Eight top tips to keep your festive celebrations cheap and cheerful | The Vegan Society

Eight top tips to keep your festive celebrations cheap and cheerful

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» Eight top tips to keep your festive celebrations cheap and cheerful

The festive season has finally arrived!

Since it is one of the most expensive times of the year, here are some of our favourite tips and tricks to help you save money on your food shop over the festive period.  

Make simple swaps  

Your festive food shop can be expensive, but making a couple of simple swaps can be key to saving money. Try swapping fresh fruit and vegetables for frozen ones from your supermarket – it's more cost-effective and means you can prevent food going to waste. 

If you plan on serving party nibbles throughout the festivities, avoid the temptation of buying overpriced ready-made snacks and opt for home-cooked goodies. One of our favourite alternatives is coating chickpeas in a little oil, brown sugar and cinnamon and baking them in the oven for around 20 minutes for a healthy snack. Check out the full recipe from our Live Vegan for Less campaign.  

Instead of buying ready-made pizzas, try making your own using pitta breads. Simply coat your pitta with the sauce and toppings of your choice and then bake in the oven for 5–7 minutes – any leftovers can be stored in the freezer and used for another day. Or why not try our party pizza recipe with homemade pesto?  

Instead of ready-made roast potatoes, prepare your own at home for a low cost. Our special roast potatoes recipe is a fantastic staple for any vegan festive dinner, and you only need four ingredients! 

Save your festive dinner leftovers 

Let’s face it – most of us are prone to going overboard and making too much rather than too little for the festivities. On average, a traditional festive dinner with a Christmas pudding and custard dessert, picked up from one of the UK’s leading supermarkets, could set you back around £35.471.

So why not get the most out of your money and make sandwiches for lunch? Our festive nut patties recipe work great as a sarnie filling. You could also use your leftover veggies and potatoes to make a warming pot of soup – just add them to a saucepan with veg stock and seasoning and that's your Boxing Day lunch sorted. 

Another way to use up your leftovers is by crushing them together onto a tray, baking them in the oven (or air fryer), and serving with either couscous, rice or salad – a healthy meal after all the holiday treats. To avoid waste, you could also try freezing leftovers so that surplus food can be enjoyed any time of the year. 

Potluck dinners 

One of the best ways to cut back on dinner costs over the festive period is by asking guests to bring a plate of food each. This helps take the pressure off by not only spreading out the finances, but the labour (we all know how stressful the kitchen can get!), allowing you to spend more quality time with your friends and family. Additionally, this can help plan how much food to prepare to avoid waste. 

Bag the bargains 

This is the perfect time to be squeezing the most out of offers including money-off schemes, loyalty points, deals and coupons. Some companies also offer additional discounts when you sign up to their newsletters, or may have loyalty reward cards. If you are already signed up to these then don’t forget to check if you have any points which you could use to spend towards your festive shop. 

If you are a Vegan Society member, make sure to use all the money-saving discounts available to you in the members' area. There are over 100 discounts including food, clothing, cosmetics, books and more. If you’d like to sign up to take advantage of these discounts head to vegansociety.com/join. 

We would also recommend checking out the reduced aisle at your supermarket, to see if there are any items that can be frozen and kept for the days you are celebrating. It’s well worth making a list of your favourite stores and brands to see what they can offer during this expensive time. 

Buy own brand products and compare supermarkets 

Many people tend to skim over own brand produce, but it’s much cheaper to buy supermarkets’ own brand which, most of the time, still guarantee great tasting food! For example, our cost comparison research highlights that staple sources of protein such as red lentils, peanut butter and baked beans can cost as little as 11–12p per portion. This is a fantastic way to try save money throughout the holidays and still have great tasting food with a reduced shopping bill. For some inspiration, check out this video from our Live Vegan for Less campaign to find out how to make the most out of these staple proteins. 

It may be useful to try switching supermarkets, as most vary quite differently in cost in regard to own branded products. One of the best ways to save money this holiday season is to compare and look for the cheaper supermarket depending on your budget. We suggest checking out the different supermarket magazines to get a feel for the best discounts available for your big festive shop. Some may offer a cheaper variety of own branded vegan products throughout December, or they may even have offers on festive food boxes with a variety of staple ingredients. You could also try shopping at health food stores which may have better value vegan products than larger stores. 

Plan ahead  

Planning ahead for the festive period can allow you to monitor the cost of food much more easily. It will also allow you time to work out how much you need to purchase, so that you buy only what you need. If you do a weekly shop at a supermarket, try to spread the cost by purchasing each week between now and the holidays. We would recommend writing a list of everything you need now, as this will help you begin meal planning by spotting if everything will fit into your budget. 

When it finally comes to your shop, browse the bottom shelves first where more affordable and cheaper produce is often kept, making them easy to miss. Additionally, make sure you avoid those tempting impulse buys at the tills.  

Sign up to food waste apps  

Food waste apps are a great resource for saving money. For example, the ‘Too Good to Go’ app allows you to browse for local food and businesses and reserve a bag of their unsold, surplus food for FREE that otherwise would have gone to waste – helping you save some extra cash throughout the festive celebrations! This is a great option to support local businesses and you can also filter by dietary requirements. You may also wish to search for different money saving coupon apps. 

Cook from scratch 

Convenient meals may save time, but the costs add up. Therefore, we recommend cooking from scratch when possible. For example, instead of buying a jar of cranberry sauce, make your own! ASDA's cranberries go for 90p per 100g – all you need to do is to mix them with some sugar, water and orange zest and you have delicious homemade festive sauce. We would recommend our cranberry-orange sauce recipe, the perfect accompaniment to a vegan nut roast for all your friends and family to enjoy. 

This is also the perfect opportunity to get loved ones involved with preparing meals together to get into the holiday spirit and have fun! 

Check out our budget-friendly recipes as part of the Live Vegan for Less series and download our three-course festive dinner menu for free – costing approximately £22.18 for a group of six! Follow the Live Vegan for Less campaign on social media using the hashtag ‘#LiveVeganForLess’.  

From everyone at The Vegan Society, we wish you a warm, safe and happy festive season! 


  1. The Vegan Society carried out a cost comparison between the products used to create our recommended vegan festive menu versus a typical meat-based Christmas dinner. The comparison was based on Sainsbury’s prices and was correct as at 28/08/2022. The prices of the festive products (the mincemeat and the Christmas puddings) were from 2021.

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