Your ultimate Christmas dinner shopping list
Festive prep is in full swing, which means the dreaded Christmas food shop is just 'round the corner.
While the main meal is something most of us look forward to, the same can’t be said for the idea of fighting our way down the supermarket aisles to get our hands on the last tub of bread sauce.
It’s little wonder therefore that 60% of the nation gets in a panic about Christmas, with the food shop coming out as one of the biggest stresses, according to a previous survey by Sainsbury’s.
It also found that having enough food for the big day is one of the nation’s top five biggest Christmas worries, while nearly a quarter of us (23%) fret about not having enough time to get everything ready.
But in our rush to be well-prepped, we often understandably miss specific festive necessities off the shopping list with the most forgotten foods being the likes of gravy granules, stuffing and cranberry sauce, and one in 20 not remembering the sprouts (perhaps conveniently).
And for those who do aspire to take on Jamie Oliver, Nigella et al in the Christmas cooking stakes, many of us might plan to cook up gravy, mince pies and stuffing ourselves, only to end up buying pre-prepared last-minute. We’ve all been there.
Read more: When to buy a turkey so you don’t miss out this Christmas
Christmas dinner shopping tips
Along with the poll, Judith Batchelar, the then-Sainsbury’s director of brand, gave some top tips for fuss-free festive food shopping.
Firstly, it's not just food items that you'll need to get you through the day. "Make sure you have a selection of everyday essentials, like dishwasher tablets, extra toiletries and batteries," said Batchelar.
And it doesn't hurt to be slightly over-prepared. "It’s also worth having a 'just in case' list – such as a few ready-to-cook canapés and a bottle of Prosecco for any unexpected guests," she added.
But above all, Batchelar's main tip was: "Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, there’s no need to cook every bit from scratch – consider choosing pre-prepared dishes that have been deliberately developed to make Christmas easier (like vegetable wellingtons)."
UK plant-based chef and cookbook author Niki Webster of blog RebelRecipes.com has also added her top Christmas dinner shopping tips. "Plan ahead for everything. Make lists – from the menu to the number of guests, recipes if you need them and ingredients needed to purchase," she says. Being prepped and strict with yourself about exactly what you need will also help prevent any impulse buys.
If you've booked a food delivery a couple of days before Christmas, you'll avoid busy shops and secure the main ingredients you need at ease. "You can then shop for any special vegetables or extra ingredients in local shops or markets just before," Webster adds, so these items taste super-fresh.
But if you are making a last-minute dash to the shops – whether that's Sainsbury's or authentic grocery stores – she recommends going early while the shelves are stocked to their fullest.
With many people wanting to save money this year, shop carefully and try not to buy more than you need.
Christmas dinner shopping list
To help jog your memory of some of the essential buys, a recent poll of 2,000 UK adults by Instantprint revealed exactly what the nation's ultimate Christmas dinner in 2022 is made up of. This includes roast potatoes (65%), turkey (48%), gravy (47%), sprouts (45%), stuffing (45%), carrots (40%), pigs in blankets (40%), Yorkshire puddings (39%), parsnips (38%) and cranberry sauce (27%).
And to make things even easier, we’ve put together our ultimate Christmas food shopping checklist. From brandy butter to Brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce to chutney, this isn't everything you have to buy, but all possible options in one convenient place.
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Fruit and vegetables
Pre-prepared salad leaves e.g. lettuce/rocket
Meat and fish
Pigs in blankets
Tins of crab meat
Veggie or vegan alternatives for the above
Ingredients (or pre-bought) for veggie or vegan main dishes
Tonic or soda water
Fruit juice – apple, orange, cranberry, pineapple
A fancy drink for children/pregnant ladies and others not drinking alcohol
(See our guide to the best festive cocktails)
Choice of spirits – vodka, rum, gin etc.
Champagne/Prosecco or both
Brandy (for the Christmas pudding)
Read more: How to beat a festive hangover
Salt and pepper
Vinegar – white wine, balsamic
Pre-made gravy or granules (meat or veggie)
Cream – single and double
Cheese – a selection for example Stilton, Brie, Mozzarella, Parmesan, Cheddar
Pre-made pastry – puff, filo, shortcrust
Yorkshire puddings (to save on hassle if not making from scratch)
Nibbles – e.g. crisps, nuts
Kitchen cupboard must-haves
Watch: Martin Lewis shares 'Christmas shopping quickies' and savings hacks for festive season