Hosting a Christmas feast can be overwhelming and stressful, especially if you’re strapped for cash due to fulfilling that extensive wish list the kids wrote to Santa Claus.

You can cherish the real essence of the season without added financial stress by throwing a budget-friendly Christmas feast. Here are a few tips to help you through the season…

Cost-Saving Strategy

It’s the holidays – everyone’s in the mood to give and help out. Take people up on their offer should they ask if you want them to bring anything to the party. Guests who contribute a bottle or two of wine will certainly lessen the burden of dinner expenditures. Additionally, invitees can lend a hand in the feast itinerary by bringing dishes such as salad or cheese and crackers, both of which are easy to make and also work to diversify the overall spread. And since guests will likely want to impress with their signature addition, they may tend to splurge on higher-end aged cheeses and wines – an added bonus for all to enjoy!

Shop smart by buying in bulk – large crowds to feed during the holidays justify it and it makes the most economical sense. By grabbing wholesale-sized groceries to include snacks, drinks and produce, you get more bang for your buck.

An Inexpensive, Simple and Delicious Feast

A Christmas feast doesn’t need to be a super fancy or expensive. Sometimes simplicity is the key to comfort and a classic route to take when building a holiday menu. The following recipes allow you to be resourceful with ingredients and promise an amazing meal.

  • The Christmas ham is a must. Marinade a bone-in ham half using a rub that consists of lemon zest, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and roast it in the oven. Utilize meat drippings from the pan and whisk with cherry jam, wine, chicken broth and flour to create a complementing sauce to drizzle on top of each carved slice for a true Christmas delight.

    budget friendly christmas meal ideas

  • Mashed potatoes call for only a handful of items that are uber low cost. Boil up the bulk bag of Yukon Gold potatoes you picked up at Costco and mash up with butter, cream cheese, milk, salt and pepper. This dish basically costs less than $15 to make, but is a comfort food favorite that evokes pure joy at the table.
  • Warm peanut butter cookies are a fabulous sweet and salty dessert and snack. All it takes is five ingredients, most of which you probably already have lying around the house. Beat together Planters Creamy Peanut Butter, sugar, vanilla extract, eggs and chopped peanuts. Shape the batter into balls and flatten in a crisscross pattern with a fork. Bake until lightly brown – and, voila! You have the ultimate winter treat that’ll saturate the soul.
  • If you give the crew those peanut butter cookies, they’re going to need a soothing glass of eggnog to chase them down. Mix together beaten egg yolks, sugar, milk, cream, bourbon and nutmeg, along with whipped cream, to brew up a delicious and traditional Christmas cocktail.

The Gift of Giving (at a low price)

After the feast, you’ll want to maintain a steady amount of Christmas cheer. Set up a grab bag or white elephant gift exchange. On top of being an engaging activity, this present-giving portion of the night will help alleviate any uncomfortable moments where someone comes bearing a giant bag full of gifts while others might come empty handed. It’ll shift attention from money-driven thoughts to a fun, giving act that everyone can participate in.

By following the aforementioned money-saving tips and tricks and creating a menu based on these suggested Christmas meal staples, you’ll be the best and smartest host in the books. This Christmas party feast results in a gracious thank you from guests as well as your wallet.


Jennifer Thayer is a technology writer from Southern California who loves finding ways technology can make life easier. She enjoys sharing her tips and tricks with readers. Follow her on Twitter.

Featured image via We Heart It.