Wednesday 13 December 2017

Thrifty Christmas Menu Ideas

Christmas is a time for enjoying each others company as we celebrate the birth of Jesus.  Please don't stress about the Christmas menu or go into debt to feed the crowds.  Share the load and ask your visitors to bring a plate.

Providing two meats, a couple of salads or roast vegies 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 more confusing it is for the eaters. 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 ( famliy 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 most foods should be consumed within two days of cooking. You are also less likely to forget what is left in the fridge if it is consumed within a small timeframe.

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 in half )
Mushrooms and onions
Bread stick
Green tossed salad
Potato salad
Pasta salad
Plum pudding ( no name ) with homemade custard, cream and icecream
Mini pavlovas ( homemade ) with cream and berries


Corned silverside ( cooked in the slow cooker )  or
Crumbed chicken drumsticks
Roast veggies  and / or
Bread stick
Apple rose pastries with custard or cream.

Both the traditional and casual meals have been hugely sucessful 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 those ingredients on hand already so there are no grocery blowouts. The only extra expense is the meat and a few vegies / salad things. The leg of lamb is bought in Spring when it's just over $7 a kilo and usually costs me under $20. Snacks are bought on sale in November and bon bons are bought at half price on Boxing Day the year before.

Roast lunch

Dressing the roast lamb for extra flavou

Apple rose pastries

Megan's custard tarts

Setting the table with all the finery

How are you going with your menu plan ?
Do you have any tricks to keeping your costs to a minimum ?


  1. Dear Wendy, great advice as usual, As of today I am officially finished Christmas shopping n all matters. I have bought all food, gifts and treats etc, have a bursting freezer and pantry with plenty of some items to last me into the beginning of February!. I have plenty of everything. My menu for Christmas is organised because I will be eating at my sisters for lunch and have purchased my contribution a month ago, most of it, I just need to make two dips to take , my whole family and the family joining us for lunch are all working together to provide lunch for about 15 people, we are having ham, I think Turkey, chicken, vegetables and nibbles , ice cream cake and one more sweet and the dips etc are for morning tea for my immediate family before the other family arrive. Then Christmas night is our traditional W family gathering , there can be up to 90 plus people there depending on the year and other plans , we just take sweets and my gran and Aubty provide all food and some drinks we take our own drinks if we want more than tea coffee punch or water, I drink tea and water or juice punch ( one glass!) . It will be and always is a huge day but does not break the budget for Barb W. Merry Christmas.

  2. Great post Wendy. I have been buying food and presents for weeks so it's not a big hit to our budget. I just have to buy salad items for Christmas Day. We are having pork, turkey, prawns, cold salads and pavlova for dessert. It sounds like a lot but we graze for days and I enjoy the break from cooking.
    When the sales begin I'm going to start looking out for presents for next Christmas.
    Your posts really helped us to stay within budget this year. I believe a big part of being frugal is being content with what you already have. Thanks. Rachel :)


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