Monday 19 December 2016

Planning A Christmas Menu On A budget

With Christmas just around the corner,I thought it would be good to repost this article I wrote last year. I'm sure you have all been very busy decorating your home and Christmas tree with special ornaments. Table runners, candles and Christmas lights can also bring the festive feeling to your home.   A couple of months ago I  started planning my Christmas Day menu too. Although I want this special day to be perfect, it is so easy to go overboard with the food.

Providing two meats, a couple of salads or roast veggies and two or three desserts is all that is needed to satisfy the hungry souls at your table. The more you have to choose from, the harder it is for the eaters to choose. How to fit it all on the plate ? There is only so much you can eat at one meal and many people travel from table to table ( family home to family home ) in one day.

Also, the more you provide, the more likely you are to be left with leftovers for a week. To avoid gastro,  food should be refridgerated between courses and consumed within 2 - 3 days of cooking. You are less likely to forget what is left in the fridge if it is consumed within a small time frame.

I've cooked traditional and casual Christmas lunches in the past. Here's what I've provided for my guests


roast lamb served in gravy
roast chicken
roast potatoes, pumpkin and carrots
cauliflower and broccoli with white sauce and cheese on top
mint sauce
sticky date puddings in muffin size with caramel sauce, cream and icecream


bbq steaks ( cut into smaller pieces )
mushrooms and onions
bread stick
green tossed salad
potato salad
pasta salad
plum pudding ( no name ) with home made custard, cream and icecream
mini pavlovas ( home made ) with cream and berries

Both have been hugely successful and everyone is full and satisfied. The casual meal had a lot more leftovers. We just ate salads and sausages for the next two days. The best thing about these meals is that I have most of the ingredients on hand already so there are no grocery blowouts. The only extra expense is the meat and a few veggies / salad things. 


  1. Hi Wendy,

    such a great post, just shows you don't have to go overboard for Christmas meals. And it's helpful when everyone brings "something".

  2. Hi Wendy

    Sorry I have not dropped by as often as I would have liked this year, but things have been happening in a good way for us and time has been limited.

    You look like you have Christmas well organised by the looks of things with the above menu plan.

    I have spent a wonderful afternoon catching up on the December posts.

    Look forward to catching up more as the end of the year draws to a close and the New Year begins


  3. Hi Wendy. We are having chicken, ham and lots of salads. I am making a cheesecake with a sponge base and some mini pavlovas for dessert. I planned my menu based on what I have (e.g. frozen berries in freezer for the pavlovas) and what others have offered to bring. I think we'll have a fine feast without blowing the budget! Meg:)

  4. Hi Wendy. Some great tips there. We decided on bringing a few things each. For instance mum is doing pudding, fruit salad , prawns and other salads. I'm taking dip, antipasto, crackers, a salad and a turkey I will cook Christmas eve as we don't want oven on too hot in Sydney. My grandmother is doing ham and salad too. I bought dips on sale and other things over the last month. Whilst every one goes away I will be getting as much as I can to save up, and go away when its cheaper. Merry Christmas Wendy.


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