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Tips for a Budget-Friendly Christmas Meal

Tips for a Budget-Friendly Christmas Meal

Christmas is a time full of joy and holiday cheer, but it can certainly leave your wallet feeling a little empty. After the gifts are bought and wrapped, you’ve still got to plan for food. For holiday feasts, whether you’re cooking for one or for the family, get the most out of your Christmas dinner budget with these tips:

1) Don’t go whole hog (or turkey).

The idea of presenting a whole turkey as the centerpiece for your meal may seem appealing, but the cost and time associated with cooking an entire turkey can be a challenge when cooking on a budget. For an affordable alternative that doesn’t require an oven, braise turkey legs and thighs on the stovetop. Check out a mouthwatering recipe using this method here.

2) No oven? No problem.

Slowcookers can be used to make savory sides, sweet desserts, or even main dishes. With a little bit of prep, you’ll be free to spend more time on what matters mostmaking holiday memories with loved ones and friends. Grab some fresh cranberries and make a sauce that puts the canned stuff to shame with this recipe, or use your slowcooker to whip up a batch of creamy mashed potatoes.

3) Make in-season veggies the star of the show.

In the winter months, Brussels sprouts, squash, sweet potatoes, and turnips are at their best. These veggies make for hearty side dishes that will satisfy your guests without breaking the bank. You can go straight to the source and save a trip to the store by signing up to get fresh produce delivered from a local farm. Get a full list of in-season produce here.

4) Bring the bubbles.

Sparkling water adds a touch of class to any homemade beverage. It’s cheap, versatile, and a fancy alternative to serving alcohol. Mix it with cranberry or orange juice for a festive spritzer that is child-friendly. Check out this recipe for a rosemary citrus spritzer.

5) Get crafty.

Use the best of what nature has to offer to decorate your table, mantelpiece, and more. Create an outdoor adventure for the whole family by hunting for fresh boughs. A stop at the craft store for some glittery bows and ribbon will save a ton over buying premade centerpieces and decorations. You can also involve kids in decorating by having them make place cards for your guests or fun party hats.

Don’t let the crafts stop here! Still looking for the perfect, low-cost gift to show someone you care? Here are a few of our favorite homemade gift ideas that make the occasion special while also keeping costs in check this season.

If you’re on the road this holiday season, find InTown Suites’ extended stay properties along your route for affordable accommodations.