Bargain buys Christmas food and drink

great value Christmas supermarket food and wine

It’s that time of year when most of the festive food offerings are added to the supermarket shelves. Here are some of my top picks for bargain buys for Christmas and New Year, plus one or two award winners that represent really good value for money.

Food and Drink


  • My top tip for a foodie bargain is Aldi’s Rouzaire truffled brie, £4.99. It’s about a quarter of the price of near-identical cheese from the poshest delis, and would be a special treat. Their luxury range spelt crackers are great too.
  • My general cheese board award for 2016 goes to Aldi, for a wide range of reasonably-priced quality cheeses at £2.29 each.
  • The Co-op also gets an honourable mention from me for well-priced tasty cheeses, and their waxed truckles of cheddar and stilton gifts would be a really nice gift for a foodie.


  • Iceland Luxury Buttered & Brined Turkey with Orange Slices & Thyme won the Good Housekeeping taste test this year. Prices £17 to £28, depending on size.
  • Honourable mention from me for Aldi’s Free Range Whole Bronze turkey too. In store Dec 19th.

Cranberry sauce

  • The 2nd prize in the Good Housekeeping 2016 awards went to ASDA, for their 55p own-brand sauce. Easily the best budget buy if you’re watching the pennies
  • 1st prize also went to ASDA for their Extra Special version with port, on offer this week for £1.00, and 3rd prize went to Lidl for their Deluxe port and orange version.

Smoked salmon

Snacks & nibbles

  • Co-op Christmas dinner crisps, £1.89 – turkey, stuffing and vegetables.
  • Aldi black truffle crisps – moreish and a bit fancy.

Mince pies

  • Iceland  Luxury Mince Pies won the Good Housekeeping blind taste test this year. Six for £1.50.
  • My favourite mince pies this year are the Exquisite Mince Pies from Aldi, £2.99 for 6, which have a nice fluffy light almond frangipane topping and aren’t too sickly sweet.

Christmas pudding

  • Iceland Luxury Christmas Pudding, £6.00, was 2nd in the Good Housekeeping 2016 Taste Test.
  • Morrisons The Best Jewel Topped Christmas Pudding came third in the GH blind tastings, but it’s my personal favourite and costs £4.00.

Alternative desserts

  • For a showstopper that most probably wouldn’t be able to make at home, my favourite by miles was the Co-op Irresistible Christmas Star, £8.00. Slices of chocolate and passionfruit mousse cakes topped with a large piece of decorated chocolate. Available from 19th December.
  • Honourable mentions from me to to all the other Co-op desserts, ASDA frozen macarons (12 for £3.00), and the Lidl gingerbread and stollen ranges.

Christmas Drinks

Prosecco & Champagne

  • Champagne Faubert Brut NV, Ocado £19.99, was the number one GH champagne winner, and one of the cheapest contenders. Look out for offers as they sometimes do multi-buys.
  • Lidl Allini Prosecco Spumante came in second by one point in the Good Housekeeping prosecco blind taste test, but represented the best bargain at £5.29 a bottle.


  • My favourite great-value red this year is Aldi’s Estevez Chilean Pinot Noir, which is packed with fragrant strawberry notes and comes in at a very reasonable £4.79 per bottle. It’s hard to find a good pinot noir under £10, so to find a drinkable one under £5 is great. You can buy in store, or order online by the case of six.


Supermarket versions of premium drinks have been amazing this year.

  • In particular, Tesco (Finest French Grain, £18.00) and Aldi (Saint Germont, £15.99) have produced Grey-Goose-style premium vodkas. These both come in attractive bottles and would make nice gifts.
  • Aldi has also created a honeyed bourbon and a chocolate liqueur that are worth a look for people who have more of a sweet tooth.


A good year for grown up drinks that won’t leave you feeling left out. Several supermarkets stock popular Eisberg non-alcoholic wines now, and Sainsburys have been making palatable non-alcoholic rose and fizz for a few years.

  • Co-op non-alcoholic ‘Gin and tonic’ flavour drink, approx £3.00. Good chilled over ice with slices of lemon and lime.

Penny’s Picks Christmas 2016

Here are my three festive picks for the year.

  • Best value luxury range – Aldi
  • Most impressive improvement – Iceland
  • Innovation award – The Co-op

So there we have it, some great ingredients for cooking from scratch plus a few tasty treats that save time.

Any other top tips for us? Bon appetit!

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