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How To: The Student Budget Christmas Dinner

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Nottingham chapter.

With Christmas around the corner, what better way to bond with your fellow housemates and to get into the Christmas spirit than by cooking a Christmas dinner together?! 

Here are a few tips and ideas for an affordable celebration…

1. Plan before purchasing

Planning is key for a successful dinner. You’ll need to know how many guests are attending so that you are able to get the correct portions of each food for everyone. The more people attending, the pricier the food will be. Also make sure to shop for particular guests’ preferences if they are vegetarian, vegan or are allergic so that you can provide a suitable alternative for them.


2. Look in your cupboards!

Before jumping the gun and buying an entire aisle, check to see if the ingredients you need are in your cupboards. Sometimes we forget what we bought in the past, so this is a great way to save those pennies rather than wasting money of things you already have.


3. Shop around for the best deals

Don’t just buy the first thing you see! This is especially important when it comes to buying the meat as the price can vary from £8 to £40 (depending on portions) across the supermarkets.  Your best bet for an affordable turkey would be Lidl or Aldi, but other supermarkets might have offers which provide a better value for money. You also don’t have to have turkey – there are cheaper alternatives out there such as chicken, beef or gammon.


4. Choose the portion size wisely

It is important that you are able to feed everybody, so keep in mind how many people you need to serve. It’s better to have too much than not enough!  Even if you have some leftovers, a thrifty solution to this would be to use the leftovers to make something else. That’s lunch sorted for the next day!

5. Make your own rather than buying shop made

Although it may take longer to do, decorating your own cakes and making your own gravy will allow you to save more money. You can make your own gravy by using roasting juices, a spoonful of flour, a chicken stock cube and some wine. Also, Christmas cake can be bought plain at a cheaper cost, and decorating one would make for a fun activity to do with your house!


6. Alcohol – make the most of Christmas deals

Of course this is one of the most expensive parts of the entire meal as plenty of drinks will be drunk during the festive period, so make sure you have enough for everyone. Here are some current Christmas deals that will save *at the time this was published*:

  • A 1L bottle of Baileys is now only £10 at Morrison’s
    • Or you can get the Aldi version for just £5.36 per litre
  • ASDA’s Prosecco Extra Dry is only £5 and OR  6 bottles are only £25.
  • Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey 70CL – £15 instead of £25
  • Aldi’s 1L Oliver Cromwell London Dry Gin is £14.18
  • A 6 bottle case of Hardys Bankside Shiraz wine at Morrison’s is only £25.


Overall, if you follow these steps then your Christmas meal should be both affordable and delicious. A final tip would be to make sure that you have your timings right, as you don’t want to cremate the turkey and set your student house on fire!










Sinead Butler

Nottingham '19

Sinead Butler is a 3rd year English and Philosophy Jt Hons student. She joined Her Campus Nottingham in September 2017 as a Social Media Intern and Blogger. This year, she is currently Head of Social Media and has continued her role as a Blogger for HCN. Along with her roles at HCN, she also blogs for the University of Nottingham's Careers Service and has a blog site of her own: www.thoughtsofsinead.wordpress.com. After university, Sinead aims to pursue a career in political journalism.
Emily Talbut


I'm a third year English student at University of Nottingham and when I'm not working or writing, I'm probably watching a Disney movie or listening to one of their soundtracks! I'm a Campus Correspondent for HC Nottingham and generally write about food, travel, and the food I've experienced on my travels!