It’s a special time of year for getting family together and indulging yourself with all your favourite foods, but with less than a month to go to Christmas your thoughts might be more on trimming the cost than trimming the turkey. It’s easy to go over the top on the food bill for Christmas, but 118 118 money can help you save money on those festive essentials, without cutting back on quality.

Just call it a little gift from the 118 118 twins. Sure beats another pair of socks…

  1. Let’s talk turkey

If it’s hard to imagine Christmas dinner in your house without a turkey then making sure you get a good deal should be top of your Christmas food shopping to do list. The majority of people over buy food for the season, which ends up going to waste.

Firstly, only buy the size of turkey for the amount of people who are going to eat it. Sounds silly right? Well, how many times have you thought you’ll just get the nice size up ‘just in case?’ Next you need to do your turkey homework and compare prices across all the supermarkets.

Finally, don’t be a turkey snob! Moneysavingexpert.com did a taste test of different brands. 62% of the time they preferred the lower brand or they couldn’t tell the difference.

Besides, we all know it’s the stuffing and gravy that make ALL the difference.

  1. It’s all gravy

Which brings us swiftly on to the next delightful dinner saver. Making your own gravy will help to save you a few pounds. The giblets and the roasting juices provide all the flavour you’ll need, along with a spoon of flour, an optional chicken stock cube and a splash of wine if you’ve got a bottle open.

While you’re getting your Delia on, why not stretch to the stuffing too? You could save money on the individual ingredients and make a few extra for that cold meat platter you’re planning for Boxing Day.

  1. Wine o clock

Getting the drinks in for the festive period can cost a significant amount all on its own. After all, it’s the one time of the year when Buck’s Fizz becomes a standard breakfast drink. Thankfully supermarkets understand that shoppers are on the lookout for good deals, so it’s worth having a look online at what’s on offer and where.

Moneysavingexpert.com have a rather handy wine discount finder. And if you’re partial to the odd glass of champagne, but perhaps not the cost there are discounts and deals to be found in the sparkling aisle also.

The best way to save money is to not over buy, so be sensible and drink aware this Christmas.

  1. It’s a (homemade) cracker!

The crackers are the 118 118 twins’ favourite part of Christmas dinner. It’s like getting yet another present! But with so many on the market, promising ‘luxury’ gifts (yes we do absolutely need a tiny magic trick), and if you have guests coming, the cost can really mount up.

Hobbycraft can kit you out with everything you need to make your own personal crackers. You can choose your own gifts, hats and cracker decoration. And they’re currently offering £15 off online orders!

Littlecraftybugs also has a great festive range with the option to bulk buy 100 for only £90, which will leave you a few leftover for presents on Boxing Day.

  1. Checkout online

Buying your Christmas shop online is a good way to stop you from getting distracted by the extra deluxe cheese board and the port gift set. It’ll also help you to plan out your food and stick to a budget.

Consider doing a meal plan for your Christmas week. Organising what you’re eating and when will help you to significantly cut down on browsing and wastage – both of which are archenemies of the shopper-on-a-budget. Remember, the best way to make savings is not to buy what you don’t need.

Once you have your shopping list go to mysupermarket.co.uk to do a price comparison, as this way you can find out which of the supermarkets are doing the best offers on your chosen goods. Then divvy up your online baskets between the best deals and move to checkout – all from the comfort of your own home.

118 118 Money know that Christmas can be a stressful time if you’re worried about the cost. We are here to help. With a few simple tips you can make a difference to your budget, but not to your enjoyment. If you want advice we’re just a phone call away and remember if you’ve got a top Christmas saving tip we’d love to hear it!