Grandma, 63, defends charging family for Christmas dinner: 'I'm not Scrooge'
A grandmother who charges 12 family members – including children – for Christmas dinner has defended herself against claims she is a “Scrooge”.
Prices for festive dinner at Caroline Duddridge’s home in Cardiff range from £2.50 for toddlers to £15 for adults.
The 63-year-old has said she only does it due to soaring food prices amid the cost of living crisis.
Duddridge adds the price is value for money as her family gets a full festive spread from Christmas Eve to Boxing Day worth £300.
She told the BBC: "There's a few out there who think I'm a bit of a Scrooge but my friends think it's quite a good idea”.
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Duddridge started charging for the festive food when her husband died in 2015, and she lost half of her household income.
She initially set up a kitty jar for her family to put money in but said it became hard to keep track of and there were a few “stragglers".
This year’s menu will cost her two sons £15, three daughters £10, four grandchildren (over 5) £5 and her two grandchildren, three, will pay £2.50.
Her sons get charged more than her daughters because they have full-time jobs, she said.
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"If you don't pay by 1 December, you're not coming,” she joked in an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live on Thursday.
The menu, which stretches from 24 to 25 December, includes sandwiches, Christmas dinner and a buffet, costing around £300.
Duddridge added half of the £180 raised from the charge went on buying meat which she doesn’t eat.
It comes as new ONS data has revealed families have cut back on Christmas spending this year.
In a survey taken from 7 to 18 December, 60% of adults said they were planning on dialling back on the money they spent this Christmas compared with last year.
Figures from last month revealed rising prices were set to drive up the cost of a traditional Christmas dinner, with many of the foods typically eaten on the day seeing steep inflation.
Christmas turkeys will be significantly more expensive, with Office for National Statistics (ONS) data showing that the price of poultry has risen by 19.7% in the last year.
Roast potatoes will cost more too – potatoes have gone up in price by 19.9%, and prices of oils and fats used for cooking have surged by 33%.
Fresh vegetables are 11.9% more expensive than a year ago.
Separate inflation figures from Trolly.co.uk covering the year to November 2022 revealed Yorkshire puddings have gone up in price by 13.4%, and sausages by 7.2%.