Christmas Dinner on a Budget

In an attempt to honour the theme of Deal (special offers), Steal (under a tenner) and Unreal (under a quid), the food research turned a bit... sad.

Finding a turkey for under a pound produces results that can only be described as melancholic. Dinner options that were excluded from this article included a single turkey sausage, frozen Turkey Dinosaurs and a tin of turkey-flavour cat food. We hope none of you reading this have to dine on any of the aforementioned come Christmas Day.

Having said that, here at SMS we’re never one to turn down a bargain, so here it is: the SMS Deal, Steal & Unreal guide to Christmas dinner.

cheap xmas turkey

Ahh the turkey. . . There seems to be a trend this year for supermarkets to dub it 'The Main Event', which confuses us here at SMS because surely the 'main event' is Christmas, no? And that's why you've bought this turkey. Most confusing. Here we have the student-friendly turkey roundup.


The best thing about the below options is that you don't need an oven, a spare four hours, or any basting/carving/roasting skills - simply fry or bake and enjoy. Each pack can feed at least two people and probably up to four dieters. So if you're feeding an impatient crowd this 3 for £10 deal is perfect.

Sainsbury's turkey steaks

  • 428g pack
  • Available in-store and online for delivery by Wed 31 Dec
  • Delivery fee from £1, minimum spend £25


If you're happy to do a small amount of roasting then this one's an absolute bargain. It serves two AND there's no faffing required when it comes to carving as it has no bones or limbs unlike a whole bird.

Asda turkey breast joint

The small print:

  • Available in-store, for Click & Collect and online
  • Delivery costs vary per time slot
  • Minimum £25 spend for Click & Collect or delivery (sometimes less for central London - check individual stores)

Or. . .

Aldi small turkey

If you do want to go the whole hog. . .as it were. . .this is the best value whole turkey we've come across.

The small print:

  • Available in-store only
  • Serves 3-7
  • While stocks last


There is a way to have Christmas turkey for under a pound. It's this.

Iceland turkey

  • Available in-store but stock levels vary so it might be worth checking first before making a special trip
  • Available online for delivery depending on availability at local store
  • Currently reduced to 89p until further notice, was £1

turkey xmas dinner alternatives

Not everyone's a lover, whether it's due to a traumatic childhood experience or you just don't like the taste. Fear not - there are many alternatives to the 'main event' (which would make them what... support acts?). This year, for example, is all about the lobster.


Why bother with poultry when you can stick with good old cow?

Sainsbury's beef

  • Available in-store and online while stocks last
  • Delivery costs vary per time slot


If you’re not a cow fan, how about pig?

pork loin bargain

  • Available in-store only

OR. . .

If you can handle birds but one just isn’t enough, why not have five?

Aldi five bird roast

The small print:

  • Contains turkey, duck, goose, pheasant and chicken and a bonus bird - bacon! (Birds are layered with pork, clementine and cranberry stuffing and topped with bacon and a port and cranberry glaze)
  • Available in-store only


To the untrained eye these hot dogs may seem more festering than festive, but don’t let preconceptions fool you - they’re actually just your favourite Christmas meats together in hot dog form, boasting to be ‘made with mechanically recovered turkey and chicken, and pork’ - win!

Tesco hot dogs

  • Available in-store and online

xmas dessert on a budget

After the 'Main Event', the second most important component of a Christmas dinner is surely the pudding. Slotting in nicely between main course and drunken stupor and/or blazing family row, the pudding acts as a welcome interlude. It is however widely recognised that basically no one apart from Henry VIII actually likes Christmas pudding, so we've included a few alternatives to the traditional dried fruit and booze mound.


If there's one flavour combination that sums up 2014 it's salt and caramel, probably because it tastes really nice.

salted caramel sponge deal

The small print:

  • Offer valid in-store and online until further notice


If you or someone you know is intending to eat an actual Christmas pudding, then you can't get much better than this one. It has won the Which? award for being the best Christmas pudding for 2014, beating Fortnum & Masons to the top spot, and at just £3.99 it's a definite winner.

morrisons christmas pudding

The small print:

  • Available at £3.99 for delivery until Sun 28 Dec
  • Available in-store whilst stocks last


This is where things get sad again.

Sainbury's Christmas pudding

The small print:

  • Available in-store and online
  • Minimum online spend is £25, delivery costs vary per time slot
  • Side effects may include self-loathing and general malaise

merry christmas