‘Tis the season for some festive fun with the squad before heading back to Mum & Dad’s for the Christmas season.
Creating a Christmas Dinner from scratch doesn’t come cheap, but we’ve pulled together some ideas for a perfect Christmas spread without wasting the last bits of your loan.
1. Rally around friends to see what stock you’ve already got
Chances are, a lot of the basics are already in your cupboards, so save yourself from buying a whole new stock of ingredients and see what’s already available from friends.
2. Make your own everything
It may be a bit more effort, but making your own Christmas cake – or if you’re going all out, your own Christmas pud – will save you some cash instead of buying the pre-made shop option. The same goes for creating your own gravy, cranberry sauce and Yorkshire puds if they’re on your plate.
3. Nail your recipes
Plan ahead and make sure you know the ins and outs of recipes before starting. There’s nothing worse than getting half way through and realise you’ve messed up and need to start again, or realising you don’t have that vital ingredient and have to waste your bowl full of mix. Cover yourself with AO.com’s recipes – they’ve got everything you’ll need for the perfect spread.
4. Plan your basket ahead of your Christmas cook
Plenty of supermarkets have great deals on festive essentials, but well in advance of the Christmas day itself. Plan ahead and freeze what you can if you find it on offer. Get started early and you can spread the cost.
5. Split the cost
Whether you’re cooking for a mass group, or just your flat of friends, split the cost between you. You wouldn’t expect one person to foot the bill at a restaurant, same goes for a mass cook at your Uni home. Total up the cost and have everyone chip in their fair share.
6. Go with the alternatives
Turkey might be the traditional choice, but honestly, do you even like it? A joint of gammon or ham could come up a lot cheaper – and will probably fit in your oven a lot more comfortably – and might be the better choice for your guests. There are plenty of turkey alternatives you can still impress your guests with.
7. Buy in bulk for your drink
If you’re stocking the bar for your own Christmas dinner, the cost can rocket – and quick. If you’re going with the traditional wine or bucks fizz, shop around for the best deal and look at bulk deals, it’ll often work out cheaper the more you buy.
8. Don’t over buy
Whilst you might have leftovers for days when you’re at home, chances are their won’t be many people sticking around to enjoy these at Uni. Buy for the amount you need and avoid cooking way too much where you can, you can save a little and avoid any going to waste.
9. Plan your cook
If you’re going big, then make sure you have oven and counter space for everything you’re preparing. Realising half way through that your family sized turkey isn’t going to fit in your halls oven could result in it going to waste. Plan ahead and make room for all your Christmas stock.
10. Finally? Just go with it!
Christmas dinner at home is probably a little more serious than your first attempt in a student flat. Get everything planned in, but don’t panic if something doesn’t go as your Mum would do it – you’re here to add your own flare after all.