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Christmas Day is drawing ever closer, and you’re probably starting to plan what you’re going to cook for Christmas dinner. The big meal can feel like a military operation, with everything needing to go into the oven at exactly the right time.

And what’s more, there can be a lot of pressure to spend too much on Christmas dinner. If you leave everything to the last minute and panic buy, it’s likely you’ll end parting with a lot of money.

Don’t worry, we’ll show you how to save money on your Christmas dinner for 2016 – and give you a few tips on how to cut back.

What to buy and where to buy it

Asda already offers pre-ordering on its Christmas turkeys. You can then get these delivered to your home or pick up in store closer to the big day. By doing this, you’ll have the main part of the meal sorted well in advance.

You can also check out some of the Christmas food deals at Aldi or Lidl – they’ll release the prices for these closer to Christmas Day so you’ll have to wait if you want to do this. And don’t discount frozen turkey completely – Iceland offers a great value range.

When it comes to your veg, you’re best getting this just a couple of days before Christmas. Don’t feel like you need to buy the most expensive range of vegetables – the basic or value range is probably pretty similar. The supermarkets don’t vary much in price here but it’s worth keeping an eye out for Aldi’s Super 6 fruit and veg deals – these can often mean you save a lot.

For after the meal, it’s worth getting in a couple of boxes of Iceland’s Luxury Mince Pies. They consistently win awards and taste tests and at £1.50 for a box of six, they’re pretty good value too. And if you’re looking for something sparkly to top it all off, Aldi’s sparkling wine range has won a lot of awards too – just remember to drink responsibly.

Money-saving tips

Here’s a few simple ways you can cut costs for Christmas dinner.

•  Before you buy anything, plan it all out properly to make sure you don’t go over budget.

•  Make the right amount of food for the right amount of guests – you don’t need enough for 15 if there are only four guests!

•  Follow the general tips for understanding supermarket deals. Don’t just look at the price – check the price per weight or unit on the shelf.

•  Don’t be afraid to ask guests to bring some food with them. Cooking Christmas dinner is a big undertaking – most guests will be happy to bring a dessert or a side dish with them.

•  Make the most of money-off vouchers or coupons – it’s worth looking online for these before you shop.

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