The holiday season is in full swing and my schedule continues to fill up as we draw closer to the new year. For some people the holidays are a stressful time because of the social burdens and obligations and for others it’s the increased expenses that seem to pop up. I definitely fall into the camp that stresses about not having enough hours in the day during the holiday season, but trying to maintain a budget during the holidays can be daunting as well.
I’m a faithful budget maker and go through all of our expenses biweekly to ensure we’re staying on track. One budget category that I always have to keep careful watch over is groceries. It’s far too easy for me to go over in this category because of dietary choices I make for our family. I try to eat organic whenever possible and even when a product is not organic, I am willing to pay a premium for for products that I like.
I’ve never been one to balk at a challenge, so when Sam’s Club approached me with the concept of holiday entertaining on a budget I quickly accepted. To be honest when I received my $50 budget to create a holiday meal, I wasn’t all that confident I would succeed. The ham alone that I’m buying for Christmas exceeds that budget and that’s just for the main course. However with a little creative thinking and using ingredients that I commonly have on hand, I was able to stay within budget and create a delicious holiday meal for four.
Take a look at this holiday menu (with approximated costs) that I created with some help from the Sam’s Club Simply Delicious Meals site.
Beverage: 3-pack of Welch’s Sparkling Grape Juice. ($7)
Main Course: Slow Cooker Roast Beef with Vegetables ($16)
Side Dish: Waldorf Salad. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that this is made fresh in the store each day. ($10)
Dessert: Snickerdoodle Cookie Bites. After such a big meal, just a touch of sugar and spice is all you really need. The total time from prep to completion is less than 20 minutes with the help of a KitchenAid Stand Mixer. ($9)
Who says you have to go traditional for your holiday meal? If you’re having a smaller holiday gathering, this meal would be perfect Christmas Eve or Day. Not only would you be saving money, you’d also be saving time which are both at a premium during this time of year.