Thrifty And Delicious Holiday Dinner Ideas

Although there is plenty about the holidays to look forward to, there is also a fair amount of stress associated with the season, especially when it comes to selecting the perfect holiday dinner ideas. According to writer Daniel Neman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, for many families, the annual holiday dinner is the most important time of the entire year and often serves as the only time everyone gets together to enjoy a meal.

"The family is on its best behavior, everyone is (one hopes) delighted with his [or her] presents. To make the day even more special, you need to cap it off with a meal that people will still be remembering next Christmas."
Thrifty And Delicious Holiday Dinner Ideas
[Photo by Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images]

Along with nice table settings, festive décor, and presents galore, the food – and drinks – are two of the most important elements of any holiday celebration. Still, when it comes to holiday dinner ideas that are worth their weight in gold – that is, the gold they will save you at the grocery counter – it can be tricky to develop a menu that is both delicious and budget-friendly.

If you want to avoid the standard Christmas ham or turkey, Neman suggests preparing a grilled standing rib roast instead. He says one of the best things about this idea is that it is incredibly simple and requires only three ingredients. Oh, and it tastes fantastic. Simply select a bone-in roast, salt and pepper the meat and fire up the grill – either gas or charcoal will work fine.

According to the Helena Independent Record, it is possible to serve tasty and thrifty alternatives to standard holiday dinner ideas that will not only save money, but will delight guests due to their inventiveness.

"It would not be the end of the world if you do not spend $100 on a beef roast for your holiday dinner. In fact, you might serve salmon, flank steak or ham, and folks would be just as satisfied."
Recommended options for main courses include baked ham with sautéed pears and apples, Braciole-style flank steak, Christmas Eve Meat Pie or salmon with vegetable pilaf. Affordable and delicious side items side items could include a simple winter fruit salad with homemade lemon poppy seed dressing; a tangy antipasto dish with olives, mushrooms, pesto, mozzarella, tomatoes and baby carrots; plum pudding, and loaded smashed potatoes.

Thrifty And Delicious Holiday Dinner Ideas
[Photo by Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images]

Another consideration for holiday dinner ideas is the health factor. With obesity continuing to affect millions of Americans of all ages, it's important to eat well without expanding your waistline. Fortunately, it's possible to eat fabulous food that doesn't taste like helath food, but really is, reported the Aurora Sentinel.

"One of the main reasons losing weight is always on the list of the Top 10 New Year's Resolutions is because of the extra pounds people pack on during the holidays."
For one thing, paying attention to portion control is key. Go ahead and sample whatever looks good – this is the holidays, after all, which is a traditional time to celebrate and cut loose – but the key word here is "sample." Especially when it comes to starches like mashed potatoes or trimming the extra fat on meats like ham prime rib, reported the Aurora Sentinel.
"You can also cut down on some of the calories on your favorite dishes by making them from scratch instead of buying a prepackaged version."
Another bonus to cooking from scratch? You guessed it – making food instead of buying it pre-made is also much easier on the budget.

[Photo by Chaloner Woods/Getty Images]