The cheapest Christmas lunch

Rebecca Rutt
by Lovemoney Staff Rebecca Rutt on 09 November 2012  |  Comments 11 comments

It's nearly Christmas time and that means shopping for the turkey, mince pies and brandy butter needs to get underway. But where's the cheapest place to buy the Christmas lunch?

The cheapest Christmas lunch

The average Christmas family budget is £478.50, according to Morrisons, with £48.30 of this going on food for the day. But this year the supermarket has launched a bargain meal which promises to only cost £2.49 per person including all the trimmings.

That includes items such as Christmas cake, cranberry sauce, stuffing and mince pies, but when looking at the cost alone, how does it compare to the other supermarket’s offerings?

I decided to look at all the major supermarkets and to see how much they’re charging for the same items.

Obviously in some cases the food doesn’t match exactly either because the weight is different or the exact products aren’t sold in each shop, but in these instances I’ve attempted to find the nearest match.

This is a basic dinner and it’ll obviously be cheaper if there are less people eating and if you cut out certain items. Shopping locally for fruit and vegetables may also knock down the cost further and there are lots of extras, such as alcohol, which aren't included and will add quite a bit to the final cost.

The cheapest Christmas lunch

When looking at the essential items, for eight people, Morrisons is the clear winner when it comes to price. Its meal is £19.95, which works out at £2.49 a head, £4.52 cheaper than the second cheapest lunch from Aldi at £24.47.

Just edging slightly into third place, with a tiny 7p difference, is Tesco followed by Asda at £26.38, or £3.30 per person, with its turkey and Christmas cake pushing the price up.

When looking at the prices on offer, the vegetables are pretty much the same price across all supermarkets but it’s things like the turkey, Christmas cake and brandy butter which make the difference.

The weight of the products also makes a big impact and at Aldi, Asda, Waitrose and Ocado the cheapest turkeys for sale are all bigger than Morrisons'. Therefore the price is understandably going to be more expensive.

The most expensive Christmas lunch

Unsurprisingly Ocado at £40.08 is the most expensive place to buy a Christmas lunch, followed by Waitrose with a bill of £37.54.

However, these two are the only supermarkets which don't sell frozen turkeys. Because the price of the fresh, free range turkeys are higher it's pushed the whole cost of the lunch up.

When you cut out the price of the turkey from the Ocado shop it actually comes in at £2.84 per head – making it the second cheapest Christmas lunch.

The results

Supermarket

Total price

Price per head (eight people)

Morrisons

£19.95 £2.49

Aldi

£24.47 £3.06

Tesco

£24.54 £3.07

Asda

£26.38 £3.30

The Co-op

£27.92 £3.49

Sainsbury’s

£29.51 £3.69

Waitrose

£37.54 £4.69

Ocado

£40.08 £5.01

Those are the totals, but what about the individual supermarket break down? The tables below outline what each outlet charges for each constituent of the classic Christmas lunch.

Morrisons

Item

Amount

Price

Turkey

2.6-3.8kg

£9.00

Potatoes

1kg

£1.00

Frozen sprouts

1kg

£0.75

Parsnips

850g

£0.70

Carrots

1kg

£0.55

Stuffing

85g

£0.15

Cranberry sauce

200g

£0.50

Christmas pudding

Two at 454g each

£1.70

Christmas cake

900g

£3.40

Brandy butter

200g

£1.00

Mince pies

Two packs of six

£1.20

Total

 

£19.95

Per head (for eight people)

 

£2.49

Aldi

Item

Amount

Price

Turkey

4.2kg

£9.99

Potatoes

1kg

£0.85

Frozen sprouts

1kg

£0.99

Parsnips

750g

£0.69

Carrots

1kg

£0.75

Stuffing

85g

£0.37

Cranberry sauce

400g

£0.59

Christmas pudding

750g

£2.99

Christmas cake (two)

800g

£3.78

Brandy butter

200g

£1.49

Mince pies

Two packs of six

£1.98

Total

 

£24.47

Per head (for eight people)

 

 £3.06

Tesco

Item

Amount

Price

Turkey

2.6-3.8kg

£10.00

Potatoes (Frozen)

1kg

£0.80

Brussel Sprouts

1kg

£1.00

Parsnips

750g

£0.85

Carrots

1.5kg

£0.69

Stuffing

85g

£0.15

Cranberry sauce

185g

£0.50

Christmas pudding

907g

£2.00

Christmas cake

907g

£5.00

Brandy butter

200g

£1.55

Mince pies

Two packs of six

£1.50

Total

 

£24.54

Per head (for eight people)

 

£3.07

Asda

Item

Amount

Price

Turkey

3.54-5.19kg 

£12 

Potatoes

1kg

£0.69

Frozen sprouts

1kg

£1.00

Parsnips

750g

£0.80

Carrots

1kg

£0.80

Stuffing

85g

£0.15

Cranberry sauce

240g

£1.00

Christmas pudding

Two at 454g each

£1.96

Christmas cake

907g

£5.00

Brandy flavour sauce (packet)

500g

£1.48

Mince pies

Two packs of six

£1.50

Total

 

£26.38

Per head (for eight people)

 

£3.30

The Co-operative

Item

Amount

Price

Turkey

2 - 3.59kg    

£10.00

Potatoes

1.5kg

£2.00

Frozen sprouts

907g

£1.00

Parsnips

600g

£1.00

Carrots

1kg

£1.00

Stuffing

85g

£0.33

Cranberry sauce

190g

£0.74

Christmas pudding

Two at 454g each

£3.50

Christmas cake

907g

£5.00

Brandy cream

250ml

£1.75

Mince pies

Two packs of six

£1.60

Total

 

£27.92

Per head (for eight people)

 

£3.49

Sainsbury’s

Item

Amount

Price

Turkey

2.6-3.8kg

£13.75

Potatoes

1kg

£1.00

Frozen sprouts

1kg

£1.00

Parsnips

850g

£0.96

Carrots

1kg

£0.50

Stuffing

85g

£0.15

Cranberry sauce

200g

£0.63

Christmas pudding

Two at 454g each

£1.96

Christmas cake

900g

£6.00

Brandy butter

200g

£1.55

Mince pies

Two packs of six

£2.00

Total

 

£29.51

Per head (for eight people)

 

£3.69

Waitrose

Item

Amount

Price

Turkey

up to 4.7kg

£15.00

Potatoes

1kg

£0.66

Frozen sprouts

1kg

£1.00

Parsnips

850g

£1.67

Carrots

1kg

£0.90

Stuffing

85g

£0.40

Cranberry sauce

200g

£0.95

Christmas pudding

Two at 454g each

£6.98

Christmas cake

900g

£5.99

Brandy butter

200g

£1.99

Mince pies

Two packs of six

£2.00

Total

 

£37.54

Per head (for eight people)

 

 £4.69

Ocado

Item

Amount

Price

Turkey (free range)

3Kg

£17.37

(£5.79 per Kg)

Potatoes

1kg

£1.17

Frozen sprouts

1kg

£1.00

Parsnips

700g

£1.00

Carrots

1kg

£1.00

Stuffing

100g

£0.85

Cranberry sauce

195g

£0.95

Christmas pudding

Two at 454g each

£6.98

Christmas cake

907g

£6.49

Brandy butter

200g

£1.99

Mince pies

Packs of 12

£2.00

Total

 

£40.08

Per head (for eight people)

 

£5.01

Before you hit the supermarket, remember to always check MySupermarket to compare the best deals.

Where are you planning to do your Christmas food shopping? And when's the best time to do it?

More on Christmas:

Top credit cards for Christmas shopping

Twelve good, cheap Christmas gift ideas

Top 0% balance transfer credit cards for Christmas

How to make successful homemade Christmas presents

http://www.lovemoney.com/images/gravatar?userid=68190&size=40

Enjoyed this? Show it some love

Twitter
General

Comments (11)

  • oldhenry
    Love rating 343
    oldhenry said

    Potatoes seem very expensive! I never buy them in supermarkets so do not know the price. I grow may own and usually last all year. Sadly, not this year and I;ll be at the farm shop for a bag in the new year.

    try the markets to under cut the veg prices.

    You do not mention quality, some frozen turkeys are rather tatsteless and dry. So you need to factor in quality.

    Don't forget a bigger turkey will last days and bring down the unit cost per meal, and lots of nice curry afterwards.

    Report on 10 November 2012  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • electricblue
    Love rating 769
    electricblue said

    Buying anything before Christmas on the basis that it will 'last for days' is a daft idea. From Boxing day on the prices on anything to do with the silly season plummet in price and the inability of supermarkets to predict demand in current market conditions make the cost of foodstuffs a bigger bargain than ever for those of us who can be bothered to shop clever. I regularly buy potatoes in Tesco at 10p a bag and I sure as hell am not going to strain my back to grow my own at those prices. Last years' best bargain was a cheese selection and cheese board for 17p, reduced from £8.50 at Morrisons. I can't stand the Christmas hypocrisy but it is a great bargain hunting time.

    Report on 10 November 2012  |  Love thisLove  1 love
  • SeaBee
    Love rating 15
    SeaBee said

    "Therefore the price is understandably going to be more expensive."

    Where can you buy a price and how much does it cost? If you mean that the price is going to be higher why don't you say so?

    Report on 10 November 2012  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • muira
    Love rating 30
    muira said

    i checked the clock,had my coat on and the motor warmed up.sat nav set for morrisons

    then re -checked the data above..eight people.?..had a quick count up and could only

    get to 1..therefore i would have to consume 8 xmas lunches to benefit from this fantastic offer..

    i find 1 xmas lunch per year is just about tolerable,and suspect the other 7 would not be cost effective to store in the freezer,for 7 years..

    so set the co-ordinates to aldi,picked up a sirloin steak,veg etc,made a home made brandy sauce,glass of wine.to ease my disappointment

    quick total up ,,probably £3.49 inc cooking,fuel in car, glass of wine,beer..

    and avoided the dry tasteless experience of turkey..and the dreaded brussel sprouts!!

    well worth the extra quid,got to enjoy before dec 25..and will probably have another 7 before said date..

    Report on 10 November 2012  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • red fragle
    Love rating 0
    red fragle said

    I think this is a good helpful article to show you don't have to spend a fortune and still have everything you need for a traditional Christmas dinner.

    Report on 10 November 2012  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • Meduza78
    Love rating 18
    Meduza78 said

    one thing is that people think that because it is christmas they have to spend a lot of money to make this special. is it a point? what was the original spirit of christmas? people have spoiled this spirit. and this spoil spoils their wallets.

    i come from a country where things do not have to be too expensive to be precious. and so is the christmas dinner (we have dinner instead of lunch). yes, some people make it expensive as well but it does not have to be. and it is possible to cut on extras such as cakes, sweet and sour snacks and alcohol. your waistline will thank you for that, too. do something together with your family. and i do not mean munching on those extras together in front of the tv.

    Report on 10 November 2012  |  Love thisLove  2 loves
  • Motofox
    Love rating 4
    Motofox said

    You haven't factored in the fact that there is a delivery cost to add from Ocado as its only line only, though this is only around a fiver, which is proberly less then the petrol and time used going to fetch it.

    Report on 10 November 2012  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • muira
    Love rating 30
    muira said

    @ meduza 78..

    think the original spirit of christmas is that stuff like wine,but with a bit of spices or herbs or something added

    and you are supposed to serve hot or warm or something,and the supermarkets

    seem to have it in abundance around now

    has a christmas type label, seem to think it begins with an m,, tastes like wine with herbs or spices added,and is possibly spoilt by the heating process

    and once consumed you will enter into the realms of christmas enchantmant and will

    want to empty your wallet..

    never been a fan of warming alcohol (exept brandy..a must!!)..damn french

    god bless them!!..viva la france mons duet,or something..

    ps what's the difference between lunch and dinner

    Report on 11 November 2012  |  Love thisLove  1 love
  • aland55
    Love rating 2
    aland55 said

    muira,

    are you talking about mulled wine? Nice!

    ps. I think lunch is at lunch time, ie about 1pm, dinner is at dinner time, ie about 7-8pm!

    Report on 11 November 2012  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • muira
    Love rating 30
    muira said

    @ aland55..

    yes mulled thats the one!!..but too sweet,warming is of no benefit..

    a bit like warm vimto with the contents of the herb rack randomly added..

    an argentinian or indeed chilean red with the added spices etc..

    is much more palatible,at any time of year..not just xmas!!

    all red wine should be room temp,mulled exempt..and possibly re-classified as

    a sweet cordial festive drink,that has a taste like a tampered with out of date vimto

    and best heated to remove any trace of alcohol that could have survived the ordeal..

    this meal time thing has really confused me..

    thought lunch and dinner was at the same time!!

    where does tea time now start/finish..is there time for supper?,elevenses..a snack..can breakfast ever be the same,,

    know one thing for sure..i have been celebrating too many meal breaks,at the wrong times..or giving them the wrong titles..

    maybe i could have brunch, lunner and teaper..or fastlunch.dinper and supbreak, and

    elevensnackes.

    will have to sort this out or i could miss out on dec 25,and go for the wrong meal,at the wrong time,,

    hope my family can put me up for the night on xmas eve,and talk me through the various stages,so i can indeed enjoy an xmas lunch that does not become possibly a

    breunchnersnateases

    Report on 12 November 2012  |  Love thisLove  1 love
  • marram
    Love rating 49
    marram said

    @electricblue, I understand your point, the supermarkets do appear to be a better bargain for potatoes. It all depends if you enjoy eating washed and chilled potatoes! I cannot stand the fact that most of the starch in supermarket potatoes has turned to sugar because of being chilled. OK if you want sweet potatoes. I buy my potatoes either in a farm shop in big sacks or from a local farmer in 2.5 Kilo bags which I then put into a paper sack to keep them fresh. Unwashed potatoes keep for ages and you never get the horrible sweet taste if you keep them cool but not chilled.

    I don't do Christmas but enjoy a lot of the food which is labelled 'Christmas' food. So I tend to buy it after Christmas at greatly reduced prices and enjoy it even more!

    Report on 19 November 2012  |  Love thisLove  0 loves

Post a comment

Sign in or register to post a reply.

Our top deals

Credit card
company
Balance transfers rate and period Representative
APR
Apply
now

Barclaycard 31Mth Platinum Visa

0% for 31 months (2.99% fee) Representative 18.9% APR (variable) Apply
Representative example: Assumed borrowing of £1,200 for 1 year, at a Purchase Rate of 18.9% (variable), representative 18.9% APR (variable). Credit available subject to status. A Balance Transfer fee of 3.5% will be applied, then reduced to 2.99% by a refund (terms and conditions apply). Plus an additional £20 fee refund on balance transfers over £2000.

Barclaycard 30Mth Platinum Visa

0% for 30 months (2.89% fee) Representative 18.9% APR (variable) Apply
Representative example: Assumed borrowing of £1,200 for 1 year, at a Purchase Rate of 18.9% (variable), representative 18.9% APR (variable). Credit available subject to status. A Balance Transfer fee of 3.5% will be applied, then reduced to 2.89% by a refund (terms and conditions apply). Plus an additional £20 fee refund on balance transfers over £2000.

MBNA 30Mth Platinum Credit Card Visa

0% for 30 months (2.89% fee) Representative 18.9% APR (variable) Apply
Representative example: Assumed borrowing of £1,200 for 1 year, at a Purchase Rate of 18.9% (variable), representative 18.9% APR (variable). Credit available subject to status.
W3C  Thank you for using The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse