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Celebrate With a Budget Friendly Christmas Dinner

December 8, 2014

BBQ ChickenThe full Christmas meal with all the trimmings can be expensive and many people are rechecking their views to find budget friendly Christmas dinner ideas. There are two basic ways to look at budget friendly – either making maximum use of the leftovers so nothing goes to waste or cutting the meal cost completely. This is two ways to approach the same issue of making Christmas dinner budget friendly.

The first assumes that you can afford the turkey and trimmings, but have leftovers. You might even plan for leftovers – for example, if you know you really only need five pounds of turkey get a 10-15 pound bird anyway. After the meal begin ‘processing’ for precooked meals that are much easier. Package diced turkey in one pound bags or a cup or two cups – this makes it easy to freeze and reach for a cup of turkey, already diced and cooked, to add to macaroni and cheese or a pound of turkey to add to chili or a casserole dish. This also spreads the leftovers so you’re not facing getting tired of turkey.

Leftover vegetables go into a bagged portion for casseroles or stew or, if not enough for this, into the ‘soup bucket’ – a clean, washed out ice cream bucket that takes those half cup or few spoonfuls of leftovers and collects it for a soup or stew “free meal” when it fills up.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALeftover mashed potatoes become potato pancakes or potato candy while stuffing can be the basis of a breakfast casserole. This can allow several meals using leftovers and precooked food.

The other alternative for a budget friendly Christmas dinner is cutting expenses on the dinner. Try chicken leg quarters at under $1 per pound, seasoned, slathered with BBQ or a touch of hot sauce and put in the slow cooker on Christmas morning. Add scalloped potatoes or some egg noodles with a can of cream of chicken soup and seasonings, “Texas toast” or even stuffing and vegetables and it’s a very budget friendly Christmas dinner at under $8 for a family. For a couple or individual the same leftover idea applies! Use the leftovers by bagging them up in pre-measured amounts. This really doesn’t take long to do and with several people working on it takes little more time than doing the dishes.

Still others opt for a homemade lasagna or you could even do spaghetti with garlic bread and a salad.

These are just a few budget friendly Christmas dinner ideas. Remember a good meal with friends and family is always a good investment, and these are ones you can make even if the budget is tight this year.

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