minimise wastage the following day.
4. Check your store cupboards, fridge and freezer to see what you already have at home, such as sauces and condiments.
5. Each time you do your weekly shop grab some of the key store cupboard items or frozen selections and make sure you tick them off your list. This will ensure you don’t forget anything and take the stress out of the last minute trolley dashing.
Keep checking back as over the next few weeks we will be posting more of our top tips for the Christmas Season! If you have some handy tips that you would like to share on our site, tweet us, or send us a message on Facebook or via email.