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3 Inexpensive Christmas Dishes for the Holidays

November 29, 2018 | By Mason Roberts

The holiday season is approaching, and slowly but surely stealing all our hard-earned money. We all know that Christmas is pretty much the most expensive holiday of the year. We are required to buy so many things like a tree, decorations, and presents. Through all of this, we must also buy food to cook for our friends and families to throw a nice Christmas dinner. It's no surprise that grocery shopping for this dinner can have a really big price tag on top of all of the other holiday expenses. But, how are we supposed to afford it all?

Here are 3 inexpensive Christmas dishes for your holiday dinner.

The Main Course

The main course of the meal is one of the most important, but can also be the most expensive. Fortunately, you have a few options for this portion of the meal. You can choose to bake a holiday ham, for instance. A 16 lb. ham feeds about 18-20 people and can cost roughly $16.00. Although this doesn't seem cheap, it's very filling and very simple to cook. It also pairs nicely with a wide variety of side dishes, making it a very versatile choice.

You can also look into cooking a meatloaf instead. Meatloaf is a quick and easy meal that can be very cost-efficient. One pound of ground beef can serve up to 6 people, and typically costs approximately $3.50. Depending on your headcount, you can spend even less than you would on a holiday ham.

Side Dishes

A simple and cost-effective side dish is mashed potatoes. For this side, you need very minimal ingredients. Just get potatoes, butter, cream, and you're pretty much set! A pound of potatoes will cost you about $0.70. Four pounds of potatoes can typically serve 10 people, which brings the cost of potatoes to $2.80, making it pretty decently priced.

Another side dish option is green bean casserole. This dish is traditionally served on Thanksgiving, but it's a perfectly savory and delicious dish for any occasion. All you need are green beans, 2 or 3 cans of cream of mushroom soup, whole milk, and some French’s fried onions. For all of these ingredients together, you shouldn't have to spend more than $6.00. The plus side of this dish is that it will pair perfectly with both a holiday ham or a meatloaf.


We’ve saved the best for last: dessert! This will surprisingly be the cheapest of all the components of the meal. You can keep it simple and buy a pre-cooked pie or cake from your grocery store. This will only cost around 3 to 4 dollars. You can even add some ice cream to scoop onto your pie/cake to spice it up a bit and make this dessert more restaurant-quality. A tub of ice cream can typically cost $3.50. This isn't a must-have, but it can also be served on its own for the kids at the table, too! And hey, who doesn’t love a nice scoop of ice cream for dessert?

If you realize that you still do not have the money, even with these savings, to afford the plentiful Christmas dinner that you have planned, a cash advance may be an option to look into. A cash advance will put a few extra bucks into your wallet while preventing you from excessive debt. You can also use some of this money for your other essentials as well, so you can focus on the fun stuff like decorating and shopping.

Happy holidays and Happy savings!