Christmas Dinner Under $40? Notsomuch.

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Walmart often challenges us Moms to do meals and projects within a specific budget. Most of the time, I’m able to complete the task either at or under budget. This time? Notsomuch.

Walmart challenged us to make a Christmas meal for $40 or less. This year, however, we’re going to have a bit of a crowd for Christmas dinner. My stepsons will be here from Florida, and now that my brother-in-law and his family live nearby, they’ll likely stop by for a plate as well. And did I mention that we plan to make a turkey? To feed at least nine people and last for the weekend (so we don’t have to cook for a few days)? Yeah. There’s that.

Finding a turkey was the easy part. We found a beautiful 20 lb., hormone-free Butterball bird that we’ll season and stuff to our heart’s content. The problem? The turkey alone cost $26.64 — so there goes our budget.

Some of the fixins to go with the turkey will come from items we already have in our kitchen, like elbow macaroni. However, I still had to buy cheese to go with it, along with a long list of other items:

  • White rice
  • Recaito & Sofrito (blended peppers and other seasonings, by Goya)
  • Capers
  • Another type of Goya seasoning
  • Rolls
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Beets
  • A few bottles of apple and grape cider
  • Pineapple, orange & guava juices, along with cream of coconut (to make my holiday punch)

I also have to make enough of all these things to feed a lot of people — which means 2 large bottles of punch, 2 pans of macaroni, a large pot of rice… You get the idea. I’m sorry to say that I went quite a bit over budget this time. By the time I was done, I had spent $60 just on stuff for Christmas dinner (though I did pick up some other grocery items during the same trip).

The verdict? If I’d had to feed only myself, my hubby and daughter — our typical small household — I have no doubt I would have come in under budget, since I would have been able to buy a much smaller turkey (or even a cornish hen) and spend less on the sides, drinks, cider, etc. But for 9 folks? Maybe with coupons — which I completely failed at clipping — but not at regular prices.

Sorry :(

Disclosure: I am a member of the Walmart Moms program. I was provided with compensation for my time and effort in sharing my under-$40 Christmas dinner efforts with you. Participation is voluntary and as usual, all opinions are my own.

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