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Christmas dinner is usually the biggest feast of the year. But the bigger the meal, the greater the cost.

Is Christmas dinner getting more expensive? Here’s how to save

Whether its turkey, ham, goose or something less traditional, the Christmas dinner is usually the biggest feast of the year. But the bigger the meal, the greater the cost – and some reports say this year’s dinner will be 18% more expensive than in 2016.

Analysis of prices by Good Housekeeping magazine found the average cost per person will be £2.94, up from £2.48 last year. This includes 11 key ingredients such as fresh turkey, sprouts, carrots, potatoes, stuffing, gravy, Christmas pudding and at least eight mince pies each.

Of course, these are just average prices, and Christmas is a time we often like to indulge, choosing little extras we wouldn’t normally buy. 

With all the family around, these costs can quickly add up. But don’t worry, we’ve five ways you can enjoy a slap up meal without spending more than you can afford.

Plan all your meals (and leftovers)

Part of the joy of Christmas dinner is knowing you’ll have leftovers for sarnies, bubble and squeak or even a curry. But it’s easy to forget this when shopping, which can mean you buy even more food for Boxing Day and the rest of the week.

Work out when you’ll be at home over Christmas and plan how you’ll use up all your food.

Can you make it yourself?

Pigs in Blankets might be tasty, but they’re simply sausages wrapped in bacon - it’s usually cheaper to do this yourself. Likewise some pre-rolled pastry and a jar of mincemeat won’t take too much longer to turn into mince pies than buying a pack.

Make a shopping list

Once you know what you are going to buy, head to the supermarket with a list – and stick to it! It’s easy to get tempted by all the offers and treats on display, so only buying what’s on your list will keep you on budget.

Compare the price of your shop

Once you’ve got your list you can use the supermarket comparison website MySupermarket to find the cheapest place to shop.

You can even take it a step further and split your shopping between the different supermarkets – though take into account the extra petrol costs and time it’ll take.

Try cheaper brands

Whether it’s trying a discount supermarket or simply buying own brand, you can bring down your food and drink costs by shopping differently. Doing this might also free up some cash in your budget to splash out on treats you otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford.

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