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The Christmas Student Special

Published Monday, 16 December, 2013 by Beth Bradshaw

Christmas – it’s the most wonderful time of the year. It also means the end of a long, tiring but exciting term (especially for you fresher’s) at University. So seeing as most of us won’t be spending much of Christmas with our new found friends at Uni, why not make a day of it before everyone heads for the old homestead...

Get 5 or more of you involved and club together for the occasion! But even as students, the cost of a good Christmas meal doesn’t have to be astronomical – especially as our loans are wearing thin in these last few weeks of term. Getting into the Christmas spirit and traditions is a great way to come together and celebrate the end of term!

Decorations

Decorating your flat can really help everyone get into the festive spirit, plus coming back to cosy, glittery living room after long day at Uni is really comforting. 6ft Plastic Christmas trees are on sale at b&m for only £9.99, and you can decorate them how you like. Poundshops have piles of baubles and tinsel for next to nothing, but Lidl have a beautiful 56 –piece box set of traditional straw farisle-style decorations for only £2.49. Investing in decorations and the tree this year will only save you money in the next few Christmases to come! Don’t forget the crackers, you can pick them up for £1.00 in Pound world (funnily enough!).

Secret Santa

This is a great way to add to the festivities! We decided to set the budget at max £5.00, so just little fun presents that won’t break your budget so of course you can head for the budget shops –But I like to get a special Xmas decoration for the tree, so I went to John Lewis and picked up a cute little deco for only £4.00! That way they can put them up every year, a gift that keeps on giving! Wrap them all in the same wrapping present and place them under the Christmas tree – it will be just like Xmas day at home.

Christmas Drinks

A few bottles of wine for the table is a great idea, but wine isn’t everyone’s tipple! Lidl have Crabbies Alcoholic Ginger Beer on offer for only £1.40 a bottle and Rekordelig winter cider are on offer for 3 for £5! But for something even more festive, why not try a warm glass of mulled wine with 2 bottles for £6.00 at Sainsbury’s – it really is so delicious and tastes of Christmas! One of my flatmates introduced me to Baileys & Milk – sounds strange I know, but is so delicious. What’s more, the ALDI equivalent to Baileys is only £6.49 per bottle so treat yourselves! It’s Christmas!

The main event

Christmas Dinner can be expensive, however, I’ve managed to get the cost to under £10.00 each for a full roast, drinks and puddings for you and 4 other flatmates! Rather than sticking to the same old turkey dinner, me and my flatmates have brought a 4 Bird Roast from ALDI with a cranberry stuffing for only £9.99! This centrepiece includes chicken, turkey, duck and goose, a real treat and something a bit different with some great online reviews, not to mention great value for money!

So here is the shopping list based on feeding 5 people for your Student Christmas Dinner. I looked around for the best value, and ALDI seemed to come out on top with the cheapest price. However, you can always shop around in Lidl, Asda or Tesco but it may be more than £10 each – also bear in mind all these products will be available at selected stores, so shop around if you can’t find everything!

4 Bird Roast £9.99
10 Pigs in blanket £2.49
Braised Red Cabbage £2.99
Parsnip Roasting Wedges £1.99
Brussels Sprouts £0.70
Roast Potatoes (frozen) £1.29
Everyday Essential Yorkshire Puddings £0. 49
Fresh Poultry Gravy £1.49
£21.23 / 5 = £4.20 ea

Now not everyone likes Christmas pudding, so if you prefer a savoury dessert you can always have a cheese board instead. ALDI offer a cheese selection box for £4.99 and you can buy a selection box of crackers for only £1.99, in total only £1.40 each. ALDI also have on offer a range of desserts such as Sticky Toffee Pudding, Chocolate Fudge Cakes or Cheesecakes for under £3.00 each.

Christmas Pudding £6.99
Brandy Cream £1.49
£8.48 / 5 = £1.70 ea
Bucks fizz x 2 £1.99 ea
Sauvignon Blanc (Bordeaux) £4.99 ea
£13.96 / 5 = £2.80 ea

Total: £21.23 + £8.48 + £13.96 = £8.73 each!

Now all there is to decide is who’s going to do the cooking... As a food student, naturally I’m obliged to the job! However, if you and your flatmates aren’t too confident in the kitchen then divide the jobs up between you all and stick to the instructions – that way, you can’t go wrong!

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