real life

'How I do Christmas dinner and dessert for my family on a $50 budget.'

Thanks to our brand partner, Officeworks

What’s the greatest part of Christmas? The presents? Seeing your family?

Nope, it’s undeniably the gigantic feast awaiting you on the dinner table. Ahhhh, I can smell the potato salad already.

Thanks to our scorching Aussie summer, we’re not just confined to the standard roast for Christmas dinner. There’s cold meat, bountiful salads, and mouthwatering fresh seafood. All washed down with a sparkling glass of Prosecco. (Or seven…)

But chucking a few crays on the barbie can get a bit spenny, especially when you’re feeding an entire family.

That’s why we’ve enlisted budget ninja Jody Allen from The Stay at Home Mum to share her tips for throwing a cheap Christmas.

Listen: Jody shares how she keeps her Christmas dinner under $50, on the This Glorious Mess podcast. (Post continues…)

“People totally over-cater at Christmas time,” the thrifty mum tells Holly Wainwright and Andrew Daddo on this week’s episode of This Glorious Mess.

“I have a $50 limit for six people and I can still do a nice hot roast, onion tartlets and a pav… And I’m not skimping!”

“We have a pork loin roast, a decent size for about $25. We don’t do ham because I don’t see the point in spending 100 bucks on a ham that’s only going to go manky in the fridge. You get so sick of it! We just buy the fancy slices from the deli, it’s still the nice ham but we only buy 250-300 grams at a time. And once that’s finished, I’ll go get a bit more,” Jody says.

“Dessert is pav or I make a Christmas pudding ice cream cake, which is just a little bit of fruit cake mixed with vanilla ice cream and chucked into a mould. It’s always 4000 degrees on Christmas day, so it’s nice to have something cold.”

So once the menu is sorted, how else can we save?

Apparently, the trick to a thrifty Christmas is planning ahead. Like Boxing Day ahead.

“I start planning for the next Christmas straight after,” the mum of two boys says.

The founder of The Stay at Home Mum bought her Christmas wrapping paper for 50 cents in the post-Christmas sales, and she’s had her kids’ pressies on lay-by since February.


And her kids don’t get spoiled either.

“Only one main present!” she insists.

Another way to avoid the blowout is to limit your present buying beyond your immediate family.

In her extended family, she only buys for kids under 12, with a budget of $20. She also says don’t bother buying a bottle of wine for the kids’ teachers – just make them some rum balls.

“They can buy their own plonk!” she laughs.

Listen to the full episode of This Glorious Mess here:

To buy Jody’s book or subscribe to the podcast go to

This content was created with thanks to our brand partner Officeworks.

Calling all mums who want to treat themselves. Take our quick survey for your chance to score one of three $100 vouchers.


Smart parents save with Officeworks. And we make shopping for back to school even easier with our School List Service. Simply drop off your school list in store or online and we’ll pick and pack your items free of charge, then call or SMS you when it’s ready. All you need to do is come in store to collect and pay. Plus, with Parents Price Promise, we have all the school supplies you need at low prices.

00:00 / ???