A MUM has revealed how she makes Christmas dinner for her family of six for under £25 – and it goes off without a hitch every year.
A traditional Christmas dinner with all the trimmings is what the great majority of us will opt for this Christmas.
But making a slap-up Christmas meal doesn’t come cheap – especially if you have a large family.
However, mum Charlotte Taylor, from Bishopsteignton, Devon, said she manages to create an incredible Christmas dinner for her family of six for under £25.
And it’s always delicious.
The 33-year-old photographer, who is mum to Boe, nine, Bear, five, and one-year-old twins River and Remi said Christmas day is hectic in their household but lots of fun.
Charlotte said: “Christmas day is lots of fun in our house. The kids always wake up super early and have their stockings first which we put at the end of their beds.
“Then my husband or I run downstairs to put the heating on before we all get up. We don’t have a real fire so we put one on Netflix to add to the festive magic.
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“Next, of course the kids all check to see if Father Christmas and the reindeers have been.”
Charlotte, who runs Charlotte Taylor Photography, said she loves watching her children open their presents – and they always take it in turns.
The family will then enjoy a smoked salmon and scrambled eggs breakfast.
She revealed she buys the salmon from budget supermarket chain Aldi as it is “great quality at a low price.”
The mum, who shares a glimpse at their busy life as a family-of-six on their Instagram page wearethetaylortwins, said she prepares Christmas dinner in advance.
But she manages to make the whole meal for under £25.
She said: “I cook Christmas dinner throughout the day. We usually eat at around 3pm and then play games and watch Christmas movies in the late afternoon and evening.
“Our children love Christmas dinner.They always say it’s their favourite meal of the year.
“My nine-year-old daughter has celiac disease so a lot of prepping goes into this on Christmas Eve.”
Charlotte revealed her top tips for making Christmas dinner on a budget for a big family.
TIPS FOR MAKING CHRISTMAS DINNER ON A BUDGET FOR A BIG FAMILY
- The mum of six encouraged fellow families to shop around and use different supermarkets for Christmas dinner ingredients.
- She also said people should regularly check online for vouchers and discount codes before buying anything.
- Save your points. Charlotte added: “We save up all our nectar points throughout the year and use them towards our Christmas food shop”
- The savvy mum makes everything in their Christmas dinner from scratch. It’s all homemade instead of buying expensive ready dishes.
- She said: “We make everything homemade, including Yorkshire puddings, gravy and stuffing instead of buying the gluten free equivalent in the shops as they can be so expensive.
- The family-of-six also enjoy a chicken roast dinner on Christmas day instead of eating traditional Turkey.
- With the leftovers from the Christmas dinner, Charlotte always makes ‘bubble and squeak’ for Boxing Day lunch.
- She also suggested people use the wonky vegetable options from supermarkets. Charlotte does this and said it saves her a lot of money on her Christmas food shop.
The savvy mum added: “Supermarkets tend to have a wonky vegetable option which we always buy as this saves us money and we don’t like to see food go to waste.
“Our Christmas dinner usually costs us under £25. We always buy wonky vegetables, we have a chicken instead of turkey and we’re just savvy where we need to be.
“We have pate on toast as a starter as it’s very reasonably priced.
“We buy our pate from a local butcher as you can request the exact quantity you will need so food doesn’t go to waste and it’s also doing our bit to support local businesses.
“We already have stock frozen that we have previously made for the gravy too.”
Charlotte described the run-up to Christmas as a stressful time for most – but said it’s all worth it when she sees the smiles on her kids’ faces on Christmas morning.
Plus, she finds that the more she prepares in advance, the smoother the day runs.
And the more fun she can have with her children.
Charlotte said: “I always prepare dinner on Christmas Eve.
“It’s a tradition in my house that we stick to as it’s something that I used to do with my mum before she passed away.
“She always taught me the more prep the less stress it would be on the big day
To me, it’s important that Christmas dinner is cost-effective but still yummy. We shop around and buy good quality food but at a reasonable price.
“Most importantly, we get the gravy right. We find that a good stock, some caramelised onions and a little leftover red wine always helps to make the dinner super tasty.”
For more on grocery saving, see how Shoppers warned of supermarket price rises and food shortages in the run-up to Christmas.
Christmas can be an expensive time, we've rounded up how to save money on your shopping.
Plus, Money Mum Gemma Bird revealed how you can halve your supermarket shop with these simple tips.
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