Woman who lives on just £5 a week shares £2.20 per person Christmas dinner

A savvy student has revealed how she saves a fortune on Christmas food by spreading the cost between now and December 25.

Poppy Barr, 23, says it’s no secret that Christmas is one of the most expensive times of the year, but with a little planning ahead, she believes anyone can tackle it on a budget.

The university student, who usually lives on just £5 a week, set herself a Christmas budget of just £2.20 per head.

“As a keen foodie and budgeting enthusiast, I set myself the challenge of creating a bargain Christmas dinner,” she said.

“After looking online for the best deals, I settled with a shop full of bits from Asda and found I could make a meal with all my favourite Christmas dinner elements for just under £2.20 a person.”

Poppy, who is vegan, said she managed to cut costs by avoiding expensive meats and replacing them with plant based alternatives.

“I also based my costs on weight, and while everyone’s portions will vary, it gives a good idea of just how much you can save if you choose the cheaper options,” she told deals website Nhsdiscountoffers.

“While the classic Christmas dinner is great, I also wanted to see what additional extras I could fit into my budget.

“For an additional 75p per person, I managed to spice up the meal with components I personally can’t go without – fresh rosemary and garlic for the best roast potatoes, milk and flour for homemade Yorkshire puddings, swede and carrot mash (my personal favourite side) and both bread sauce and cranberry sauce so the whole family is happy.

“With the spend still at just £2.95, this of course leaves room for dessert.

“Mince pies for £1, a Christmas pudding for £2 and custard for 88p – the perfect finish to a delicious yet inexpensive meal – taking the total spend to just under £4.

“When you consider what you would be spending if you chose a restaurant for dinner this year, the potential savings are crazy.”

5 tips for cooking the perfect turkey

Poppy said her top tip is to avoid pre-prepared foods.

“Although it’s tempting to save time by buying everything pre-prepared, this adds pounds to your shopping total and let’s be honest, nothing beats homemade roast potatoes.

“Also, shop around for the best deals and plan in advance – avoid the last minute panic and throwing all-sorts into the trolley on Christmas Eve.

“And finally, do not buy too much – while we don’t want anyone to go without, will you really need a kilogram of stuffing or 48 pigs in blankets for a family of four?

“Food waste is huge at Christmas so plan out how much you will need and make sure you have some great leftovers recipes to whip out on Boxing Day.”

Poppy’s Christmas shopping list for four people

Potatoes (1kg) – £0.40

Stuffing (120g) – £0.23

Brussel sprouts (320g) – £0.51

Carrots (320g) – £0.19

Parsnips (320g) – £0.31

Meat-free chicken style joint (500g) – £5

Vegetarian cocktail sausages (200g) – £2

Onion gravy (40g) – £0.14