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Christmas dinner is one of the most important meals of the year. Rebecca Wilson, author of a number of cookbooks including Family Comforts, is an expert on cooking for the whole family without breaking the bank.

She discussed how families can celebrate Christmas without facing financial repercussions.

She advised on where to make savings and where to splash out.

Should you splash out or save on your Christmas turkey?

Rebecca suggests the best option is a local free-range bird from your butchers.

However, she acknowledges this is not always possible.

Rebecca Wilson said: “This is really down to your own personal preference or budget.

“In an ideal world, splashing out on a local free-range bird from your butchers is not only the most delicious, but more beneficial for our land and economy.

“However, this isn’t always possible, so my advice would be to buy what you feel comfortable with.

“There are also alternative meats that a more affordable and quite often easier to cook, like dare I say it, a chicken?

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“Once it’s carved who’s really going to know?

“They will just think you’ve cooked a super moist turkey! Win!”

So, are there any ingredients it’s important to splash out on for Christmas dinner?

Rachel said: “I find at Christmas time; I use much more fresh herbs than I do throughout the year.

“The flavour is more impactful and it feels more of a treat.

“Try using fresh sage in my leek and mushroom stuffing balls, or stuff fresh thyme and Rosemary inside your meat for extra flavour.

“And if your budget allows it, go crazy at the cheese counter, the festive season is the best excuse to try that fancy cheese you’ve been eyeing up all year. Enjoy it!”

Family Comforts: Simple, Heartwarming Food to Enjoy Together by Rebecca Wilson was published by DK on 16 September and costs £18.99.

If cooking chicken for Christmas dinner, perhaps try a “mouth-watering” Bisto gravy rub, which creators claim results in a “perfect roast chicken every time”. 

By combining a mix of common kitchen ingredients with 2 tbsp of Bisto Best Chicken Gravy Granules, Caught Snackin’s flavoursome gravy rub goes on the chicken before it is put in the oven.

Once you have your Christmas centrepiece decided, next up on the agenda will besides.

A chef has detailed his “perfect” roast potatoes recipe for “great tasting, crispy potatoes”.

“Perfect roasties rely on tasty fat and potato variety,” he told readers.

“We roast King Edwards in plenty of duck fat for great-tasting, crispy potatoes.”

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