With Christmas day just weeks away and all major grocery retailers' Christmas adverts dominating our TV screens, our thoughts are understandably turning towards Christmas dinner preparations. Making sure we stock up on the right amount of meals, snacks, puddings and drinks to see us through the holiday season is the highest priority.
You may want to consider one of our 0% interest credit cards to help you save money on the purchases you make this Christmas.
That being said, the festive period can be one of the most expensive times of the year, so whether you want to clamp down on your spending or can afford to splash the cash, our personal finance experts reveal the best supermarkets for both value and luxury options.
Aldi, Tesco, Asda, Waitrose, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, or M&S Food?
The report analyses seven of the UK’s leading supermarkets against each other to reveal which one offers the cheapest basket of festive staples.
|Christmas Dinner Shopping List||Aldi||Asda||Sainsbury's||Morrisons||Tesco||Waitrose||M&S|
|Turkey (feeds 4-8)||£11.21||£15.50||£13.00||£14.00||£24.00||£35.00||£22.00|
|Potatoes (1kg - 2.5kg)||£0.91||£0.68||£1.20||£1.25||£0.91||£1.30||£0.90|
|Sprouts (300g - 500g)||£0.79||£0.85||£1.30||£0.99||£0.95||£0.70||£0.70|
|Pigs in Blankets (10 - 12)||£1.79||£2.00||£3.00||£2.20||£2.50||£4.25||£3.50|
|Gravy granules (200g - 500g)||£0.79||£0.70||£0.75||£0.69||£0.70||£0.80||£2.00|
|Smoked Salmon (120 - 150g)||£2.19||£3.49||£2.00||£4.49||£3.50||£6.99||£20.00|
|Prawns (150 - 200g)||£1.65||£2.80||£2.75||£3.00||£2.75||£3.50||£2.75|
|Christmas Pudding (400 - 500g)||£1.79||£2.00||£3.00||£3.50||£2.00||£3.00||£10.00|
|Mince Pies (6 pack)||£0.79||£0.87||£1.00||£0.99||£0.87||£1.00||£1.90|
|Bottle of Prosecco (75cl)||£4.99||£5.99||£7.00||£5.50||£5.99||£6.99||£20.00|
|Mulled wine (75cl)||£2.69||£5.00||£3.00||£2.99||£3.00||£5.49||£8.00|
|Bottle of baileys/irish cream liqueur (70cl - 1 litre)||£3.75||£4.50||£9.50||£9.00||£3.85||£15.00||£12.00|
|Cranberry Sauce (200 - 300g)||£0.45||£0.59||£0.75||£0.70||£0.50||£0.55||£3.00|
|Carrots (500g - 1.5kg)||£0.40||£0.43||£0.30||£0.35||£0.40||£0.80||£0.40|
|Parsnips (500g - 1.5kg)||£0.39||£0.50||£0.42||£0.55||£0.42||£0.70||£0.70|
|Trifle (500g - 600g)||£1.49||£2.00||£2.50||£2.50||£2.50||£2.50||£1.75|
|Yorkshire Pudding (200g - 350g)||£0.50||£0.62||£0.50||£0.85||£1.10||£1.05||£1.25|
Looking at pricing data from November 2021, Aldi - unsurprisingly - emerged as the cheapest overall for purchasing brand value Christmas dinner items this festive season.
A basket of own-brand value groceries, containing a traditional Christmas offering of Turkey, pigs in blankets, sprouts, potatoes, mince pies and a Christmas Pudding, will cost Aldi customers a total of £39.85.
British supermarket chain Asda follows closely behind, with a £12.82 value basket difference between the two stores, and a total cost of £52.67.
Sainsbury’s (£56.32) and Morrisons (£58.50) were neck and neck in third and fourth place with a value basket total difference of £1.18. Tesco (£59.84) took fifth place, with the higher end supermarkets Waitrose (£97.52) and M&S Food (£120.60) taking sixth and seventh positions as the most costly supermarkets for Christmas dinner shopping.
The report also highlights the price difference between ‘value’ and ‘finest’ food options across each supermarket to reveal where the best deals can be found to suit everyone's budget.
The team studied own-brand items – such as turkey, pigs in blankets, mulled wine, mince pies, stuffing, gravy, and vegetables, alongside their ‘luxury’ or ‘finest’ options of the same items.
Filling a festive basket with supermarket own brand value items could save consumers up to £92.50, compared with purchasing items from the finest ranges.
Comparing the prices between each supermarket, our experts can reveal that purchasing only luxury Christmas items from supermarkets will set customers back approximately £161.49, whereas solely buying value items will cost £69.33 - a potential saving of £92.16.
|Luxury Supermarket Basket||Luxury Price|
|Budget Supermarket Basket||Value Price|
Overall, discount supermarket chain Aldi was revealed as the supermarket offering the best deals across ‘finest’ and ‘value’ Christmas food and drink products, with the value basket costing £39.85 and the total luxury basket costing £92.69 - for a party size of up to eight guests.
|Christmas Dinner Shopping List||Aldi||Asda||Morrisons||Tesco||Sainsbury's||Waitrose||M&S|
|Turkey (feeds 4-8)||£29.75||£22.00||£23.00||£30.00||£27.00||£72||£55.00|
|Potatoes (1kg - 2.5kg)||£1.15||£1.89||£2.00||£1.85||£1.75||£2.25||£2.50|
|Sprouts (300g - 500g)||£1.69||£1.00||£1.75||£1.75||£2.00||£2.00||£2.00|
|Pigs in Blankets (10 - 12)||£2.49||£2.99||£3.00||£2.60||£3.50||£8.50||£5.00|
|Gravy granules (200g - 500g)||£1.79||£1.49||£2.00||£1.45||£3.70||£3.70||£4.00|
|Smoked Salmon (120 - 150g)||£4.99||£4.00||£6.00||£6.00||£7.70||£12.00||£40.00|
|Prawns (150 - 200g)||£4.99||£3.00||£3.75||£3.75||£3.75||£6.00||£20.00|
|Christmas Pudding (400 - 500g)||£4.99||£4.50||£5.00||£5.00||£7.00||£11.20||£12.00|
|Mince Pies (6 pack)||£1.49||£2.00||£1.75||£2.00||£2.00||£2.40||£10.00|
|Bottle of Prosecco (75cl)||£13.99||£8.50||£11.00||£12.00||£12.00||£21.49||£50.00|
|Mulled wine (75cl)||£2.69||£5.00||£4.99||£5.50||£5.00||£5.49||£40.00|
|Bottle of baileys/irish cream liqueur (70cl - 1 litre)||£7.25||£12.00||£12.00||£20.00||£20||£18.00||£20.00|
|Cranberry Sauce (200 - 300g)||£1.49||£1.50||£1.75||£1.50||£1.50||£2.95||£3.50|
|Carrots (500g - 1.5kg)||£0.99||£0.55||£1.00||£1.00||£1.20||£1.65||£1.50|
|Parsnips (500g - 1.5kg)||£2.49||£1.35||£2.00||£1.50||£1.70||£1.80||£4.00|
|Trifle (500g - 600g)||£3.69||£3.00||£7.00||£8.00||£2.50||£15.00||£7.00|
|Yorkshire Pudding (200g - 350g)||£1.49||£2.75||£1.80||£2.60||£1.20||£6.00||£2.00|
If you want to splash the cash this December and treat your seasonal guests to a luxury Christmas feast, you can always opt for the finest range of food products at each supermarket.
Those planning a more luxurious Christmas extravaganza this year, but still want to stick within a certain financial budget, should head to Aldi (£92.69) or Asda (£93.70) for their festive shopping basket.
A luxury Christmas basket at Aldi can save shoppers £271.31 when compared to buying the luxury equivalents at M&S food.
Looking at the cost of luxury Christmas dinner essentials, M&S Food was crowned as the most expensive overall, at a staggering £364.
Waitrose (£219.58) takes second place, with Morrisons (£106.39) coming in third position for luxury Christmas basket costs. Tesco (£125.10), and Sainsbury’s (£129.00) follow closely behind.
With Asda and Aldi taking sixth and seventh place, respectively as the cheapest supermarkets for luxury branded food shops - with Aldi costing just £1.01 cheaper than Asda.
The festive season brings with it many celebrations, quality time with loved ones, and of course - some delicious food and drink. Christmas day dinner is the star of the show for many, but it can also end up being one of the most expensive elements of the season. Factoring in the price of meat, numerous side dishes and plenty of drinks, snacks and desserts can definitely take a toll on an already stretched December budget.
You’ve already spent money on Christmas presents and other holiday expenses, so keeping the cost of your meal down can be important for a stress-free Christmas.
1. Create a food budget for Christmas dinner
When shopping for presents and gifts, many will set a budget for how much they plan to spend, but it is just as important to create a budget for your Christmas food.
Determine how much you can afford to spend on the Christmas feast and factor in how many people you will be catering for, also take into consideration any leftovers for those boxing day sandwiches or bubble and squeak. Then stick to this budget as you design your Christmas menu and plan your supermarket trip.
2. Look for cheaper alternatives
Many go all out at Christmas, buying the best of everything to treat friends and family. The packaging might look more fancy and festive, but look at the ingredients list to see if you can tell the difference between a more expensive finest item and its supermarket own-brand counterpart. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, try swapping some standard family favourites – go from branded to supermarket own-brand and see if they notice. If they can’t spot the difference, stick with the cheaper product and save yourself some pennies.
Tip: Once you have determined your budget, it’s worth considering taking this approximate sum of money out of the cashpoint before shopping, so that you can’t be tempted to overspend on your debit or credit cards once the urge to impulse buy some of the supermarket's seasonal deals hits you.
3. Skip the high-end meat and additional joints
During the festive season it is very easy to splash the cash on high-end, quality meats and additional joints to go alongside the traditional turkey option. However, depending on the number of guests you are cooking for, a smaller turkey crown, or more affordable gammon steaks could make a more budget friendly option that won’t see a lot of waste.
4. Ask guests to bring food with them
This tip not only helps you to save on your Christmas food shop budget, but it will also reduce the stress of hosting Christmas Day. Ask family members coming to dinner to bring one of the side dishes or entrees with them. You can have one person bring cranberry sauce and someone else prep the vegetable side dishes. By having your guests help out with the celebrations, they’ll feel more like they’re involved in the meal, and you won’t spend all of your time (or money) in the kitchen come Christmas Day.
5. Cook for the number of guests attending
Make sure you know exactly how many guests will be attending your Christmas dinner, and try to avoid handing out ‘open invitations’ to those who can only promise they will try to make it. There’s a difference in the amount of food you’ll need for four people versus six or eight. By cooking too much food, you’ll not only waste time, it will also be a waste of money in leftovers that might not get eaten.
6. Check your cupboards before you shop
It’s easy to make a grocery list of each ingredient you think you need for your Christmas dinner. However, you might find that you already have many of the ingredients in your cupboard. Check your pantry, cupboards, fridge and freezers to make a note of what you don’t need to purchase, and be sure to check with visitors planning to attend the lunch whether they have any of the required items lying around in their own kitchens.
7. Put leftovers to good use
Use up all of your leftovers to make additional dinners and/or lunches for the following week. You can use turkey to make turkey sandwiches, or even a curry, and cooked potatoes can be used to create a festive soup, bubble and squeak, or even a spanish omelette for your boxing day breakfast.
Supermarket coupons are a really great way to slash the cost of your shop. Websites such as, SuperSavvyMe and CaringEveryday offer money-off printable coupons direct from the manufacturer, which could help reduce the cost of your Christmas food bill. You’ll also find coupons in free supermarket magazines, on promotional packets and online.
9. Compare prices
If you are on a strict budget this Christmas, you may have to go to more than one supermarket to get the best deals. Online tools like MySupermarket or Trolley.co.uk enable shoppers to compare product prices before leaving the house, so you know you’re getting the best deal at the best price.
10. Look out for special offers and ‘yellow stickers’
Over the next few weeks, in the run-up to Christmas Day look out for special offers and discounted ‘yellow sticker’ items that you can pop in the freezer for the festive period. Many items, including cheese, meat, and cake can be frozen to use at a later date. Just ensure the food is within its ‘use by’ date before freezing, and try to only pick up items you will be able to use during Christmas.
Money.co.uk analysed 20 popular Christmas dinner items across seven supermarkets (Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's, Aldi, Morrisons, Waitrose and M&S Food), and calculated the total basket price of our shopping for November/December 2021. The Best Value Christmas Dinners report also analysed the price difference between value and finest food options in each supermarket to reveal where the best deals can be found.
The basket included own-brand items – such as whole turkey, stuffing, pigs in blankets, cranberry sauce, sprouts, mulled wine, and yule log, alongside finest options of the same items.
The cost of the Christmas dinners per supermarket has been based on feeding four to eight guests.
Full shopping list and measurements analysed:
Turkey - (feeds 4-8)
Potatoes - (1kg - 2.5kg)
Sprouts - (300g - 500g)
Stuffing - (packet/tub)
Pigs in Blankets - (10 - 12)
Gravy granules - (200g - 500g)
Smoked Salmon - (120 - 150g)
Prawns - (150 - 200g)
Christmas Pudding - (400 - 500g)
Mince Pies - (6 pack)
Bottle of Prosecco - (75cl)
Mulled wine - (75cl)
Bottle of Baileys/Irish Cream Liqueur - (70cl - 1 litre)
Cranberry Sauce - (200 - 300g)
Carrots - (500g - 1.5kg)
Parsnips - (500g - 1.5kg)
Trifle - (500g - 600g)
Yorkshire Pudding - (200g - 350g)
Frozen and non-frozen produce are included in the comparisons
Lidl was not included due to the full shopping list not being available to view online.
Salman is our personal finance editor with over 10 years’ experience as a journalist. He has previously written for Finder and regularly provides his expert view on financial and consumer spending issues for local and national press such as The Express, Travel Daily, and The Daily Star.
Salman is our personal finance editor with over 10 years’ experience as a journalist. He has previously written for Finder and regularly provides his expert view on financial and consumer spending issues for local and national press.