Valdosta Daily Times

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December 15, 2013

Merry Christmas ... Now feed me!

-- — We’re in the final countdown, budgeteers! In just 10 days, Christmas will be here and for those matriarchs (or cooking patriarchs) of the house, you know what that means ... Christmas dinner! Yes, while everyone is sleeping off their 5 a.m. present opening frenzy, you get stuck slaving away in the kitchen.

To add insult to injury, your feast is quite pricey, which is the last thing you need after buying useless presents that will be forgotten about and tossed in less than a year’s time. No worries though, I have all the tips you need to make your Christmas dinner cheaper and more “budgeteery” (which basically means awesome).


1. Ham or turkey? That is the question.

It’s pretty difficult to find a way to make the centerpiece of your dinner cheaper. Most people eat ham on Christmas, but lucky for you, I’m always looking out for you. Until Dec. 18, Publix is selling Publix premium semi-boneless ham halfs for just $1.69 per pound. Harvey’s has Lee’s or Carolina Pride smoked hams for just $1.29 per pound. If you’re looking to throw a salute to Thanksgiving, Harvey’s also has Jennie-O turkeys for just 99 cents per pound.

2. Don’t desert the desserts.

After the craziness of trying to prepare an entire dinner, a lot of cooks opt for store-bought desserts. This, of course, gets really pricey. However, even when you try to cook a fancy dessert on your own, all the ingredients can really add up. That’s why these sugar cookies are the best solution for those of you on a budget not willing to sacrifice good taste! For just under $4, you can buy an entire roll of Pillsbury sugar cookie dough. Roll it out and use Christmas cookie cutters. Bake them and leave them blank. When your guests come over, set them at a table and let them decorate their own cookies! The frosting is the best and easiest part: a little powdered sugar mixed with a drop of vanilla extract and some food coloring. Make separate bowls for separate colors. It solves your dessert and your entertainment problems.

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