The festive season is just around the corner, and it's time to start planning your Christmas dinner. However, a traditional Christmas feast with all the trimmings can be pretty expensive, so it's essential to get creative and keep the costs low while still enjoying the delicious taste of the holiday. To help you, we've compiled a list of tips to reduce your expenses while maximising your enjoyment.
1. Christmas starters
Most of us think prawns and oysters when it comes to an Aussie Christmas Day appetiser. However, this can get quite costly, especially if you have a large group to feed. This year, why not offer an alternative by preparing a spread of festive finger food that everyone can enjoy before they sit at the table? No one does it better than The Women's Weekly, and they've shared 36 of their Christmas finger food recipes – you're sure to find some economical options here! Our top choices include:
2. Christmas dinner
While turkey may be a traditional choice for a festive meal, chicken is often a more affordable option - and it can go a long way when paired with some delicious stuffing. Pasta salad and potato bake are great for filling those hungry tummies and you can add a variety of festive salads, such as this haloumi, watermelon and pomegranate salad or this fig and freekeh salad. You'll delight your guests with these excellent options.
There's nothing quite like a refreshing fruit salad on a hot summer day. For a unique way of serving it, you can arrange the fruit on a round platter in the shape of a wreath. Be sure to use a variety of fruits with different textures and colours, and add some sprigs of mint for a nice touch. Freshly whipped cream in the centre also makes for a great accompaniment. Other desserts that are perfect for Christmas include Cheats Christmas Trifle and pavlova. You can buy the base for under $10 in most supermarkets and then dress it up to create an eye-catching dessert that's crispy on the outside and airy on the inside.
During our warm summer weather, typical Christmas drinks are usually cold beer or wine for the adults and soft drinks for the kids. But you can serve plenty of other beverages to make the day extra special. Try making a refreshing holiday punch using a blend of cranberry and orange juice, topped with soda water and some sliced oranges. Or, for those who enjoy something a little stronger on Christmas Day, Taste offers 61 Christmas cocktail ideas (upside-down espresso martini, anyone?).
5. We eat with our eyes
It's important to remember that we eat with our eyes, and a festive table is the perfect way to set the mood for any meal. You don't have to spend much money to decorate your dining area, especially if you have a striking Christmas centrepiece that complements all the delicious food you'll serve. Here are some ideas to help you get creative:
It's all in the planning
The key to an inexpensive Christmas dinner is planning, looking for sales and discounts, and focusing on making a little go a long way. If you have friends joining you, don't hesitate to ask them to contribute a dish or two to share the workload and costs.
Or, if you want to go all out this year and give your loved ones an unforgettable Christmas, we can help you make it happen. Check out our cash loans of up to $5,000 to find out how quick and easy it is to get your hands on some extra funds. Once a loan is approved, the cash is usually in your bank account within a few hours - so this year you can enjoy Christmas any way you want to.