How I organized whole Christmas for $53!

How I organized whole Christmas for $53!


How I organized whole Christmas for $53 and had 4 main dishes! I’m going to give you some tips and tricks to bring the cost down and show you my shopping list and menu. So, let’s do this! 🙂

Clever tips and tricks:

Make half dishes from scratch and buy other half frozen or ready to eat.

Most of us love to make things from scratch at Christmas (no ready meals, there’s no question about it !). Due to my ibs, I simply have to make most of my meals from scratch. During Christmas time I make some ibs friendly foods, but I also use some store bought & frozen foods to make my life in the kitchen easier and to spice things up a little and eat some naughty ‘I’m not suppose to eat it’ desserts and spicy snacks. Gluten free it’s not so fun during Christmas time, you guys.

Use previously frozen leftovers.

I used apple sauce from apples that were free anyway, homemade meat sauces, herbs, meat trimmings.

Buy in bulks.

Buy one get one free might be a great idea during Christmas time. It’s more likely that you will use it (or gift it) during Holidays.

Shop at Lidl and Aldi.

These are cheap stores. You can make some real savings there.

Buy from ‘discount shelves’.

Buy discounted products (that you’re planning to use straight away) that are about to reach their best before date.  Supermarkets often have all of their products reaching their best before date in one place (therefore ‘discount shelf’ name). Ask if your supermarket have one.

Shop around for special and luxury products.

If some foods need to be gluten and diary-free, shop around, look for bargains earlier in the month. Freeze what’s possible.

Shop last minute for less important products.

Buy some products day before Christmas. Shops may give you even up to 50% off, when they want to get rid of the stock fast. Lidl will sometimes give it away for free! Look out for Christmas chocolates, snacks with 24th of December best before date, meats, veggies and fruits that needs to be bought before shops are closed for Christmas.

Make a list and be organized.

  Make a ‘to buy’ list and split it into 3 categories.  1- ‘there’s no Christmas without it’ items, 2-less important items but it would be good to have it, 3-not super important (candles, new decor).
Prioritize and buy what really needs to be bought first, leave less important stuff till the very end. Before buying ask yourself once again if you really need it/ want it.

Use club card/ loyalty points, vouchers, coupons, gift cards and promo codes.

If you know you will go overboard, save club card points, gift vouchers (with no, or long time limit), coupons and use them all before Christmas. You can save tons!

Buy a little less than usual.

You probably have a lot of leftovers after Christmas anyway. Don’t go crazy with buying food. It’s only one/two days (depending on the country). Buy only what’s necessary. You can buy one or two ‘just in case something goes wrong’ cheaper foods and stuff it in the freezer.

Skip gifting adults.

Meet and talk instead or gift cheap and funny stuff. Buy some chocolate treats (it never fails) or board game that you can all enjoy. Most of us have more than enough anyway! No, I’m not not being mean:) Most of us have plenty of everything and gifting is just the symbol anyway, right?

Skip alcohol, or buy less alcohol.

Skip buying Christmas themed stuff.

Skip buying Christmas themed napkins, candles and gift bags. Buy white or red cheaper ones in dollar store.

Don’t buy new ornaments and decorations.

Don’t buy new ornaments or buy just one (something really special). This year, I used trimmings from cut down tree to decorate the house. If you have access to trimmings, you can create a lovely swag. You can go full DIY and make your own snow, cheap ornaments or popcorn garlands.


Now, to the best part… What I actually bought and how much did I pay?

Shopping list for two, plus guests. Prices in British Pounds :

white grapes 1.65,

clementines 1.39,

duchess potatoes 0.99,

mini pizzas 2.49,

thai salmon cakes 1.69,

gyozas chicken 1.99,

fresh salmon 2.99,

potatoes 0.40,

mint sauce 0.59,

french camembert 0.99,

garlic sausage 0.65,

greek antipasto 1.29,

chili brie 0.89,

herring fillets 1.00,

cream 0.79,

peach ice tea 0.99,

tiramisu 1.19,

salmon souffle 2.69,

bread 2.00,


chocolate Santas 2 for 0. 99,

dog biscuits 0.69,

photo frame and print 2.00

 special food:

gluten free pastry 2.50,

egg rolls 3.00,

lacto-free yogurts 1.80;

polish specialties:

dumplings 1.19,

 barszcz (beetroot soup) 1.00

discount shelves:

crumb cake mix 0.40,

custard slices 0.49,

choco buns 0.49,

blueberries 1.00

= 42.75 pounds total (that’s $52.79)

I used previously frozen meat sauces, herbs, apple sauce, fruits and veggies. And chocolate bars and sugar powder from the cupboard.

We had:

 4 mains:

– herring with cream, apples and fresh potatoes
– fresh salmon with sweet chili & dill, potatoes with mint sauce, greek antipasto
– salmon souffle
– salmon fishcakes (I know, it’s a lot of fish, but we’ve fancied it this year!) & duchess potatoes


party snacks, meats & cheeses & bread, selection of fresh fruits and previously frozen veggies and fruits (like apples and bananas)


–  desserts from ‘discount shelf’

– ready to eat tiramisu

crock pot banana dump cake

– gluten free mini pies with apple sauce and caramel chocolate

Similar recipes:

Gluten free apple & pumpkin cupcakes
Mini Christmas Pies


Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!


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Read more:

How not to go broke this Christmas
How to plan stress free Christmas





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Mila Myk

Home Decor, DIY and Inspirational Ideas

4 Replies to “How I organized whole Christmas for $53!

  1. Good work! I’m very lucky that my in-laws do Christmas dinner for the entire family so I’ve never had to cook it before! Looking at this list I reckon I’d forget about 50% of the stuff I needed and end up rocking in a corner somewhere!! #DreamTeam

  2. Hi Mila, I love your detailed overview on everything! And the tips are helpful too – hopefully I can bear them in mind for the next dinner. I always try to reduce the crazy costs, especially around Christmas… 🙂


  3. Wow! That is wonderful; I’m so jealous… with over a dozen little nieces and nephews and three kids of my own to buy for… then hosting a few holiday parties I find the holidays are always so expensive. This year we had quite a few decorations that broke and needed replacing too.

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