Thrifty mum reveals her £3.60-a-head Christmas dinner

Laura Light used a £49 hamper of food to make the tasty festive feast and bought frozen vegetables from budget supermarkets to create the meals

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Credits: musclefood.com

A clever spendthrift mum has bucked the wallet busting Christmas shopping bill by feeding a family of eight for just under £27.

Laura Light, 32, from the south coast, buys meat in bulk and extras from budget supermarkets to create the delicious spread.

See also: Mum charges family members £30 to come for Christmas dinner

The meal consists of turkey wrapped in bacon, pigs in blankets, stuffing and roast potatoes, accompanied with red cabbage, carrots and Brussels sprouts.

turkey

She then used leftovers to create 15 dishes including turkey egg fried rice and sausage plaits using basics she already had in stock such as frozen onions, pasta and herbs.

Laura, from Southampton, said: "We'd normally spend more on the basic Christmas goodies but wouldn't have the quantity of leftovers I had with this shop.

"And for me, using up the leftovers is where I can make the biggest saving and make the food stretch."

Laura says she usually stockpiles food in advance for Christmas but this time took advantage of a MuscleFood.com Christmas hamper.

She said: "The £49 hamper fed us and our parents a delicious Christmas dinner and I then had enough left to make another 15 meals which I popped in the freezer.

"Christmas is an expensive time of year, especially with two young daughters, so as with everything, we aim to make sure we get great value for money.

'Turkey casserole is an obvious post-Christmas dinner. I used a handful of the turkey, used some of the leftover veg then added some onions, an apple and the stock and we had a delicious dish. In total it cost me £3.63 to make for the four of us.

"A turkey curry is another classic. Store cupboard ingredients plus leftover turkey, cream and yoghurt and you have a tasty korma that costs just £2.54 for a family of four, or 63p a head.

"Other dishes I cooked up included a sausage and maple swede tray-bake which used up chipolata sausages and cost 73p per person. Using pork sausage meat, I made tasty sausage plaits for 81p a head."

The savvy mum started to shop more frugally when on maternity leave with her daughter Holly and began by switching branded products for own brand items from discounters like Aldi.

She said: "I started shopping frugally when I was on maternity leave with Holly. Before she was born we were shelling out £90 a week on groceries but I was quickly able to cut that back. I started by buying own brand products at the supermarkets, which saved us a bit, but then gave the discount retailers a try.

Credits: musclefood.com

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"There are a few rules I always stick to when I'm buying groceries. I always meal plan in advance and never shop without a list.

"I buy exactly what I need to make those meals. I buy fruit and veg that is in season and freeze. I buy frozen vegetables too – these are great value for money and taste just as good.

"I always take a calculator when I'm shopping so know the running total and never shop when I'm hungry – a hungry shopper always fills the trolley with treats."

The Musclefood Hamper contains

4-4.5kg Luxury Fresh Large Turkey Hen

6 x 75g Meaty Breakfast Pork Sausages

10 x 35g Breakfast Bacon Medallions

10 x 35g Unsmoked Streaky Bacon

16 x 28g Chipolata Sausages

1 x 454g Pork Sausage Meat

10 x 25g Pigs in Blankets

12 x 30g Sage & Onion Pork Stuffing Balls

2kg Whole Roasting Potatoes

1kg Whole Carrots

500g Unpeeled Brussels Sprouts

800g Whole Red Cabbage

300g Luxury Turkey Gravy

2 x £5 Muscle Food Vouchers

Laura's recipes

HOW TO USE UP YOUR LEFTOVERS

Boxing Day Breakfast

6 x 75g Meaty Breakfast Pork Sausages £2.50

8 Breakfast Bacon Medallions £3.12

Tin of beans 30p

3 Eggs 21p

£6.13 = £1.53 a head for 4 people

Baked Turkey Pesto Alfredo

25g Butter 14p

25g Plain flour 9p

600ml Milk 26p

350g Pasta 24p

Handful Turkey £1.87

100g Cheese 95p

400g Tin Tomatoes 34p

3 tbs Pesto 5p

Total: £3.94 = 98p per head for 4

Red Cabbage, Bacon and Potato Hash

50g Whole Red Cabbage 15p

100g Whole Roasting Potatoes 15p

62g Whole Carrots 15p

5 Unsmoked Streaky Bacon £1.10

25g butter 14p

Total: £1.69 = 42p for 4 people

Sausage Hot Pot

800g tins tomatoes 68p

Baked beans 30p

10 Chipolata Sausages £1.90

25g brown sugar 5p

Total: £2.93 = 73p a head

Sausage Plaits

227g Pork Sausage Meat £1.75

320g puff pastry £1.50

Total: £3.25 = 81p a head for 4 people

Egg and Bacon Muffins

4 eggs 28p

2 Breakfast Bacon Medallions 78p

50g cheese 47p

Total: £1.53 = 38p a head

Turkey Meatballs

Handful turkey £1.87

50g frozen onion 7p

227g Pork Sausage Meat £1.75

Bread crumbs 20p

Egg 7p

Tsp Worcestershire Sauce 5p

2 tsp flour 4p

Total: £4.05 = £1.01 per head for 4

Turkey Egg Fried Rice

Handful Turkey £1.87

2 Egg 14p

250g Rice 31p

60g Frozen Peas 5p

2 tsp Soy Sauce 4p

100g frozen onion 15P

100g frozen peppers 13p

Total: £2.69 = 67p a head for 4 people

Turkey Carcass Soup

Turkey carcass

250g Potatoes 31p

125g Carrots 31p

100g frozen onion 15p

100g Cabbage 31p

400g Tin Tomatoes 34p

1 tsp Worchester sauce 2p

Herbs 4p

Total: £1.48 = 37p a head for 4 people

Sausage & Swede Traybake

6 Chipolata Sausages £1.08

2 tbsp maple syrup 6p

herbs 5p

2 tbsp wine vinegar 5p

Swede 50p

Red onion 24p

3 apples 96p

Total: £2.94 = 73p head

Turkey Korma

Turkey £1.87

25g Natural yogurt 4p

100g frozen onion 15p

2 garlic cloves 2p

Herbs 5p

25g plain flour 9p

50ml double cream 16p

10g caster sugar 6p

20g ginger 10p

Total: £2.54 = 63p a head

Leftover Turkey Casserole

200g frozen onions 30p

1 apple 32p

Herbs 5p

25g plain flour 9p

300ml stock 10p

2 tbsp Honey 5p

Handful of turkey £1.87

50g Red Cabbage 15p

100g Roasting Potatoes 15p

62g Whole Carrots 15p

Total: £3.63 = 90p a head for 4 people

Turkey Smothered Sweet Potatoes

4x Sweet Potato 44p

Handful turkey £1.87

50g frozen onion 7p

5 tsp Tomato Sauce 5p

Can of kidney Beans 30p

Total: £2.73 =68p a person for 4

Turkey Sandwiches

Handful turkey £1.87

Homemade Bread 37p

Total: £2.24 = 56p per person for 4

More money saving tips can be found from Laura here .


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