Ultimate Budget Christmas Dinner

Sneaky Sprouts, from 29p

To serve 4 adults, from 29p each. See the full shopping list here.

500g brussels sprouts, 93p (93p/500g, Redmere Farms at Tesco)

2-3 small onions, 18p (60p/1kg, Growers Selection at Asda)

2 tbsp lard or cooking oil, 4p (39p/250g lard, Stockwell at Tesco or £1.09/1l vegetable or sunflower oil at Asda)

a pinch of salt and a little pepper, <1p

Warm your lard over a high heat on your small or medium hob ring until it starts to sizzle, then turn down to medium-low.

Peel and very finely slice your onion and add to the pan. Mandolin or finely slice your sprouts and add those too. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook on a very low heat for around 12 minutes, keeping everything moving around the pan so it doesn’t stick and burn. These can be kept warm or reheated but are best made right at the last minute and served immediately – I generally get this all sliced up and prepared ready, then put it on the heat as soon as the Yorkshire puddings go in the oven!

A version of this menu was originally devised and developed for The St Giles Trust Pantry, registered charity number 801355. You can support their vital work by texting PANTRY to 70460 to donate £5.

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Filed under: Ultimate Budget Christmas Dinner


Jack Monroe is an award winning food writer and bestselling author. Books include A Girl Called Jack, A Year In 120 Recipes and Cooking On A Bootstrap. She has won the Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink award (ironically), the Observer Food Monthly Best Food Blog, Marie Claire 'Woman At The Top', Red Magazine's 'Red Hot Women', the YMCA Courage & Inspiration Award, the Woman Of The Year Entrepreneur award, the Women Of The Future media award and many more. She works with Oxfam, the Trussell Trust, Child Poverty Action Group, Plan Zheroes, the Food Chain and many food banks, schools and childrens centres to teach people to cook and eat well on a low income, and campaigns against the causes of poverty and austerity in Britain and abroad.