Christmas Day feast is the most expensive meal of the year, says CommBank

From pavlovas to gingerbread, every Aussie has their Christmas favourite. And according to new research by CommBank, we’re willing to pay top dollar to get it.

The 2018 Commonwealth Bank Christmas Consumer Spending Study found that a whopping 11.2 million Aussies admitted to spending more on food and groceries during the Christmas period than any other time during the year.

In fact, some Aussies were so keen to have the perfect Christmas Day feast that almost four in 10 revealed they had started their grocery shopping a month in advance.  

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“It’s only natural we want to give generously to our friends and family at Christmas and hosting a delicious meal is a great way to do this,” said Rohan Ritchie, General Manager Everyday Banking and Retail FX.

“Unfortunately, how much we’re spending is often the last thing on our minds and we often don’t add it all up until after the holiday period.”

The most expensive meal of the year

More than half of the country (54%) called the Christmas Day feast the most expensive meal of the year however, 89% of Aussies are still choosing to dine at the home of family and friends.

A mere 5% are choosing to have their meal out at restaurants.

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When it came down to a question of hosts, almost half (46%) of baby boomers are opening their doors to loved ones on Christmas Day.

This age group also confessed to spending the most on food (65%), while 45% started shopping for the meal up to one month in advance.

And while many millennials may still be spending Christmas at their parent’s homes, 24% said that overspending on food and groceries was the main reason they can’t stick to a Christmas budget - 22% will also have post-holiday regrets on how much they spend on food.

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According to Ritchie, shopping around on Christmas doesn’t have to leave you with a spending hangover, it just all comes back to the basics.

“To keep this festive period carefree and avoid a spending aftershock, it’s helpful to keep track of how much you have spent and work from a budget,” he said.

So if you’re heading down to the shops to do a last minute Christmas grocery shop, here are a few spending tips to keep you from being on your bank account’s naughty list.

- Go bargain mad - During this time of year, there are bargains in every store. So go through store catalogues to make sure you’re getting the best price for your groceries.

- Keep an eye on your interest - If you’re planning on putting this year’s Christmas meal on your plastic, only do so if you’re sure you can repay your balance before your interest-free days end. Otherwise, you’ll be reminded of the ghost of Christmas lunch when your bill arrives.

- Crunch the numbers constantly - While you may look a little crazy to everyone else in the store, keep track of how much you’re spending with the help of a budget tracker app.

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