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The cost of your Christmas dinner

Written by Ipswich Building Society

19 Dec 2019


Christmas, Personal finance

3 min read

Crisp golden turkey, pigs in blankets, stuffing, roast potatoes and lashings of thick gravy. For many, Christmas dinner is the absolute centrepiece of the big day and a time to indulge in proper comfort food. But this comes at a cost, and this year Brits face yet another hike in the cost of their festive feast for the second year running.

Summer 2018 saw the UK bake in a heatwave that lasted for almost two months throughout June and July with record-breaking temperatures in many areas. This led to crop failures across Europe and saw the price Christmas favourites such as sprouts, broccoli and turkey shoot up. And to top it off, the contsant twists and turns of the Brexit process caused Sterling to drop and led to imports of food drink from Europe becoming more expensive, further hitting the pockets of millions of Brits tucking into their Pannetone and Prosecco.

This year, unpredictable weather is back again – the extreme heat across the UK and europe over the summer led to fewer turkeys hatching and has increased the cost for a third consecutive year. In what might be good news for some, the notoriously fragile Brussels sprout crop has been impacted by wet weather, sending the cost of the nation’s most controversial vegetable soaring.

The cost of Christmas dinner is a burden well understood across many households in the UK, with the average cost ranging from £24.78 for the cheapest supermarket up to a whopping £38.35 for the most expensive. And these costs are based on a family of eight, so if you’re looking to host extended family then be prepared to spend quite a bit more! Alcohol is also a financial heavy-hitter, with the average UK adult spending £53 reinforcing their drinks supply ahead of the big day.

Top tips to keep the cost of Christmas dinner down

Shop around

If you’re looking to save a bit of cash, try shopping around for your Christmas trimmings – the price difference can vary hugely between different stores. When shopping for essentials, try steering clear of big brands and look for own-brand substitutes – the quality can often be the same while saving on cost. Plus, spending savvily on some things means you may have a bit more cash left over for those extra special items!

Try shopping online

Try getting your Christmas shopping online – not only will it save on the stress of ploughing through the supermarket with that one trolley with the duff wheel – you’ll also be able to avoid impulse purchases as you make your way round the store. Plus, if you get it delivered you don’t have to leave the house!

You could even ask guests to pay

A controversial one to say the least – some people have caused quite a stir and taken to asking Christmas dinner guests to pay their way when coming over for dinner, or at least to bring some of the food to take the burden away from the host.

However you’re spending your Christmas, we hope you have a good one. If you’re visiting us over the festive period it’s worth checking our Christmas opening hours before making your visit.

This article was published under our previous name of Ipswich Building Society. We changed our name in 2021 – find out more.

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