Wednesday, March 8, 2017

5 Ways to Save Money on Christmas Eve Dinner

If you’re planning to host Christmas Eve dinner for friends or family this year, chances are you’re worried about the greens-and we’re not talking collard or mustard. As shrinking wallets make each dollar bill more precious, it is important to find ways to save money on Christmas Eve dinner without feeling like Mr. or Mrs. Scrooge. Fortunately, there are clever ways to save money on Christmas Eve dinner that won’t make your guests feel like they have to stop at Taco Bell on the way home.

How to Save Money on Christmas Eve Dinner Tip #1
Serve Plenty of Appetizing Appetizers

Although etiquette suggests that guests should not fill up on starters and spoil their appetites, frugal entertainers know that tempting guests with relatively inexpensive crackers, spreads and crudites allows them to provide smaller dinner portions without diners feeling deprived. Your guests will indulge in more appetizers if you offer a tempting array of options and delay your sit-down Christmas Eve dinner slightly longer than usual.

How to Save Money on Christmas Eve Dinner Tip #2
Curb the Courses

Does your Christmas Eve dinner really need to have a soup course, a salad course, an entrée, three side dishes and dessert? By cutting down on even one or two courses, you can shave at least one or two Jacksons from your Christmas Eve dinner grocery bill. Your guests will feel so full from appetizers they will probably not notice anything is missing.

How to Save Money on Christmas Eve Dinner Tip #3
True Meaning of Christmas

When Emeril Lagasse was still on the Food Network, he cooked a Christmas Eve dinner featuring Truffle Risotto with Parmesan Croutons, Beef Tenderloin with Fresh Horseradish and Black Pepper Crust, Exotic Mushroom Bread Pudding, Fresh Cranberry Compote and Truffles. But are these really the most fitting dinner foods to celebrate Christmas Eve? In keeping with the theme of a baby born in a humble manger–not the Four Seasons hotel–a more suitable meal might be a hearty, well-seasoned beef stew with fresh root vegetables, such as parsnips and carrots. Properly cooked, stew beef can be very tender and tasty and costs less than three dollars a pound, a fraction of the price for tenderloin.

How to Save Money on Christmas Eve Dinner Tip #4
Think Potluck

Another way to save money on your Christmas Eve dinner is to have guests bring a lot of the food. People feel happier when they contribute to a successful meal, and they also enjoy showing off their culinary skills. While your guests soak up the compliments, you will enjoy the smaller hit to your pocketbook.

How to Save Money on Christmas Eve Dinner Tip #5
Whittle the Guest List

Do you really need to invite Frank and Marge Freeloader for Christmas Eve dinner when that is the only time you ever see them? Sometimes old traditions need to be broken, such as hosting people who drive to your house on auto-pilot for a free dinner once a year. Start this year’s holiday season with a clean slate and invite only those friends or relatives whom you truly want to host. Inform guests from past years that you are starting a new Christmas Eve tradition and will no longer be hosting your “usual dinner.” With fewer mouths to feed you’ll spend less money on groceries, and you’ll have fewer dishes to wash later!

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