Hello Green Panda Friends and Good Morning.  Today we are discussing budget friendly holiday dinners in the next post in our “Home for the Holidays” series.  Green Panda knows that the holidays can be a very expensive time of the year, so we are here to help you with some budget friendly meals for your holiday dinners.

I am personally not a great cook.  Every single year my New Year’s Resolution is to learn to cook, and unfortunately I have never mastered the art of cooking.  Last year my Christmas Dinner ended up being Christmas Quesadillas, it was festive but it wasn’t really a true Christmas dinner with all of the trimmings.  This year I have planned my holiday menu and hopefully it will go off without any mishaps.  I am only cooking Christmas dinner for my boyfriend and myself and I am a vegetarian, so hopefully all will go as planned.

Holiday Dinners on a Budget

There are many ways that we can make a traditional holiday dinner without spending too much money. The best way to serve a nice holiday dinner without breaking the bank is to serve a lot of appetizers and side dishes.  Serve bread, dips, salads, and side trimmings with your meal.  Leave out the expensive nuts and chocolates, or ask someone to bring them.

This year I am serving a mixed green salad with almonds and raisins, creamed corn, mashed potatoes with gravy, fresh crusty Italian bread, and cranberry sauce.  I am going to make a small individual sized turkey or chicken breast for my boyfriend, because he is not a vegetarian.  Maple Leaf offers Prime Chicken already seasoned and it cooks in a lot less time than a whole Turkey or Ham. I am not expecting the whole meal to cost more than $50.

Easy Holiday Desserts

Christmas Cookies are a very traditional holiday dessert, but we don’t have to only serve cookies at Christmas.  Rachael Ray offers us a recipe for Peanut Butter Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats.  They are easy to make with only 6 ingredients and the recipe makes 16 Rice Krispie Treats.

My favourite kind of cookies are Shortbread Cookies.  I used to love eating My Mother’s homemade Shortbread Cookies.  Now that I don’t live at home anymore my Shortbread cookie cravings are usually satisfied thanks to Pillsbury, but not this year.  This year I am going to try and attempt to make Gramma Horn Sugar Cookies.  This is a recipe from a Rachael Ray viewer who shares her easy cookie recipe online. The recipe takes some time to prepare and it makes 6 dozen cookies. It’s a perfect treat for any holiday party.

Eggnog Recipes for the Holidays

I have never been one to indulge in Eggnog or in Rum, but I know that Eggnog is a favourite drink during the Holidays.  Eggnog can be purchased from any grocery store in a carton, just like milk.  We can sprinkle on some cinnamon and add some Rum and it creates a nice holiday treat.

Enjoy Your Holiday Dinners Everyone!

Check Out the Previous Posts in our “Home for the Holidays” series:

Don’t Let the Holidays be Costly

Don’t Be Tempted to Swipe Your Card

Travelling Home For The Holidays


Photo by Allison Hare

Tahnya Kristina

Tahnya Kristina

Tahnya is 30 years old and lives in Montreal Quebec. She graduated in 2005 from Concordia University, and she currently works for a major International Financial Institution. She recently launched http://www.mediamadam.ca/. You can follow her on Twitter @TahnyaP.