Which supermarket sells cheapest Christmas dinner?


David Cameron shoppingStefan Rousseau/PA

The cost of Christmas is on all of our minds at the moment, as we cast around for people we can knock off the Christmas list, and ways in which we can avoid having anyone to dinner. It's hardly surprising that we're keen to know where we can go to buy the cheapest Christmas food this year.

A few weeks ago we revealed that answer was Asda, now a new piece of research claims that Morrisons holds the answer.

The report

The research this time round is for Good Housekeeping, which does a huge range of tests and trials for its December issue. It puts together a Christmas Basket of everything you need for Christmas dinner for eight, and works out the cheapest supermarket for the products.

Its winner, by a huge margin this year, was Morrisons. It found that the family could be fed for just £2.63 a head - including the turkey, vegetables, stuffing, mince pies, Christmas pudding, Christmas cake and brandy butter.

Morrisons took the title of 'one-stop-shop' (for the second year running), with dinner for eight people coming in at £21.10 - some £7.87 cheaper than its nearest rival, Tesco.

Morrisons said in a statement: "The festive season can be an expensive time, but after another year of economic uncertainty a celebration is certainly called for. Morrisons believes in helping to ensure that everyone is able to enjoy a quality and special Christmas, whatever the budget."

It also added that the basket could have been even cheaper if the magazine had swapped fresh sprouts for frozen ones - which would have brought the total to £2.49.

The study shows that cheaper options are increasingly accessible. Good Housekeeping has been running it for the past three years, and since the first report revealed the cost at £3 a head, it has been gradually shrinking.

Which is cheaper?

This may come as quite a surprise, especially if you read our report earlier this month claiming that Asda had been named as the cheapest, at £2.47 per head (and Morrisons second at £2.49).

The issue here is that the two reports are counting different things. One cut costs to the bone, including a range of frozen vegetables, while the other splashed out on brandy butter.

We could all pop out and buy the cheapest versions of the things we consider essential, and we'd come back with another sum entirely. Surely Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without sausage meat stuffing and ice cream with the pudding - both of which are absent from the lists.

It goes to show that while these reports are useful rough guidelines, if we want to get our own shopping list at the lowest possible price, we need to check the prices ourselves - and include local grocers, markets and discount shops as well.

And if you're happy to put the legwork in, then it may be worth having a look at the Good Housekeeping 'best-of-breed' list, which highlights its favourite of all the vital ingredients - on a balance of cost and price.

Glenfell frozen turkey - £9.99 for 4.8kg
Maris Piper potatoes - £1.79 for a 2.5kg bag

Parsnips – 39p for 500g
Sprouts 39p for 500g

M Savers carrots – 55p for 1kg
M Savers cranberry sauce – 50p for 185g
M Savers Christmas pudding – 85p for 454g
M Savers brandy butter - £1 for 200g

Everyday value Sage & onion stuffing mix – 15p per 85g packet

Smartprice Christmas cake - £1.05 for 454g
Basic puff pastry mince pies – 63p for 8

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