Budget Friendly Noche Buena Feast

With Christmas only four days away, I am certain that most of us is already thinking on what food items to prepare for Noche Buena. We cannot wait to share this with family and friends.
Noche Buena or the Christmas Eve feast is considered one of the most valuable meals for the families and loved one. This is often a good opportunity to gather. We even invite our neighbors to celebrate with us too. Not to mention our relatives, friends and more. Oftentimes, this is where the bulk of our money goes. We tend to spend more in order to provide the perfect Christmas experience. Most of the time, we stretch our wallets to its limit. 

There is absolutely nothing wrong on spending for the family. However, if it already compromised our finances, you better think twice. The point here is, there’s no need to spend tons in order to impress your family and friends. There are budget-friendly tips you can do to provide one hell of a feast.

Do it Yourself. This has got to be the most cost effective and cheapest approach in order to make your Noche Buena dishes. Although this requires more effort on your end, cooking for your family and friends is better than having foods catered. Not to mention, the cost of catering or even buying food items outside. We have been doing this for years already and I can personally say we save tons. Instead of ordering salads outside, we make it ourselves. It is also a good family bonding activity. You can designate a person to prepare one dish for Noche Buena. If you are a family of five, there will be five dishes before midnight. This is a sweeter and cheaper approach in creating a Christmas feast with love. 

Shop wisely. If you decided to prepare your own dishes, doing grocery can be a challenge. I suggest before even buying your ingredients to make a list and compare prices. Check out supermarkets and look at discount retailers. Identify the price difference of your ingredients and go where it is cheapest.  In your ingredients list, assess also items that you can substitute. For instance, if your dish requires Dutch cheese, perhaps change it to processed cheeses. If your cake requires unsalted butter, opt for the regular butter or even margarine. You may also shop in bulk if you think you would be using more of the ingredients in order for you to save tons.

Scrap. For Filipinos, we have mainstay dishes that must be present in our Christmas table. A good example is Lechon. Instead of buying an entire Lechon, you can buy scrap ones that normally retails per kilo. Your family will still have lechon without spending thousands for it. This holds true for hams as well as there are per gram ones in the market instead of a whole ham. If you are planning to get cakes, there are mini cake options from your favourite cake stores. You may also opt for mini desserts. You would be getting more at a cheaper cost compared to buying an entire cake.

With these tips, I am pretty certain you would be able to prepare a Noche Buena feast without the hefty amount. Plus, it is even more personal and practical. With that said, what would you be preparing for Noche Buena?