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Dining out for Christmas costs the same as staying home – and vegans could even save

Vegans could save up to £40 by dining out on Christmas Day. Photo: Getty

Most Brits are hosting Christmas at home in an attempt to keep costs down this year, but a home-cooked meal and a restaurant bill costs roughly the same, research shows.

A survey of 1,000 Brits by catering company Nisbets found that two million will be dining out this Christmas Day, with a huge 90% choosing to stay in and cook themselves. This is despite post-dinner washing up being most disliked part of Christmas Day (32%) and nearly half (45%) of home-cooks facing some sort of family feud.

Over a third of Brits (35%) avoid dining out on Christmas Day as they believe the cost to be too expensive. So just how do the costs of home cooking compare to dining out?

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When the prices of ingredients for a Christmas Dinner for two adults and three children — including a starter of soup and prawn cocktail, a dessert selection, cheese and a bottle of prosecco — were tallied, the cost adds up to £135, or £27 per person.

When analysing the price of a three-course meal with a bottle of prosecco in three pubs across the UK — excluding London — the average price for a family of five totals £164, or £32.80 per person.

Dining out was also revealed to come with the added benefit of choice, with diners able to pick from an average of five starters, five main courses, and three desserts.

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For just an extra £30, the analysis shows families of five could avoid worrying about spending their day prepping, cooking, or doing the washing up.

Families with different dietary requirements could even save money by dining out, as there would be no need to fork out on different starters, mains and desserts. Vegans could save up to £40 and those on gluten-free diets could save up to £30.

Of those already converted to dining out, the most popular reasons for doing this were less hassle (22%), family members with different dietary requirements can have different meals (22%), and fewer arguments (16%).

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Dean Starling, head development chef at Nisbets, said: “Dining out is a great option for those families where people have wildly different dietary requirements.

“It’s also great for those who don’t really like cooking, people with little space in their homes and those working around Christmas who may be short on prep time.”

“Instead of having to plan, buy, prep, cook, serve, and clear away three or four different types of dishes, families can head to a restaurant and choose their own meal. And nobody has to worry about the washing up.”

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Almost half (45%) of those who decide to stay in on Christmas Day end up arguing with their family members, with the main causing of disputes being who is doing and preparing what for the meal (15%).

This is followed by who’s doing the washing up (14.5%), the great “after-dinner telly debate” (13%), whether someone is chopping or making something in the “right” way (12%), and arguments caused by too many pre-dinner bucks’ fizz’s (7%).