My MASSIVE list of best value Christmas food 2017

Christmas food best buys value for money groceries

You could spend an almost infinite amount on Christmas food and drink in this country, but spending a lot isn’t always a guarantee of getting the best groceries. Many budget and mid-priced ranges fare better than premium brands and ultra-premium own brand products – so it can all get a little confusing – when exactly is it worth spending a little more, and where can you save without compromising on taste?

Most of us like to push the boat out a bit during the festive season and New Year, but I’m sure you’re like me and you love a bargain too. Whether you’re keeping your total spending down, or you just want to be sure that you’re getting the best value for money, this food shopping best buy article is for you. By the way, there’s also going to be a matching Best value Christmas drink article later this week for even more savings.

This guide to the best value Christmas food for 2017 collates the top picks from a wide range of food awards and expert ratings systems, then picks out the more affordable offerings in the lists to give you excellent quality at the best price. Spoiler alert: contains some proper bargains. I’ve also included some observations and hot picks of my own as I managed to attend a lot of food tastings and product launches over the last few months.

So here goes, delicious bargains and a few luxury treats worth chucking in your virtual or actual trolley…

 

Crisps and snacks

  • Quality Food Awards Christmas winner: Co-op Irresistible Cheeseboard Hand Cooked Crisps (in stores from 13 December, and they were good when I taste tested them too)
  • Quality Food Awards commended: Iceland Luxury Sea Salt & White Wine Vinegar Hand Cooked Crisps, £1 for 180g.
  • Quality Food Awards shortlisted: Aldi Specially Selected Hand Cooked Crisps – Cheddar & Ale, Aldi Specially Selected Tortilla Chips – Steak Fajita, Co-op Sparkling Prosecco Bubbles crisps (tried these – very tasty!), Asda Handcooked Crisps – Port & Stilton, 85p for 150g.
  • The Grocer’s Own Label Awards winners: Aldi Passions Pop Outs – Sour Cream & Chive Popped Potato Crisps, Lidl Deluxe Pulled Pork & Wild Flower Honey Handcooked Potato Crisps, Tesco Finest Toffee Nut Latte Popcorn with Belgian White Chocolate, £1.79 for 100g.
  • Penny’s Pick: Morrisons The Best Fruit Nut & Chocolate Mix 225g, £3.75. Great quality, and delicious without being sickly sweet.

 

Party / buffet foods

  • Quality Food Awards winners: Iceland Luxury Anti Pasti Selections, £3.00 per pack, Morrisons Barbers Farmhouse Cheddar & Chive Heatable Dip, £1.85 for 150g, Morrisons The Best Beer & Burger Kit, £6.00 for 740g, Iceland Extra Mature Vintage Cheddar Souflettes, 10 for £3.00, Aldi Specially Selected Mulled Wine Mini Puddings, £2.99 for 180g.
  • Quality Food Awards highly commended: Co-op Kale and Pumpkin Seed Topped Houmous, Iceland Luxury Air Dried Smoked Ham, £3.00 for 60g, Iceland Fruity Eclairs, £3.00 for 8.
  • Quality Food Awards commended: Asda Smoked Mackerel Pate, £1.00 for 100g.
  • The Grocer’s Own Label Awards winners: Lidl 10 Chicken Gyozas, £1.99, Morrisons The Best 4 Mini Pork Pies with Great Yorkshire Pickle, £1.85 for 6.

 

Smoked salmonBest value food Christmas 2017 award winners taste test smoked salmon

  • The Grocer’s Own Label Awards winner: Lidl Deluxe Scottish Smoked Salmon with Ben Bracken Whisky & Honey, Beetroot, and Orange & Champagne, £3.99 for a trio of flavours. Described as ‘in a league of its own’.
  • Good Housekeeping winner: Waitrose 1 Chestnut Smoked Salmon, £5.00 for 100g at Waitrose, also same price at Ocado.
  • Penny’s Pick + Good Housekeeping silver medal: Morrisons The Best Whiskey Bronze Smoked Salmon, £4.50 for 120g. I can personally vouch for this one, it’s excellent quality for the price.
  • Good Housekeeping runners up: Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Birch & Alder Smoked Salmon, £5.25 for 120g, and Co-op Irresistible Scottish Whiskey Smoked Salmon.

 

Fish and shellfish

Chilled

  • Quality Food Awards winner: Aldi Specially Selected Salmon Fillet – Lightly Smoked, and Aldi Smoked Mackerel Fillets.
  • Quality Food Awards Christmas highly commended: Co-op Tandoori and Jumbo King Prawn Ring with a Raita Dip.
  • The Grocer’s Own Label Awards winners: Lidl Side of Scottish Salmon, £9.99, Lidl Deluxe Scottish Salmon Roast with Lemon & Thyme Butter and a Beetroot Glaze, £6.99.

Frozen

  • Quality Food Awards winners: Iceland Arctic Royal Salt Baked Sea Bass, £10.00 for 550g, Iceland En Papillote King Prawns Pak Choi & Chilli, £3.50 for 260g, Iceland Arctic Royal Argentinian Red Shrimp, £5.00 for 300g.
  • Quality Food Awards highly commended: Iceland Squid, Mussels & Prawns in Paella Sauce, £3.50 for 450g, Asda Popcorn Cod Bites Trio, £2.70 for 350g, Iceland Rock Lobster Thermidor, £14.00 for two.

 

TurkeyBest value food Christmas 2017 award winning taste test turkey

  • Good Housekeeping winner: Marks & Spencer British Oakham Turkey Crown with Pork, Sage & Onion Stuffing with Bacon Lattice, £32.04 – £41.94, reserve yours here. 1.8kg to 2.2kg approx, and very gourmet for the price.
  • Good Housekeeping silver medal: British Oakham™ Turkey Stock Basted with Giblets, 4200g, £29.00, reserve yours here. Serves 6 to 8, good for large families or lots of leftovers.
  • Good Housekeeping runners up: Tesco Class A Medium Ready Basted Turkey Crown, £14.00 for 2kg-2.3kg, Sainsbury’s Large Whole Basted British Turkey, £19.50 for 5.3kg-6.9kg, Iceland Luxury Butter Basted Turkey Joint with Pig in Blanket Stuffing, £15.00 for 1.8kg.
  • Quality Food Awards Christmas winners: Co-op Turkey and Trimmings Box (in stores from 20 December).
  • Quality Food Awards Christmas highly commended: Asda Extra Special Turkey Roulade filled with Pork, Chestnut & Fruit Stuffing.

 

Other poultry

 

Other meats

For main courses, smaller meals and general cooking.

 

Christmas dinner trimmings

Best value Christmas food 2017 award winners taste test turkey trimmings

While you can make your own trimmings at a fairly low cost, some people prefer to buy them to save time or hassle. Here are the winning recipes for stuffing, pigs in blankets and cranberry sauce.

Stuffing

  • Good Housekeeping winner: Aldi Specially Selected 6 Pork & Caramelised Red Onion Baubles Wrapped In Bacon, £2.49.
  • Good Housekeeping silver medal: Tesco Family Festive Christmas Tree Stuffing, £4.50
  • Good Housekeeping bronze medal: Aldi Specially Selected Outdoor Bred Gingerbread and Apricot Stuffing Portions, £2.49.
  • Quality Food Awards Christmas commended: Asda Extra Special Pork & Cranberry Stuffing, £2.50 for 340g.

Pigs in blankets

  • Good Housekeeping winner: Iceland Luxury 10 Pigs In Blankets, £2.75.
  • Good Housekeeping silver medal: Aldi’s Butcher’s Select 12 Bacon Wrapped Sausages, £1.99.
  • Good Housekeeping runners up: Asda Extra Special 10 Pigs in Blankets, £2.98, Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference 12 British Outdoor Bred Pigs in Blankets, £3.50.

Cranberry sauce

  • Good Housekeeping winner:  Marks & Spencer Cranberry & Port Sauce, £3.00.
  • Quality Food Awards Christmas highly commended + Good Housekeeping runner up: Asda Extra Special Cranberry Sauce with Ruby Port, £1.49 for 230g, on offer for £1.00 this week.

 

Main course vegetarian

  • Good Housekeeping winner: Aldi Specially Selected Vegetable Parcels Spinach, Leek & West Country Cheddar, £1.99.
  • Good Housekeeping silver medal: Aldi Specially Selected Vegetable Parcels – Mushroom Trio, £1.99.
  • Good Housekeeping bronze medal: Marks & Spencer Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato Rosti, £7.00.
  • Good Housekeeping runners up: Lidl Deluxe Hazelnut, Cashew & Cranberry Nut Roast, £3.99 for 350g, Marks & Spencer 2 Vegetarian Baked Ricotta Stacks With Mushrooms, Leeks & Kale, £7.00, Waitrose Christmas Handcrafted Roasted Beetroot, Red Onion & Carrot Tarte Tatin, £8.99 for 865g, now £5.99.
  • Quality Food Awards highly commended: Aldi Specially Selected Vegetarian Pie – Spinach, Feta & Pine Nut.

 

CheeseBest value food Christmas 2017 awards winners taste test stilton

Stilton / British blue cheese

  • The Grocer’s Own Label Awards winners: Lidl Deluxe Mature Blue Stilton with Port & Orange Glaze and Fruit Topping, Asda Extra Special Blue Stilton, £2.20 for 220g.
  • Good Housekeeping winner: Sainsbury’s Stilton Cheese, Taste the Difference, £2.50 for 210g. Tried some, loved it.
  • Good Housekeeping silver medal: Co-op Long Clawson Potted Stilton, £4.00 for 225g << This cheese-filled ceramic pot would make a nice gift along with a bottle of their port.
  • Good Housekeeping bronze medal: Tesco Finest Mature Stilton, £4.00 for 400g. I’ve taste tested this and it’s great.
  • Quality Food Awards winner: Aldi Specially Selected Caledonian Blue, £1.79.
  • Quality Food Awards highly commended: Asda Extra Special Butler’s Blue, £2.20 for 150g.
  • Quality Food Awards commended: Aldi Specially Selected Blue Stilton.

Other British cheeses

  • Quality Food Awards winner (specialty): Aldi Quickes Mature Smoked Cheddar
  • Quality Food Awards highly commended: Asda Extra Special Somerset Vintage Reserve Cheddar, £2.15 for 200g, Co-op Truly Irresistible Somerset Vintage Cheddar, Asda Extra Special Burrata Mozzarella, £1.40 for 100g, Asda Extra Special Mature Red Leicester Square Waxed Truckle, £4.00 for 400g.
  • Quality Food Awards commended: Iceland Luxury Cave Aged Goats Cheese, £2.00 for 150g, Aldi Specially Selected Carnegie Brie, £1.79, Asda Extra Special Vintage Cheddar Square Waxed Truckle, £4.00 for 400g.
  • The Grocer’s Own Label Awards winners: Lidl Deluxe Somerset Brie, Aldi Specially Selected Somerset Crunchy Vintage Cheddar, £1.99 for £3.50g.

Imported cheeses

  • The Grocer’s Own Label Awards: Asda Extra Special Triple Creme Blue, £2.50 for 130g (also won Quality Food Awards highly commended), Asda Extra Special Vintage Gouda, £2.50 for 180g (also won Quality Food Awards commended).
  • Quality Food Awards winner: Co-op Irresistible Chaource.
  • Quality Food Awards highly commended: Asda Extra Special Neufchatel, £2.50 for 200g.

Prepared baking cheeses

  • The Grocer’s Own Label Awards winner: Aldi Specially Selected Normandy Baking Camembert with a Fruity Cranberry Glaze, £4.99 for 6.40g.

Cheese board

  • Quality Food Awards Christmas winner: Co-op Irresistible Luxury Award Winning Cheese Selection.

 

Christmas cake

Too late to make a traditional cake now, so if you want to buy one then consider these:

  • Good Housekeeping bronze medal: Morrisons The Best Poinsettia Christmas Cake, £12.00 for 1.5kg.
  • Good Housekeeping runners up: Lidl Luxury 2 Tier Wow Cake, £9.99, Iceland Luxury Christmas Cake, £7.50 for 1kg, Aldi Iced Top Christmas Cake Bar, £2.49.

 

Other cakes and desserts

  • The Grocer’s Own Label Awards: Morrisons Salted Caramel Profiterole Gateau, £3.50, Aldi Specially Selected Traditional Tuscan Panettone Classico, £1.99 for 500g.
  • Quality Food Awards Christmas winner: Asda Hand Decorated Luxury Belgian Chocolate Cake, £11.00, serves 14.
  • Quality Food Awards Christmas commended: Iceland Luxury Raspberry & Pistachio Layered Pavlova, sold out online, check in your local store.
  • Quality Food Awards winners: Co-op Truly Irresistible Lemon Drizzle Cake, Asda Extra Special Raspberry & Prosecco Meringue Stack, £5.00 for 638g.
  • Quality Food Awards commendedAsda Extra Special White Chocolate & Berry Cheesecake, £4.00 for 425g.
  • Penny’s Pick: Teeny budget? Go for a Morrisons Double Chocolate Gateau, £1.50 for 350g, serves 4 to 6 people.

 

Mince piesBest value quality food Christmas 2017 award winners taste test mince pies

There’s still time to make your own if you buy the mincemeat, but if you’re in a rush or can’t face baking then try some of these:

  • Penny’s Pick: Aldi Gingerbread Topped Mince Pies, £1.49 for 4.
  • Good Housekeeping winner: Tesco Finest 6 All Butter Deep Filled Mince Pies with Courvoisier, £2.00.
  • Good Housekeeping silver medal + Quality Food Awards Christmas shortlisted + Olive Magazine Awards winner: Iceland 6 Luxury Mince Pies, £1.89.
  • Quality Food Awards Christmas winner: Aldi Specially Selected Florentine Topped Mince Pies, £1.49 for 4.
  • Quality Food Awards Christmas highly commended: Iceland Luxury Festive Selection 6 Pack, £2.00 << great if you want something a bit unusual.
  • Quality Food Awards Christmas shortlistedAsda Extra Special All Butter 6 Mince Pies, £1.50.

Mince pie alternatives

  • Quality Food Awards highly commended: Iceland 12 Party Macarons, £3.00, Iceland 2 Sicilian Lemon Tartlets, £2.00 for 130g.
  • Quality Food Awards commended: Asda Extra Special Pear & Almond 2 Tartlets, £2.00 for 160g.

 

Christmas pudding

It’s too late in the season for making most homemade recipes now, but you can pick some really great Christmas puddings up at the supermarket instead.

  • Penny’s Pick: Morrisons Pedro Ximénez Sherry & Pear Christmas Pudding, £8.00 for 800g. Different, delicious, and topped with edible gold glitter. Serve with a glass of their multiple award winning sherry on the side.
  • Quality Food Awards Christmas Gold Award: Aldi Specially Selected Exquisite Vintage Pudding. £9.99.
  • Quality Food Awards Christmas highly commended + Good Housekeeping winner: Aldi Specially Selected Golden Topped Christmas Pudding, £7.99.
  • Good Housekeeping joint silver medal: Marks & Spencer Collection 12 Month Matured Vintage Christmas Pudding, £14.00.

Christmas pudding alternatives

  • The Grocer’s Own Brand Awards winners: Asda Chocolate Smash Cake, £13.00 and serves 20!, The Co-op Irresistible Sicilian Lemon Curd & Mascarpone Ice Cream.
  • Quality Food Awards winners: Co-op Irresistible Sticky Toffee Pudding, Co-op Irresistible Brown Butter Pecan Ice Cream, Co-op Smashing Dome Dessert.
  • Quality Food Awards highly commended: Co-op Irresistible West Country Cream Chocolate Hazelnut Truffle Ice Cream.
  • Quality Food Awards commended: Asda Extra Special Chocolate Melt in the Middle Pudding, £6.00 for 700g << looks like a Christmas pudding, doesn’t taste like one.
  • Quality Food Awards shortlistedAsda Indulgent Moments Salted Caramel Ice Creams, 3 for £1.50. A bit like a Magnum ice cream but with a different filling.

 

Dessert accompaniments

Again, you can make versions of all of these yourself for a fairly low price, but in case you’re low on time or energy here are the award winning brandy butters, fancy creams etc.

Brandy butter

  • Good Housekeeping winner: Marks & Spencer Christmas Brandy Butter, £3.00.
  • Good Housekeeping silver medal: Morrisons The Best French Brandy Butter, £2.50 for 200ml.
  • Good Housekeeping bronze medal: Co-op Courvoisier Brandy Butter, £2.00.

Flavoured creams

  • The Grocer’s Own Label Awards winners: Asda Extra Special Extra Thick Madagascan Vanilla Double Cream, M&S Extra Thick Prosecco Cream.

 

Chocolates

Best Christmas food 2017 award winners taste test chocolates sweets

  • The Grocer’s Own Label Awards winner + Quality Food Awards highly commended: Aldi Moser Roth Chocolate Madagascan Vanilla bars.
  • Quality Food Awards Christmas winner: Aldi Moser Roth Chocolate Wreath Box, £9.99.
  • Quality Food Awards Christmas highly commended: Co-op Milk Chocolate Satsumas (I’ve taste tested these and they’re a perfect stocking filler).
  • Quality Food Awards Christmas shortlisted: Aldi Specially Selected Exquisite Robin, £9.99 for 450g, Iceland Luxury Milk Chocolate Salted Caramel Truffles, £4.00 for 140g.
  • Penny’s Pick (box): Booth’s The English Collection Truffles, £10.00. << Old fashioned Lemonade Fondant, Tea Loaf Truffle, and Earl Grey Ganache fillings. Delicious and quirky, bit of a treat.
  • Penny’s Pick (stocking filler): Holland & Barrett Dark Chocolate Mandarin Pieces, £2.99 for 95g. Out of stock online, may still be some left in stores. Dangerously moreish. Their chocolate cinnamon pecans are tasty too.

 

Sweets

  • Quality Food Awards winner: Asda Extra Special Cornish Sea Salt Caramel Fudge, £2.00 for 150g.
  • Quality Food Awards highly commended: Co-op Dairy Toffee.
  • The Grocer’s Own Label Awards winners: Aldi Specially Selected Maple Salt Melt in the Mouth Fudge, Lidl Deluxe Anglesey Sea Salted Caramel Truffles.

 

So that’s it for the best bargain taste-tested Christmas and New Year foods. Delicious! What will you be treating yourself to this year?

 

Similar Posts

4 Comments

  1. Wow what a lot of work you have done a marathon indeed. Thank you have a great Christmas. Harriet

  2. Hi Harriet – thanks for reading and thank you for the kind comments. It’s a labour of love! Maybe I’ll split it into three separate articles when I do the best-buys next year.

  3. Thank you for all the information, especially for the veggie options. 😀🎄

  4. Hi Ann-Marie – so great to hear that you’ve found it useful. I’ll be sure to include plenty of veggie options in 2018 too.

Comments are closed.