I'm a mum & make Christmas dinner for £5 thanks to my ‘guts of steel’ method – but it’s only for very brave shoppers | The Sun

THIS Christmas Eve, you won't find me frantically wrapping presents or stuffing stockings.

Instead I'll be desperately trawling the supermarket shelves, hoping to find a cut-price turkey for the big day.

It might be a bit stressful leaving it to the last minute, but I'm determined to do Christmas on a budget this year, using a combo of loyalty points, yellow labels and social supermarket bargains to rustle up the ultimate £5 Christmas dinner for my family of five, without cutting any corners on quality. 

I call it my ‘guts of steel’ method as you need to hold tight to make sure you get what you want.

We'll wait and see whether we can get a reduced turkey in the week before Christmas.

I've got almost £15 on my membership card for the local Co-op on the corner of my road, thanks to all the yellow label bargains I've bought there this year.

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They've also sent me a voucher for £5 off any spend over £5 to be used by Christmas Eve.

My most unexpected saving at the store this year was a Harry Potter keyring for my eight-year-old, which was just 50p instead of £5.

It's the perfect stocking filler and all these little items will add up to big savings in the end.

Last year, I got three small turkey joints there for a couple of quid each just before the big day.

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They ended up in the freezer as we'd already got our main meal sorted. I'm hoping I'll find more of the same this year.

If not, it's going to be a mad dash around all the Co-ops near to me to see what they have on offer!

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I've also got pigs in blankets, stuffing and mince pies on my wish list.

At the moment, the store has frozen turkey crowns to feed four for £16 and pigs in blankets for £3, so waiting for the yellow label bargains closer to the day will hopefully help us make a big saving.

If we can get a bigger joint of meat for less, we'll use the leftovers to make more meals over the holidays.

But it's not all just waiting till the last minute to see what I can grab.

The real secret to my festive feast for a fiver is stocking up early at the social supermarket that runs three days a week in my town.

It's open to everyone and offers surplus stock, including chilled goods, store cupboard essentials and fresh fruit and veg, at low prices.

The money raised goes back into the centre where it's run, which offers free activities like yoga and bingo.

And it stops perfectly good produce, some of which is at the end of its shelf life, from going to landfill.

We'll even have free cranberry sauce with our Chrimbo meal as there were lots of little pots of it at the till this week, with a sign asking people to help themselves.

I often spend about £20 and come away with enough groceries to feed us all for half the week.

You can fill a big basket of veggies like potatoes, carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers and onions at the social supermarket for just £1, so I'll use that to make the non-meat option and for all the trimmings for our Christmas dinner.

I've been a vegetarian for 25 years and my mum and I have always made the same puff pastry pies for my main course at Christmas.

I've already stocked up on the pastry when it was two packs for £1, so that's in the freezer ready for its veggie filling.

The social supermarket had a glut of cheese and cooked meats at the end of November, with every pack being sold for 50p. It all had use-by dates in the New Year, so I've bought enough to have a cheeseboard, including double Gloucester, smoked cheddar, feta and salami.

There was also a pack of oatcakes for just 50p for us to nibble with our cheeses.

For pudding, we'll have Dutch pancakes, which were three packs for £1, frozen banana 'ice cream' and luxury chocolate sauce, reduced to just 20p a bottle at the Co-op.

If we use one pack of pancakes and bananas that I froze when they were part of a basket from the social supermarket, dessert will cost us just 53p for all five of us.

With all the savings I'm making on food, it will probably cost more to cook our festive meal than it will to buy it!

But I hope that everyone can find the food they like for a price they can afford.

Even this close to the big day, it's worth scouting out any food rescues, social supermarkets, company shops or community fridges in your area to see what's on offer.

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And make sure you check if you have any supermarket points or vouchers that you could use to keep your costs down.

Remember that it's just one day and you can have a lovely time without it costing the earth, especially if you repurpose food that might have ended up in the bin otherwise.

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