Budget Brand Christmas Grub

How are you doing today? I’m in a bit of a shopping daze after a whirlwind tour of my local supermarkets yesterday. In true credit crunch spirit, I was curious about the budget festive food on offer, so I ventured out on a fact finding mission, tearing around Asda, Lidl and Aldi.

It would be a bit wasteful, not to mention expensive, to try out full Christmas dinners from all three stores, so I thought I’d pick a few stock items to compare and contrast. On my shopping list were mince pies, Christmas puddings, bucks fizz and as I’d spotted that Birds Eye do a frozen ready meal turkey dinner for £2.24, I thought I’d brave a few of those too.

My purchases:


Smart Price Christmas pudding (454g) £0.96

6 mince pies £0.85

Bucks Fizz £1.84

Bird’s Eye turkey dinner £2.24

Smart Price chicken dinner £0.98


Christmas pudding (750g) £2.99

Bucks Fizz £2.99

Roast turkey platter £1.69


9 Mini mince pies £0.99

Christmas pudding (750g) £2.99

The prices in Aldi and Lidl surprised me a bit. We tend to think that they’re incredibly cheap, but their Christmas puddings were more expensive than Asda’s Smart Price offering, although still cheaper than Waitrose’s Christmas pud which is £2.99 for 454g. Unfortunately Asda’s 53p Smart Price mince pies had sold out, so I bought the 85p ones instead.

There was also not a single mince pie to be had in my local Lidl. Maybe it’s the European nature of the store, but the place was full of ‘Christmas’ chocolate ginger bread, and tasty looking continental chocolates, stollen and biscuits. Perhaps it’s because it’s a British festive favourite rather than a European one. Plus annoyingly I couldn’t find any bucks fizz in my local Aldi. What a shame as according to Aldi.com it’s only £1.59 a bottle.

Anyhow. I’ll be testing out my purchases over the next few days so I’ll let you know how I get on. By the way, yesterday’s hair disaster has – almost – been solved now. Natasha at the aptly named Do Yer Nut salon (I did on Tuesday morning!) was very kind to me, didn’t laugh (too much) and did her best to fix my poor mutilated barnet for £17 – about £5 less than the usual salon I go to on and off. On the downside she had to trim another two inches off it to get it all the same length, so I now have a short bob. The last time my hair was this short I was eleven years old. Oh well, I suppose a change won’t hurt. DJ, who’s never known me with short hair, said last night that it was almost like having a different girlfriend! Not sure if that’s good or bad…

Will you be buying budget brand Christmas food this year? How do you think the supermarkets’ festive grub compares?

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4 Responses to Budget Brand Christmas Grub

  1. Christine says:

    Most shop bought mince pies remind me of cardboard with not enough filling – I always make my own and have done for years. With family who want a share it\’s no more costly than buying for a crowd. If I was just buying for me, I\’d just make fewer. Sometimes cheap and frugal just doesn\’t taste as good as home made. I\’m also sorry but I\’m no fan of meals out of a packet despite there only being one of me. I\’d much rather cook from scratch than buy food which tastes of preservatives. It is ever so much more noticeable as I\’m used to using fresh from the allotment for most of the year.

  2. Storm says:

    I have to say, I\’m with Christine on this one!

  3. Kerri says:

    I\’m prob not as frugal as i could be when it comes to Xmas dinner. I cook for my husband and my mum and have done for the past 6-7 years now. The first year I cooked the whole dinner from scratch (to prove I could) but I must admit now, I let Marks & Spencer do most of the prep for me, although I do make my own roast potatoes with goose fat to ensure they are super crispy. In actual fact, a lot of the pre-packed qtys of sprouts etc (5mins in the microwave and no peeling!) are just fine for us – feed dinner for 3 with enough to spare for my mum to take some home and me and hubby to have leftovers for the next couple of days – generally nothing is thrown away so I guess in that sense it pays off in our case. I tend to think that xmas day is my day too, and why should I spend that peeling veg in our (very small) kitchen while everyone else gets to relax (not that I mind cooking but you get what I mean)? As far as puddings go, I can\’t say I like xmas cake or xmas pudding and tbh I\’m not overly keen on mince pies so I tend to buy something like a cheesecake or syrup sponge instead. I think a lot of the trick to xmas food is not to go overboard – there really is no need to fill up an entire shopping trolly for one day, shops are open on boxing day these days, no one is going to starve and, even if it is xmas day, people can only eat the same amount of food as any other day of the year (though some might try otherwise)!

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