While many of us like to moan about cost of seasonal fare seemingly increasing each year, the truth may be exactly the opposite.
According to an index tracking festive food, the price of Christmas dinner (accompanied by content suggesting what we say at the table isn't always entirely what we mean) is now at its lowest since such measurements started in 2009. A separate calculation (illustrated by know your pines info) suggests yule trees too are getting cheaper, costing just an eighth of what they did back in winter of '75.
One reason for falling prices may be arrival of low-cost supermarkets. Christmas dinner index, compiled by Good Housekeeping magazine, suggests the 11 ingredients necessary for full festive feast are now 10.8% cheaper than they were in 2009.
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Buying everything from turkey to Christmas pudding is likely to cost £2.48 a head this year, if you bought each in the cheapest supermarket. In 2009, the equivalent cost was £2.78, according to the index.
Separate research that goes back as far as 1968 comes to a similar conclusion. The figures suggest that Christmas dinner last year was the cheapest on record, at £37.37 for a family of four.
Back in 1975 the same dinner cost nearly £55, after adjusting for inflation, according to the home interiors firm Hillarys, which compiled the research. Last year a Christmas tree cost an average of £24.99, compared with the equivalent of £208 in 1975, it says
The reduction in the average cost of this year’s Christmas dinner is largely down to German supermarkets Aldi and Lidl.
Buying all 11 ingredients includuing turkey, veg, Christmas pud, mince pies and brandy butter to feed eight people will cost as little as £22 at Aldi, the Christmas dinner index shows. The same ingredients would cost nearly £50 at Marks and Spencer.
“While five of the supermarkets have cheaper baskets this year, it’s mainly thanks to the big decrease in the cost of these groceries at Aldi and Lidl that the overall basket is significantly cheaper,” said Caroline Bloor, consumer director of Good Housekeeping.
“So think carefully where you shop or you could end up paying twice as much.” But with widespread warnings about the increased cost of importing food, many shoppers may not find prices so cheap next year.
The warnings follow the decline in the value of sterling, as a result of the European referendum in June.
Cost of Christmas dinner 2016 (for 8 people)