A thrifty mother-of-two has revealed how you can feed a family-of-eight on Christmas Day for less than $50.
Chantelle Ellem, from New South Wales, shared her ultimate cooking guide after she managed to prepare a feast for eight adults for just $48.95.
Her festive menu includes two roast chickens with homemade stuffing, potato bake, cauliflower and broccoli bake, roasted pumpkin salad, bread rolls and lemon tarts.
Scroll down for the Christmas shopping list
A mother has revealed how you can feed a family-of-eight on Christmas Day for less than $50
Chantelle Ellem (pictured) has shared her ultimate Christmas cooking guide
‘It’s easy to go overboard at Christmas time, and that often ends in stress. It’s not necessary, you can have fun, entertain loved ones and not break the bank,’ she said.
The founder of Fat Mum Slim said her menu can feed up to eight adults, and you can prepare more food depending on how many guests you’re hosting.
‘I’ve broken down what each dish costs to create, so you can swap and change out what suits your event,’ she said.
‘If you’ve got more people, it’s easy to make it for more. Add another chicken, buy more potatoes, or simply add a favourite salad to the table – grilled zucchini, sprinkled with herbs and feta is always a winner.’
The mother – who purchased all her ingredients from Woolworths – said the trick to keeping costs down was to shop for homebrand products.
‘They’re better on the budget and the quality is always spot on,’ she said.
To keep costs down, Ms Ellem said roast chicken is the cheapest option for a Christmas lunch
The mother-of-two with her husband Shane and their two young daughters Lacey and Lulu
How to cook a budget Christmas feast
1. Plan ahead. Choose a menu
2. Shop online. I tend to only buy what I need when I shop online, which is super budget-friendly.
3. Always look for homebrand products. They’re better on the budget and the quality is always spot on.
ROAST CHICKEN – $14.35
Ms Ellem prepared two roast chickens with homemade stuffing for just $14.35.
‘Every feast needs a star of the show, and for our dinner we had roast chickens. Now, this is the key to budget, because if we’d opted for a roast lamb or beef, the spend would have been much higher,’ she said.
For one chicken, she made her own stuffing with a day-old bread and Woolworths stuffing mix, sauteed brown onion, a dash of water to moisten, while the other chook was stuffed with a lemon.
‘The key to a really delicious chicken is butter. Run a single finger between the skin and the chicken breast, and then pop butter underneath,’ she said.
Pop the chicken into a preheated oven at 190ºC for 30 minutes per 500g.
‘So if your chicken weighs 1kg, you’d cook it for an hour,’ she said.
POTATO BAKE – $5.20
She said cooking potato bake is easy and very cheap, and you can prepare the night before
When you’re ready to bake, just sprinkle a handful of cheese and pop into an oven at 180ºC for 40 minutes until golden and delicious
Shopping list to feed eight adults
- Inghams Whole Chickens: $3.90/kg – $11.86 for 8 serves
- Lemon for stuffing: $6.80/kg – $1.16 for 8 serves
- Woolworths Stuffing Mix: $1.35 for 200g – $0.33 for 8 serves
- Salted butter: $5.00 for 500g – $1.00 for 8 serves
- Brushed potatoes: $1.48/kg – $1.75
- Woolworths Thickened Cream: $2.90 per 600ml – $1.45 for 8 serves
- Woolworths Tasty Grated Cheese: $5.40 per 500g – $1.00 for 8 serves
- Cauliflower: $6.90
- Broccoli: $2.37
- Woolworths salted butter: $5.00 for 500g – $1.25 for 8 serves
- Woolworths Full Cream Milk: $2.39 for 2L
- Woolworths plain flour: $1.00/1kg – $0.15 for 8 serves
- Woolworths Crinkle Cut Chips: $1.60 for 175g – $0.70 for 8 serves
- Woolworths Cous Cous: $1.77 for 500g – $0.44 for 8 serves
- Woolworths salted butter: $5.00 for 500g – $0.50 for 8 serves
- Woolworths Olive Oil: $4.00 for 500ml – $0.40 for 8 serves
- Butternut Pumpkin: $4.90/kg – $3.43 for 8 serves
- Red onion: $3.50 for 1kg – $0.58 for 8 serves
- Maple Syrup: $5.00 per 100ml – $0.50 for 8 serves
- Baby spinach: $2.00 per bag: $1.00 for 8 serves
- Bake at home bread rolls: $3.50 for 12 rolls
- Woolworths Lemon Tart: $6
For sides, Ms Ellem made a delicious potato bake.
Simply peel, halve, and slice one kilogram of brushed potatoes and place into a baking dish.
‘Drizzle half a container of thickened cream over the top, season with salt and pepper and then pop into the microwave for 10 minutes to soften the potatoes.
‘You can do this the day before and then pop into the fridge,’ she said.
When you’re ready to bake, just sprinkle a handful of cheese and pop into an oven at 180ºC for 40 minutes until golden and delicious.
CAULIFLOWER AND BROCCOLI BAKE – $13.05
‘Trust me, it’s a game changer’: The secret to the perfect cauliflower and broccoli bake is crushing up a handful of plain chips and sprinkling on top. Cook for around 40 minutes until lovely and golden
To prepare a cauliflower and broccoli bake, you can boil or steam the vegetables until tender or broccoli turns bright green – but she warns, don’t cook beyond them.
Next drain and place into a large baking dish.
To make the cheese sauce, place 125g of butter into a saucepan and allow to melt over medium heat. Add in 1/4 cup of plain flour, and stir until it forms a paste.
Let it cook out for one to two minutes. Slowly pour in milk – you’ll end up using around 500ml and whisk to mix everything, cook over low heat until it thickens.
Add in a handful of cheese, and remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper and then pour over the vegetables.
‘Sprinkle with a little more cheese, and I also like to crush up a handful of plain chips and sprinkle over the top. Trust me, it’s a game changer. Cook for around 40 minutes until lovely and golden,’ she said.
MAPLE ROASTED PUMPKIN AND COUSCOUS SALAD – $6.85
To make a maple roasted pumpkin salad, peel and dice the pumpkin into cubes and then place onto a roasting tray, along with slices of red onion. Drizzle with a little oil and maple syrup and cook at 180ºC until pumpkin is soft
To make a maple roasted pumpkin salad, peel and dice the pumpkin into cubes – around 1.5cm, and then place onto a roasting tray, along with slices of red onion.
Drizzle with a little oil and maple syrup and cook at 180ºC until pumpkin is soft.
Once cooked, add in 50g of butter and allow to melt throw.
Next, use a fork to break up the couscous and place into a serving dish, along with half a packet of spinach. Top with the pumpkin and red onion. Drizzle with a little more olive oil.
BREAD ROLLS – $3.50
For $3.50, she purchased a 12-pack of bread rolls, which she baked on the day of serving
To finish off the delicious feast, she suggested getting a $6 Woolworths lemon tart
For just $3.50, she purchased a 12-pack of bread rolls, which she baked on the day of serving.
‘Everyone loves bread, so these are the perfect ones to buy and bake on the day of your Christmas celebration. Sprinkle with water and pop into the oven. Serve with cubes of butter,’ she said.
LEMON TART – $6
To finish off the delicious feast, she suggested getting a Woolworths lemon tart for dessert.
‘This is my favourite thing at the moment. This only costs $6 and it tastes so good, and is the perfect way to end a filling, indulgent party,’ she said.
‘Serve with cream and raspberries, or just on it’s own. Totally up to you. Just take it out of the freezer and rest it before your guests arrive, so it can slowly defrost.’