Six top tips for an affordable feast this Christmas
We’ve all seen the effects inflation is having at the supermarket. But the taste-testers and number crunchers at Which? have found ways to be festive but frugal in six classic categories of food and drink this holiday season.
Natalie Hitchins, Which? head of home products and services, said: “No one wants to overpay for festive treats, especially with so many households under huge financial strain in the run-up to this year’s Christmas.
“Our taste testers sampled festive favourites from the biggest supermarkets in the UK to find out which ones will make the holiday season extra festive this year and found some great options which won’t break the bank.”
Six ways to save on Christmas dinner
1. The bubbles
You could spend hundreds on a Grand Cru Champagne from across the Channel. Or you could trust the Which? testers who say they found good ones to tickle your palate for as little as £8.99 if you’re willing to drop the word “champagne” from the label.
Aldi’s Specially Selected Crémant Du Jura scored a first in the sparkling wine test on the basis of its crisp taste of green-apple, guava and grapefruit. (Crémant is still a sparkling wine from France, just not one from the official Champagne region.) If Prosecco is more your speed, the tasters suggest Co-op’s Irresistible Prosecco for £9.
2. Red wine
You can get a decent red wine with notes of red currants and a peppery finish to go with that savoury holiday turkey. Which? lists Aldi’s Chateau les Trois Manoirs Medoc 2019 as a Best Buy for £7.99 a bottle.
Several supermarkets are offering Brie de Meaux cheeses this year but one that impressed the judges cost even less: Asda’s Extra Special Brie de Meaux, £3.20 for 180g. It came in second overall in taste but top for price.
4. Mince pies
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a mince pie, or three. Waitrose’s Brown Butter Mince Pies with Cognac scored the top prize in terms of flavour but Aldi’s Specially Selected Mince Pies came in a close second with the added bonus of costing almost 50% less (£1.75 for 6, or 29p per pie).
5. Christmas pudding
The crowning glory of the feast has to be the Christmas pudding and Asda’s ‘Extra Special’ Christmas Pudding earned both a Which? Best Buy and a Great Value award for its aroma, texture and taste considering its comparatively low price of £8 (£1 per 100g).
Sometimes you just can’t beat the brand name on taste. That was the case with Irish cream liqueurs tested by Which?. However, the panel of 72 consumers gave a Great Value tick to Aldi’s Specially Selected Irish Cream Liqueur at £7.99, less than half of the price of a bottle of Baileys.