Brits trying to spend less on Christmas dinner


Although many may be stretching their budgets on Chistmas gifts this year, there's one festive spending category where many are trying to making cuts -- Christmas dinner.

Slimmed down meal budgets
Santander's December 2012 poll of 2,001 adults, conducted by Vision Critical Research, suggests that people intend to spend 13% less on Christmas dinner and drinks this year compared to 2011. While the average Brit forked out £89 on festive food and drink in 2011, Christmas 2012 will see an average outlay of just £77 per adult. Christmas-dinner

Cost-cutting strategies
Just 9% of people (approximately 4.5 million) intend to have their Christmas dinner at a pub or restaurant this year, while 81% are reducing their costs with a more cost-effective home-cooked meal. Among those eating at home, the vast majority said they would be eating a traditional roast dinner. But almost one in 10 (9%) admitted they would be dining on curry, pizza, Chinese food or leftovers in order to save money.

"It's easy to forget just how expensive it can be catering for friends and relatives over the Christmas period," said Alan Mathewson, chief executive of Santander Cards, in a statement. "People are reining in their spending on everything from presents to their main Christmas dinner and many are even doing their best to avoid hosting altogether."

A tiny 2% of respondents revealed they would be asking each of their guests to bring a different dish to reduce the burden on their own wallet, while 13% conceded they would be doing their best to avoid hosting their family's Christmas dinner at their own home in a bid to save money.

For just over half of those hosting a Christmas meal, the gathering will include only immediate family members, although a third will extend invitations to other relatives.

People who are keen to save money over the festive period should ensure they draw up a budget and stick to it. To minimise the damage, it might be worth using a cash-back credit card to purchase food, drink and gifts, as the reward this provides could help ease the spending hangover in the new year.

See related: Many over-50s plan to spend more this Christmas, Credit card companies roll out 2012 Christmas promos

Published: 14 December 2012