Mrs Crunch shares festive deals and recipes so you can start preparing for Christmas now

OH baubles – there are just over 100 days to go until Christmas. But as the festive countdown appears on the horizon, there is plenty of time to wrap Christmas up for less.

Start your prep now and you will be able to spread the cost. Here are some ideas for bargain buys you can stock up on.

Find out how to make this Christmas the best ever without breaking the bank
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Ready to bake

CUT the cost of Christmas baking by stocking up on great deals on ingredients.

It’s worth stocking up on mixed fruit for your mince pies
Grab a third off McDougalls flour at Morrisons

For the cake itself, start off with Asda’s Smartprice dried mixed fruit, 500g, £1.

For mince pies and pastry, Morrisons has a third of McDougalls flour, 1.1kg, down from £1.50 to £1.

Fill your shelves

KEEP a shelf spare and fill it with festive must-haves when you see a brilliant bargain.

Start things off with two packs of Tyrrells crisps for £2.50 at Waitrose, £2 when bought individually.

For a sweet treat, Cadbury Milk Tray, 360g, is currently half price at Morrisons, down to £3.

And don’t forget to clean up for Christmas by stocking up on essential household kit.

You can save a third on Finish All in 1 Max 40 dishwasher tablets lemon sparkling, down from £9.50 to £6.33 at Waitrose.

At Morrisons you can save £2.50 on 18 rolls of Andrex Classic Clean toilet tissue, now £6.50.

Think about the drink

KEEP an eye out for drinks promotions between now and Christmas for some cheaper festive cheer.

Save £4 pounds off the cost of this bottle of Bombay gin
Grab this bottle of Jack Daniels for only £18 from Asda

Sainsbury’s currently has selected one litre bottles of spirits for £16, including Bombay London gin down from £20.

Asda has £8 off a 70cl bottle of Jack Daniels No7 Tennessee whisky, now £18.

Present prepared

GIFTS are one of the biggest Christmas costs so stack up the savings with some savvy shopping. Keep an eye on charity shops to see what books and toys you can snap up before the hordes hit in December.

Look online to find some great deals, such as a wooden light-up doll house from Asda, £50.

Argos has a two for £15 on selected toys including a Barbie fashionista doll, £10, and LEGO Creator mythical creatures dragon toy set, £13.

Sort kitchen kit

GET ready for some serious cooking with kit that’s up to the job.

This mini chopper is only £11 from Sainsbury’s
You’d be mad not to get your hands on this half price Tefal frying pan

Sainsbury’s currently has Tefal Supreme Plus 32cm frypan half price, down from £21 to £10.50.

Tesco has 30 per cent off selected four packs of Fox & Ivy glassware, including Gin crystal glasses down from £12 to £8.40.

For a time saving hack, Sainsbury’s has Russell Hobbs Food Collection mini chopper down from £15 to £11.

Fill your freezer

CLEAR a drawer of your freezer and start filling it for Christmas. Start with an essential big bag of Birds Eye garden peas, 1.3kg, down from £3.27 to £3 at Morrisons.

For the main event, save 65p on Aunt Bessie’s 12 golden Yorkshire puddings, now £1 at Sainsbury’s.

Great for starters, Tesco Finest Frozen Jumbo raw king prawns, 240, are down from £4.50 to £3.50.

Get your greens sorted with five packs of frozen vegetables for £4 at Iceland, including Supersweet sweetcorn and Button sprouts, £1 each.

Morrisons
Head down to Morrisons to get your hands on all the ingredients you’ll need for Mrs Crunch’s tasty recipes

Stilton rolls

(Makes one tear-and-share loaf)

There’s no need to wait until Christmas for rich and warming food

YOU NEED:

  • 400g strong white flour (and a bit extra to flour kneading surface)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 7g easy bake yeast
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 100g Stilton, crumbled

METHOD:

  1. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl, stir in a pinch of salt, the sugar and the easy bake yeast. Add around 180– 200ml of water and mix it into a soft dough.
  2. Knead on a floured surface for ten minutes, pop back in a clean bowl, cover and leave to rise in a warm place until it doubles in size.
  3. Turn out onto a floured surface, knead again for two minutes, divide into 14 equal sized pieces and shape into balls.
  4. Arrange on an oiled baking sheet with about 1cm between rolls, cover and leave in a warm place to rise.
  5. Scatter crumbled Stilton on top and bake at 200C/fan 180C/gas 6 for 20–25 minutes until golden and the base sounds hollow when tapped.

Parsnip and pear soup

(Serves four)

This soup is full of goodness and is so quick and easy to prepare
Getty – Contributor

YOU NEED:

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 4 shallots, peeled/diced
  • 500g parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 pears, peeled, cored and diced
  • 750ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
  • 50g blue cheese, crumbled

 

METHOD:

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan and add the shallots. Fry gently for five minutes until they’re softened but not browned.
  2. Add the parsnips, cider vinegar, pears and stock and bring to the boil.
  3. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, then blend with a stick blender (or in a liquidiser) until smooth.
  4. Add the rosemary leaves, cheese and a little seasoning.
  5. Cook over a low heat, stirring until the cheese melts, then serve.



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