'I only spend $80 for my family's Christmas lunch. Here are my 3 tips.'

They say that "as the bells grow louder, the bank accounts grow smaller". 

You might not know the saying, because I just made it up. But it's true. Christmas time is expensive.

According to the Financial Planning Association of Australia, we're all generous gift-givers when it comes to our holiday spending.

On average, we spend $437 on our partner, $361 on our own child, $201 per parent and $115 for our furry friends. 

On top of gift giving, there are also the finances of the festivities. Like, Christmas lunch, and that all-important Christmas ham. 

Watch: Things Australians never say at Christmas. Post continues below. 

Video via Mamamia.

One mum has shared how she manages to keep her family's Christmas lunch expenses under $80 "with all the trimmings".  

Jody Allen, from Stay At Home Mum, told Mamamia's daily new podcast 'The Quicky' how she does it. Here are her top three tips for Christmas lunch on a budget.

1. "I never buy a ham."

Well, that's simple enough.

"I think big hams are a waste of money," Allen explains. "They're delicious, but by the time you get to Boxing Day or the day after you're so sick of ham, and it just sits there going bad in the fridge.


"What I like to do is I go to the deli just before Christmas and I buy the slices off the bone. I'll get just enough for the actual meal.

"And even though the cost per gram is a lot more, there's no wastage and you're not shelling out $120 for this whole ham. Just not having those leftovers is a really, really great way to save money."

2. "I buy the turkey from the freezer section."

Allen explains that she buys turkey loaf from the freezer section of the supermarket, also as a way to prevent leftovers. 

Listen to The Quicky, Mamamia's daily news podcast. Post continues below. 

3. "My Christmas dessert recipe."

Allen basically has her own recipe for this, and she says it costs her less than $1 per serve. 

"I get one of those generic branded fruitcakes and cut it all up in to little one centimetre squares and then I get some really good quality vanilla ice cream and I mix it all together with a little bit of chocolate. And then I put it in a jelly tin. 

"Then on Christmas Day, just before we have dessert, I pop it out and drizzle chocolate on top. 

"And there's Christmas dessert... It's really yummy." (And genius.)

4. "Gift-giving on a budget." 

Of course, Allen's budgeting skills extend to her gift-giving as well. 

Her first tip for gift-giving on a budget, she says, is that she does most of her shopping on the Black Friday sales, which unfortunately has now passed. 

"I also purchase gifts all the way through the year so that I don't have that big bill just before going into Christmas," Allen, who has two boys, explains. 


"For Christmas, they always get a book each, they get socks and jocks each, and then they get one biggish present. So this year I got them a watch each - they need it for their mountain bike riding. I got them for 50 per cent off.

"We try to keep it minimal. They don't need 30 presents."

Feature image: Getty. 

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