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Why your Christmas dinner will cost more this year and how to save

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Your festive feast will cost around 11% more if you include roast organic turkey while vegetarians will be hit even harder, with their grocery bill totting up at 19% higher.

The investment platform Interactive Investor asked its team what was likely to appear on their festive feasts’ shopping list.

That analysis – extrapolated for a family of four and including what it called a few guilty pleasures – found that inflation was eating into their budgets compared to the holiday bill last year.

The research found that the price of an organic turkey crown had risen by 5.3%, or £2.25, to £45, while a family-size serving of vegetarian nut roast had gone up by 27.3%, or £3, to £14.  (Overall, supermarket inflation in Britain reached a record 14.7% in October, according to Kantar).

Veg now costs a packet

Everyone’s favourite side dishes are taking an even bigger hit in percentage terms. The cost of parsnips and Brussels sprouts was higher by 226% and 150% respectively; organic carrots cost 15% more; and Maris piper potatoes for roasting rose 30%. The goose fat to make them nice and crispy? Up 43%.

Post-prandial snacks were also more expensive compared to 2021. The investor platform found that a pack of four mince pies was up by 28%, with After Eight mints rising 67%.  

‘Inflation will be on the menu’

Myron Jobson, senior personal finance analyst at Interactive Investor, said: “At many Christmas gatherings this year, inflation will be on the menu. High energy costs, labour shortages and even challenging weather conditions have combined to push up the cost of Christmas dinner.

More than half of the cost of the special meal is typically for the turkey. Despite rising energy prices and the higher cost of turkey feed because of avian flu and the war in Ukraine, “the cost of our organic turkey pick has risen by 5.3% or £2.25”, he said, the relatively low percentage increase suggesting that some supermarkets considered the bird a loss-leader that would entice shoppers through the door at a time when many are especially price-conscious. 

Jobson added: “Many people won’t want to scrimp on the big festive meal, but it is important to live within your means to avoid a post-Christmas debt hangover. Some families will eat what they want at Christmas and make adjustments elsewhere in their budgets, while others might try to cut their food bill by shopping at discount supermarkets or switching to less expensive store-brand alternatives.”

Ways to save on a festive feast

Alice Guy, personal finance expert for Interactive Investor, suggested resisting “the temptation to trade up to more expensive items.”

“As a mum to two hungry teenagers, I can guarantee that they won’t really know the difference between standard cheddar and the premium stuff once it’s out of the packet,” she added.

Yesterday, published six ways in which consumers could save on Christmas dinner, according to campaigning group Which?.

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