Your festive feast could end up leaving you with a financial hangover this year.
"Vegetables should be the least expensive part of any meal, but buy ready peeled and chopped veg like carrots, sprouts and beans and you'll pay a heck of a lot more. The preparation only takes a few minutes and it will save you pounds."
"Without a doubt, the cost of food has continued to rise this year," says John Janiszewski, head of Sheffield City College's catering and hospitality department. "The college is spending 25 per cent more on its food bills this year than it was last. I'm sure families will have found a similar rise in their grocery bills."
Many people could well be about to pay through the nose for the humble potato. "Buy ready roasted done in duck fat and you might pay around 2.50. Do it yourself for half the cost. And mashed potato, surely the easiest thing to make, will cost you no more than 80p if you DIY. Buy ready mashed and Nike Air Max 90 Womens Suede
After researching the market, pooling their know how on how to make food go further and their favourite easy, low priced recipes, they are confident readers can cook up an entire three course family feast, right down to the rum sauce, for just 5.71 Air Max 90 Ultra Essential Light Base Grey
He also strongly advises shopping around for everything. The turkey, the main expense, is at least 10 per cent more this year; farmers blame a 25 per cent rise in the cost of feed.
Don't buy a massive turkey, either; most people buy far more than they need. "We always go mad and make way too much food. It's surprising how little people actually eat on Christmas Day. Stick to the basics."
"There are lot of ingredients to buy," John Nike Air Max 90 Iron Metallic explains. "But you will only use a proportion of each, so you do get the value in the long run."
Soup, the traditional starter, is a breeze to make from a simple recipe. A luxury ready made version could cost you 1 a head for six people. Make it yourself and it's 62p a bowlful.
, prunes, soup and sauceDon't buy costly butter basted; push butter under the skin of the bird yourself.
He says the best way to cut down on the cost without forsaking quality is by doing what the professional chefs do and that's rolling up your sleeves and getting stuck into some proper cooking, rather than relying on labour and time saving products from the supermarkets.
But you can sit down to a luxurious, three course lunch at an Nike Air Max 90 Infrared Mens
Christmas presents bought and wrapped? Now it time to focus on the food. Families could be in for a shock, though Christmas dinner comes at a premium price this year. Sheffield top chefs tell you how to cut the cost, not the quality.
The only DIY dish that you won't save instantly on is the Christmas pud.
He advises either buying a frozen turkey from a store you trust for quality, or if you want free range, you look for small farms.
And, says John, now many people are considering the morality of intensive farming methods and preferring to opt for free range birds, we could be paying a high price for our principles.
That's less than the cost of a takeaway pizza for one.
Cracking Christmas lunch tips on a budget
"It's great that people are thinking this way. And the bird should be tastier. But some free range birds could cost you 14 a kilo. We estimate you need a pound of turkey for each guest, so if you've eight sitting down to dinner, you might be paying a whopping 56 for turkey 7 a head.
affordable price assure the experts, the chefs at Sheffield City College, who train hundreds of the region's future restaurant and catering stars the cooks, kitchen and dining room staff on whom the local food industry relies.
"Indoor reared could be as low as 3 a kilo for a frozen bird," says John.
"I've priced up a full three course dinner for six done using convenience foods, and another using food to prepare from scratch. The DIY dinner is almost 40 per cent cheaper. You pay so much more for dinner the easy way."
creamed and the cost rises to 2.20," says John.
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