Banquets on a budget
by Anne Finch, Accredited Practising Dietitian for LiveLighter
- November 13, 2020
- Leave a comment
- Healthy eating
- Top Tips
- Fruit and Vegetables
- Budget Friendly
- Main Meal
Christmas is a time for giving, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are five ways to avoid a Christmas blowout that have the happy side effect of being better for you too!
1. Fill your table with seasonal fruit and veg
They’re colourful, delicious and much cheaper than the meat, seafood and cheese that usually dominates. Make your sides and salads mostly vegies, and use things like cheese, bacon, croutons and dressing sparingly for little pops of flavour. Cherries, stone fruit, asparagus and avocadoes are all in season (i.e. at their best quality and lowest price) this time of year, and remember that frozen and canned veg make great additions.
2. Bring a plate
Ask your guests to bring a plate. Most people are happy to share the load and show off their prowess in the kitchen. It’s also a nice touch to send people home with a mixed box of leftovers. This means the Christmas treats don’t hang around long into the new year and reduces the risk of forgotten food going off in the fridge.
3. Get cooking!
Pre-prepared foods like dips, cheese boards and salads are much more expensive than if you make them yourself. When you cook from scratch you can put your own spin on it and make a healthier version with less sugar, fat and salt. Check out our recipe section for loads of delicious, healthy recipe ideas.
4. Plan your menu
Things can get carried away and before you know it the table is groaning with food! If you plan what will be on the menu you can match how much you cook to roughly how much everyone will eat, this will save money and minimise food waste.
5. Shop smart
Once you’ve planned your menu, use supermarket online shopping to get a rough idea of how much everything will cost (i.e. fill up your shopping cart, but don’t “buy”). Keep an eye out at the shops and in the catalogues and take advantage of when the ingredients you need go on special.
With a little planning and creativity your guests will never know they’ve had a frugal and healthy Christmas.