Christmas on a budget

This year will be my first hosting a Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve and since I don’t have a lot of money to spend on the food, it’s going to be a challenge. I’ve set a budget of 35£ for 5 people, which seems only reasonable and is a budget that will give me leftovers for a few days after. My guests will be my next-door neighbors and they’ve never tried traditional Finnish food before. The dinner will consist of a smorgasbord of a few selected, traditional Finnish Christmas dishes such as;

  • Finnish meatballs – pretty much the same as Swedish ones
  • Mini sausages – they’re called Prinskorv which translates to Prince sausages
  • Beet salad – a cold salad with beets, apples, pickles, carrots, red onion and cooked potatoes
  • Janssons Frestelse – a hot casserole called Jansson’s Temptation in English and is a dish with potatoes, onions, anchovies, cream and spices.
  • Mild smoked salmon – simple, tasty and very traditional.
  • Boiled potatoes – we’re a potato eating nation just like Ireland and Sweden
  • Julskinka – The Christmas Ham, cooked in the oven for a few hours before it’s coated with mustard and egg and sprinkled with breadcrumbs and then roasted at a high temperature. The ham is left to cool down and served cold in thick slices.
  • Ägg med gubbröra – hardboiled eggs with “old-man’s-mix” of anchovies, mayo, crème fraiche, chives and a few other things.
  • Morotslåda – a carrot casserole with rice and sprinkled with breadcrumbs that’s then cooked in the oven.
  • Potatislåda – it’s pretty much sweetened mash that’s cook in the oven. It’s sweetened with some treacle.
  • Peas – no words are necessary, it’s warm peas.
  • Toffee – hard toffee with chopped hazelnuts
  • Fresh fruits
  • Nuts and dried fruits
  • Aladdin – a Swedish box of mixed chocolates that’s always had after dinner
  • Twist – a bag of mixed chocolates and sweets
  • Merci – you know what this is, it’s more chocolate

All of this at a maximum cost of 35£, which isn’t that difficult really. The ham was the most expensive purchase at 25£, but that was bought a long time ago, so I’m not adding it to the cost. If you choose to do so then the total cost would rise to 60£, which would still be cheap for five people and a few days of food. Plus, the little sausages were given to me as a gift by my aunt when she visited me almost two months ago – not cost for them. A lot of the condiments – such as mustard, ketchup, salt, pepper, spices – are already in my cabinets and will not be purchased which will further lower my out of pocket expenses a bit too.

I will be posting all the costs as they come up since I’m not buying everything at once. I’m very allowed to use coupons, reduced items and any other methods to save money. Reduced items can be a huge savior and it has: I’ve bought all the herbs and the smoked salmon reduced and simply put them in the freezer, with the ham, until it’s time to use them. The herbs I chopped before freezing just to ease the process a bit.

I’ll start a separate thread for the expenses of the Christmas smorgasbord.

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Announcing!!!

I’ve got quite exciting news for all of you couponers in the U.K. As you may know there are a large number of blogs, vlogs and YouTube videos out there about how to coupon – some are more extreme than others. But, what’s lacking is a good, simply put BOOK about what coupons are, how they work and what a good price is, that’s written under British circumstances. There are a number of great vlogs about the US market and a book about couponing in the US called “Pick another checkout lane, honey” by the Krazy Coupon Ladies. Kudos to them for writing it, but there’s no equivalent for us here in the U.K. This is why I’ve decided to write a book for beginners about how coupons work, where they can be found and how you can combine them at the shop to save huge on your weekly grocery shopping.

At the moment it’s about 9 chapters long and I’ve nearly finished writing it, so who knows – next year there might be a British book about coupons out there!

I’d also like to make an appeal to all of you out there – if you have anything that you’d like to have featured in the book, send me a comment, a message or a tweet! I’m all ears for your wishes. Have a great week!

Presenting new Blog Series next month

Starting next month, I’ll be presenting two new blog series here on The Poor Man’s Guide to the Galaxy! The working titles on the series are:

  1. The Poor Man’s Cheap Dishes from around the World 
  2. The Poor Man’s Beginners Guide to Coupons

The first series (The Poor Man’s Cheap Dishes…) will contain traditional dishes from different cuisines around the world – that are cheap and relatively easy to make at home from scratch. I’ll be visiting, for example; 

  • France
  • Thailand 
  • Mexico
  • UK
  • Finland
  • Sweden
  • China
  • Japan

I’m currently collecting recipes, at least 10, from each cuisine – which will be tested, documented and presented here and on my YouTube channel.

The second series (The Poor Man’s Beginners…) will be a ten part blog series about the fundamentals of couponing, and a bit of extreme Couponing as well. We’ll dive into the world of coupons and sort out the basics in ten easy blog parts, accompanied by videos on my YouTube channel! 

I’m also in the planning stage of a couple of other things, but that will be revealed at a later date!
Stay tuned for more!