Christmas planning 1. Food

Ok so.
We enjoy Christmas.
I in particular, amongst all the folk who know us well, am the biggest kid when it comes to the build-up to the actual day. 
The day itself I'll come onto later.

But I digress.

We live on a small budget all the time.
(Man Wonderful is retired and-not-a-millionaire and although I have a disability I have a (very) part-time job.)
So we plan and save up for stuff and happenings.

And onto Christmas.

I plan for this All Year Long! 

Our Christmas food will include:

. more than one Homemade Christmas Cake ( I'll be making the first two* of these this weekend and will blog my gluten-free dairy-free recipe after )
     *although he is not even an ounce overweight, Man Wonderful can eat his own body      weight in my HM baking, and will probably eat the first two in the next fortnight...

. Homemade gluten-free, dairy-free mince pies** see note* above.

. Roast meals without meat

. 'Posher' meals than usual.

. A nice bit of booze - I like Mulled wine throughout December and think it should actually be the Law that everywhere should smell of cinnamon, Christmas spices and pinecones from 28th November, with all adults being jolly and all children being excitedly content that Santa will soon be here...but I digress..

To afford these seasonal foodstuffs, I save all year. 
Each time I go to the local Coop, I buy a £1 savings stamp, and then stick this into a savings card back at home that lives in my food cupboard.
For every 96 I buy, I get £100 as long as I spend it in December - which I will do.

That's a 4% interest rate!

I honestly don't notice the extra £1 here and there throughout the year.
But I REALLY notice the money that is saved up for December!

We don't eat meat, that saves a massive amount of money but is a personal choice.
Having said that, gluten-free and dairy-free foods that are made for you are much more expensive, and I will probably buy things like wraps (for fajitas) that I don't buy all year, as well as vegan ice cream (OMG it's LUSH!!) on top of every kind of fresh vegetable and fruit. 

I'll be working some shifts over the festive period but most of the time will be spent with the little family.  

The small people love homemade food (their mummy has brought them up well!) and see Fishfingers as a massive treat, so my homemade dinners and puddings go down well.

The last food planning item I have is two gifts: one hamper for my friend who manages on benefits, and one food collection hamper for the homeless centre. 
My friend's hamper has been collecting tins, small packets and bottles and  bits and bobs over the last two months, but I spend November collecting for the homeless hamper. To this one I add socks and underwear as well as shampoos and bars of soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes. I keep a box in the boot of the car, and decant items as soon as they are bought to this box: that way it is not confused with anything in the house, and it is also ready to deliver when it is full: someone there always helps me lift it out to donate.

So there you have my first Christmas post of 2017.
Have you started planning?
What do you do about organising food and meals, etc?

Tracey xx


  1. Oooh, I think I've finally found something we don't have in common!

    No planning for me, we have a car service and two birthdays before we can start thinking about that. Although I did have a conversation with my Christmas-adoring SIL the other day (I think she's going to buy me some violet flavoured gin).

  2. I put coins into a big jar all year and I also save up grocery store points so the combination should pay for all food extras. I do eat meat so turkey & ham will be on the list - although I also feel like something a bit different this year - perhaps duck.
    I have cut back though over the past couple of years when it comes to the sweets. I am supposed to be cutting WAY back on carbs (but I freely admit that I won't be able to resist at Christmas) so will have to really think about what I'll bake or buy.
    I have actually started shopping for presents already. I don't buy for many now but I often pick a theme gift (i.e.. books or magazine subscriptions) - this year it's jigsaw puzzles.
    I already have a fair bit of booze on hand (for some reason I got many bottles of scotch last year) which is wonderful and a big savings as I'm not really much of a drinker but like to have a nice selection at Christmas.
    I love the smells of Christmas and I usually start decorating at the end of November. It won't be long.

  3. Love, love Christmas but it doesn't start until 1st December. I plan the whole month, lots of yummy food, hot choc nights and advent activities. Like visiting local churches fetes, movie nights, ornament making and other glitter filled fun crafting.


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