Saturday, December 6, 2014

$100 Christmas Challenge: Food

As many of you know, I have been doing a $100 Christmas Challenge, where I spend $100 out of pocket on Christmas.  In the past, we have spent a lot of money on food for the holidays.  With the challenge this year, I have $20 budgeted for all of our meals.

How can I do this?

1.  I sat down and figured out a detailed plan.  It is really nice because now I don't have to even think about it any more!

2.  I froze half of our Thanksgiving dinner so we could use it at Christmas time if we wanted to.  I have never done this before, but this year we have the option of not cooking our Christmas dinner if that is what choose.  
3.  Instead of buying packages of bacon, cheese, etc., I am just buying small bits at the salad bar to stay in the budget I have.  We can still have omelets for Christmas brunch, but we will only buy what we need and no more.

4.  I am making holiday treats that cost less to make.  For example, sugar cookies are less expensive to make than treats with chocolate, coconut, condensed milk, etc.  I chose recipes that had less expensive ingredients to make.  

5.  Save things throughout the month.  I am freezing little bits of things I cook throughout the month so we will have a nice appetizer tray by the time Christmas comes.  When people give us treats, I am freezing them until Christmas Eve and Christmas.

6.  Leave out some ingredients if it doesn't make a difference.

7.  Use what you have.  I tried making truffles this week.  I didn't have the ingredients listed in the recipes I found, so I made up my own recipe using what I had on hand.  They turned out great, luckily.

8.  Shop holiday food sales.  Some stores have had marshmallows for 25 cents and stuffing for 49 cents.  There are also great prices on baking things like 2 pounds of powdered sugar or brown sugar for 89 cents and $2 for butter.  See what is on sale and make recipes that include sale items.

9.  Have a potluck!  Enjoy having friends and family over for movies or meals or both.  Have everyone bring something and share the leftovers between everyone.

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