What you serve at your Christmas dinner depends on where you live, as well as when you celebrate it – on the 24th or the 25th of December. You might nog even celebrate Christmas, you might have Chanukka or some other holiday. But there will be food and it can often cost a lot of money to buy. How many of us doesn’t curse at the expenses of food during regular weeks? Imagine the costs during a major holiday. If you want to save, like I do, or can’t really afford the food – but still want to give your family a nice meal – then planning, coupons and the weekly ad will take you a long way. I’m going to give some general tips and then post some links to coupon sites.
I’m using Christmas as an example since I celebrate it, but the tips and tricks can be applied to any holiday.
- Like when you’re buying the holiday gifts, planning is everything. If you haven’t planned anything then you’re going to end up overspending, miscalculating dishes for the amount of people present, multiple and unnecessary trips to the shops.
- Start planning any dinners/lunches where your extended family will attend at least 3-4 weeks in advance. Plan what dishes you will be serving, what the ingredients are and how much you need to make of each dish.
- Remember to plan for the side dishes, condiments, snacks, sweets and drinks! It’s easy to remember mustard when you sit there at the dinner table and want some.
- Lists are everything! Make lists of what you need to buy and group the ingredients after what type of food they are, for example:
- Baking goods
- When you make the lists, make sure to separate them buy shop chain as well! Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Aldi, Lidl, Tesco, Walmart, ICA, COOP, you name it!
- Will anyone be staying be staying with you, other than your closest family (spouse and children)? They need food too!
- Will it be a buffet, formal dinner or a regular meal? Each have their own advantage, but I’d recommend some type of buffet.
- If you choose to have a buffet, first decide on what dishes you’re going to be serving or assign a dish to each guest (if you’re having them). If guests are bringing some of the dishes, you all save on food!
- Shops usually start marketing their Christmas food at least 6 weeks before Christmas. Take advantage of this and start buying what you know you need. Some things we always have at Christmas, every single year, so why not buy them now and tick them off your list?
- Always check the weekly ads in the shops closest to you! More often or not they have one or two Christmas foods on sale every week leading up to Christmas, make sure you buy them and always buy the full allowance. For example: you have a baked ham on your Christmas table and one week your shop allows you to buy 2 good sized hams for 10€. It’s one purchase per household. Buy those two hams, even if you know that you’ll only eat one. You can cook the other one too and have dinners and lunches for a rather long time after, if you freeze it.
- Remember that manufacturers often put out a lot of coupons for their products during the holidays, since they want you to buy their products. Take a few coupons and save them. You should of course use some of them for the items that you need at the moment, if it gives you a good price, but after Christmas the shops often drops their prices to make room for new products. That means that you can score some incredible deals, and even freebies or money makers, if you took a couple of extra coupons when there were some.
- If your shop allows overage – use it to buy the things that you can’t get coupons for
- READ YOUR WEEKLY ADS LIKE IT’S THE BIBLE, PEOPLE!
- Take a couple of hours to surf around for coupons and discounts and print as many coupons as you’re allowed.
- Your shops usually have some kind of loyalty card. Make sure to sign up for that. That way you get instore coupons, deals and rebates. The instore coupons can be combined with a manufacturer’s coupon and make a product free, close to free or a money maker.
Coupons.com (US): https://www.coupons.com/
Grocery Coupon Network (US): https://www.grocerycouponnetwork.com/
Be frugal (US): http://www.befrugal.com/printable/restaurant/
Retail me not (US): https://www.retailmenot.com/coupons/fastfood
Coupon Mama (UK): https://couponmamauk.co.uk/
Money Saving Experts (UK): http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/deals/supermarket-coupons
Extreme Couponing (UK): http://www.extremecouponing.co.uk/
Extreme Couponing & Deals (UK): https://excoupuk.com/
Super Savvy me (UK): https://www.supersavvyme.co.uk/offers/coupon
Hot UK deals (UK): http://www.hotukdeals.com/groceries
Hip2Save (US): http://hip2save.com/
Southern Savers (US): http://www.southernsavers.com/