5 Inflation-Proof Recipes That Could Help You Save on Groceries This Christmas

Cook these five recipes this year, and you could cut your grocery bill significantly.

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Every family has that one vegetarian (maybe a vegan) who gets their own special, customized dinner on Christmas. Whether it’s tofurkey or some kind of vegetable casserole, most of us meat eaters look across the table and wonder how they do it — how they could pass over the turkey, the ham, the gravy, the meat.

However, we might all save money on groceries this Christmas if we can eat like they do. That’s because inflation has pushed the price on the big three — beef, chicken, and pork — to fairly unsustainable levels.

The top culprits are beef top sirloin cuts and bacon, which have increased 55.4% per kilo and 20.2% per 500 grams, respectively. Chicken breasts are now 11.7% more expensive per kilo than they were last year, with chicken thighs rising around 10.6%. Even a dozen eggs have become more expensive (6.5%), as has a litre of milk (8.1%), a litre of cream (10.5%), and 454 grams of butter (8%).

Vegetables, however, have seen fairly low rates of inflation. Year over year, we’ve seen a 20.7% decrease in the price of tomatoes, a 12.2% drop in celery, a 9.5% drop in cabbage, and a 3.9% drop in broccoli. Onions and cucumbers both dropped by 0.7%, and only carrots and peppers are higher than they were last year at 4.1% and 5.5%, respectively.

I won’t try to talk you out of cooking a turkey this year, but if you want to save some money on the accompanying plates, here are some recipes whose ingredients are less affected by inflation than meat.

1. Broccoli gratin

Gratin is delicious, no matter what vegetable it’s on. Most of the ingredients here are fairly inflation-proof, such as broccoli, garlic, breadcrumbs, and onion. Others, such as milk and cheese, will be higher than normal yet still less expensive than cooking a meat-based tourtiere.

The Dairy Farmers of Canada have a quick and easy recipe here.

2. Vegetarian tourtiere

Speaking of tourtiere, who says you can’t cook one this year? Substitute the meat for potatoes and more celery, and you could make a cheap alternative to this holiday favourite. While a sack of potatoes is more money this year than last, you’ll probably pay less for potatoes than ground beef.

Canadian Living has an exquisite recipe here. If you don’t want to attempt the shell, you can always buy your own crust.

3. Mushroom wellington

Another Canadian favourite, beef wellington, takes on a vegetarian twist: mushroom Wellington. The chopped mushrooms in this recipe resemble the texture of beef tenderloin, though you probably won’t feel as bloated with this extra veggie filling.

Check out Taste Canada’s simple recipe of mushroom wellington.

4. Roasted carrots with mustard vinaigrette

A perfect side dish for your mushroom Wellington or vegetarian tourtiere, this recipe for roasted carrots might just be the most affordable Christmas dish out there. All you need are carrots, Dijon mustard, olive oil, and a few fresh herbs, and you’ll have everything you need.

Check out this recipe on Canadian Living to see just how easy this dish is.

5. White and wild rice pilaf with spinach and walnuts

For those who want a more fancy side dish, a rice pilaf with chopped spinach leaves, toasted walnuts, and sautéed onions might be right for you. Like the recipe above, the ingredients in this dish are almost completely inflation-proof.

To see what you need to cook your white and wild pilaf, check out Canadian Living’s recipe here.

Bottom line

Inflation will affect every region differently. Whereas one region may see a drop in the price of carrots, another may see a rise. But given that meat prices have skyrocketed nearly everywhere, these vegetarian recipes will surely help you save money.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

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