Britons slash Christmas dinner spend

New research claims the cost of seasonal basics like spuds, sprouts and nuts have soared. For some even Christmas Brussel sprouts may be unaffordable.

Roll back to 2007 when sprouts cost around £1.25 a kilo. Today it's closer to £2.10. But it's not all bad for many recession-strapped Britons - especially if you're partial to a bit of bubbly.%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%

Killer sprouts

Though the cost of sprouts may have soared 68%, beer and champagne is considerably cheaper (though not all drink is cheaper - a genteel glass of sherry is more than 60% more expensive than it cost back in 2008).

But back to veg. Much of the sharp price rises are on the back of recent torrential rain and a 2012 summer drought, meaning more unsaleable, rotting veg lying in British fields, pushing supply-and-demand pressure higher. The National Union of Farmers expects up to 30% less UK green veg supplied this year.

Some retailers may resort to importing some basic vegetables this Christmas. Certainly some - Morrisons and Sainsbury's - says they will be taking on most farmers' produce, even if some crops are less than picture-perfect (though oddly the price of parsnips is down).

Bob Cratchit dinner

The rain has also pushed up the prices of wheat, hiking turkey feed prices - so many consumers will downsize the size of their bird this year. Meanwhile, the Grocer magazine says you need to head to Asda if you're after the cheapest Christmas (though Lidl and Aldi will likely match most Asda prices, if not better them).

And if you really want to save money on your Christmas dinner, get someone to host you on Christmas Day. New research from Santander claims 13% of Britons will do their best to avoid being the host for Christmas dinner this year in a bid to save the pennies.

Prices going up since 2008

Sherry - 64% up
Nuts - 71% up
Turkey - 14% up
Coffee - 24% up

Prices going down since 2008

Paxo stuffing - 15% cheaper
Champagne - £10 a bottle (Asda)
Parsnips - 19% cheaper
Garden peas - 10% cheaper
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