For The Love Of Aldi

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For many many years in the lead up to Christmas, we buy a few extra food bits and pieces for the fast approaching festive season every week in an effort to spread the cost, but for some strange reason this year, we didn’t. It was pretty horrifying to have to do so much damage to our finances in one go, so we headed off to Aldi in an effort to curb our spending and save a few pennies and I was so pleased with our purchases we will definitely be heading there again next year.

Now my hubby is quite an indulgent spender with little thought for the consequences and this year he insisted on a goose, a duck and a turkey crown all of which we bought from Aldi and were as delicious as if they had been from M&S.

The basics also came up trumps with Maris Piper potatoes at 29p per bag, we bought six and our carrots, parsnips and sprouts came from there too! Large boxes of stuffing for 37p mixed up with our sausagement (also Aldi) for our homemade stuffing balls tasted no different than when we have used Paxo in the past.

 

We also bought some budget busting treats, like a box of 18 Macaroons above (frozen section) for £2.99 – a real steal when I pay £1.75 for just one in Lauderee whenever I visit London. They may be a little bit smaller but honestly tasted no different and the Chocolate melt in the middle pudding bought for those that don’t like Christmas Pud went down a treat and was utterly delicious and would of passed as Marks any day of the week. Sadly it disappeared before I got chance to take a picture so I grabbed one from the Aldi website so you know what to look out for next year!

So all in all Aldi was the place to be this Christmas and with a overflowing shopping trolley coming in at £133, our food shop wasn’t quite as painful as I thought it would be!

How did you cut food costs this Christmas?

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Christmas Food On A Budget

£2.66 Christmas dinner served up

I haven’t done much of my Christmas food shopping as yet. All the fresh stuff is left as late as possible and I like to have time to gather as much information as possible as to where the best deals and cheapest products are.  Luckily this year that was all done for me, as I was sitting doing some online food shopping the other day, there was a feature on This Morning with all the information I could possibly need.

Now I know that traipsing to different supermarkets can be a bit of a pain but it is the only way to get the best prices and well worth the planning. You may not wish to visit them all on the same day, maybe choose one that stocks the products you can freeze first followed by those that have the cheapest fresh food nearer to the day.

So if you missed it, here is the list of the best priced food according to This Morning which focused heavily on luxury products:-

Tesco

Large beef roasting joint was £11.00 – now £5.00
1kg Salmon was £24.00 – now £12.00
Seven cheese selection pack, serves 19, was £8.00 – now £4.00

Morrisons

M Signature fruit stuffing parcels, 6 pack £2.99
Chocolate choux crown £3.00
Shellfish platter £5.99
Large fruit panettone £2.00

Sainsbury’s

Prosecco Magnum, serves 12, was £19.50 – now £14.50
Large smoked gammon joint, serves 4, was £6 – now £3.00
Blanc de Blancs champagne £22.50
Taste the Difference mulled wine £6
Fox’s Fabulously Biscuit Selection 600g was £6 – now £4 until 1 January
Cognac laced christmas pudding, serves 8, was £12.00 – now £6.00

Asda

Pierre Darcys Champagne was £24.25, now £10.00
Special bucks fizz smoked salmon, serves 2 , £3.00

ALDI

Vintage manx christmas pudding £12.99
Specially Selected serrano ham leg £34.99
Specially Selected wild lobster tails with garlic butter £9.99
Whole salami with cutting board £3.99

Iceland

Whole cooked canadian lobster, serves 2, £5.00
Winter berry glistening gateau £4.00
Whole cooked canadian lobster £5.00
Apple and red cabbage £1.00

Lidl

Vintage Arestel cava brut £4.99

Whole self-basting turkey with giblets £9.99, Serves 4-8

Brandy butter 200g – deluxe brandy butter £1.59
Allini prosecco de spumante £4.99
Favorina panettone classico £3.99
Pack of 6 oysters £2.79

Deluxe christmas chutneys £1.29 each

The Good Housekeeping Cost of Christmas Survey also features some great prices and show’s that Christmas dinner can actually be served for just £2.66 per head which is actually less than in 2013 due to the battle between retailers and traditional supermarkets. Research found that the cost of feeding eight on Christmas Day could be as little as £21.31 which is the third cheapest basket since the survey began in 2009.

A like-for-like comparison across all 10 leading supermarkets found Iceland was the cheapest, with dinner for eight people costing £27.84, including fresh vegetables.

Fellow discounter and last year’s winner Lidl came second at £28.13, followed by Morrisons (£29.12) and Aldi (£32.06).

Good Housekeeping consumer director Caroline Bloor said: “It’s a constant struggle for many to keep family food bills under control, but the current battle between the traditional supermarkets and the discounters is pulling prices down for everyone – and will continue to do so.

“Even at the most expensive supermarkets there are still bargains to be found, for example Waitrose’s Christmas cake is 49p cheaper than Aldi’s and the cost of potatoes and carrots is broadly the same across all retailers.

The Good Housekeeping £2.66 Christmas dinner ingredients across all supermarkets are:

Turkey: Lidl Braemoor (£9.99);

Potatoes: The Co-operative Maris Piper 1.5kg (£1.50);

Sage and onion stuffing: Morrisons, Asda, Tesco 2x85g (30p);

Sprouts: Aldi 750g (49p);

Carrots: Aldi 1.2kg (49p);

Parsnips: Tesco 750g (90p);

Cranberry sauce: Tesco Everyday Value 185g (50p);

Christmas pudding: Sainsbury’s Basics 2x454g (£2);

Brandy butter: Aldi, Lidl 200g (£1.49);

Mince pies: Sainsbury’s Basics Mince Puffs x 8 (65p);

Christmas cake: Large Iced Fruit Bar 800g (£3).

Will you be shopping around for your festive fayre this year or sticking with just one supermarket?

[CHRISTMAS] Planning Ahead For 2014

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Oh no I hear you cry! We’ve only just got this one out of the way!  But after seeing Martin Lewis on This Morning earlier today, it was a stark reminder that we really do need to plan ahead for Christmas.

A lot of things the money saving expert mentioned, I am both pleased to report I have already done. New baubles for my much wanted tree colour theme next year – tick! new tree lights – tick! wrapping paper – tick! cards – tick!

And lets not forget the presents that have already been bought for next year, or birthdays through out the year, all at half price!  Scented candles, perfume, Ren gift sets from M&S where my cards and wrap also came from.  Beautiful skin and perfume gift sets from Harrods, House of Fraser and John Lewis. Handbags, slippers and onesies from Accessorize.  Sales shopping isn’t just about buying for myself it’s about the forward planning although I appreciate not everybody can afford to do this straight after Christmas and if you have Xmas money to spend on yourself or items you need for the home, it won’t be fair to spend this on gifts for others.

The other thing Martin Lewis mentioned was of course, planning ahead for the cost of Christmas.  He mentioned that for most families the cost of Christmas comes somewhere in the region of £600.  All I can say to this is “lucky them” ours costs way more but we do save for it, presents, food and some left over for sale shopping is the plan and we have upped our savings this year to cover the cost of everything and for the first time have factored in unexpected costs like a huge family takeaway on Christmas Eve and Christmas meals with friends etc that can end up putting a strain on finances.

It doesn’t matter how much you save, the important thing is to save something and to keep it somewhere separate whether that be a seperate buildng society or bank account, or a tin under the bed!

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Another thing I like to do is collect ribbon all year round in any colour, shape or form to give a lovely touch to my present wrapping. Ribbon also looks fabulous on presents that are wrapped in brown paper which comes in at less than £1 a roll, looks really stylish and comes in handy for birthday wrapping too!

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Do you budget ahead for Christmas?