Food blogger shares 6 tips for saving money on Christmas dinner - and an alternative Christmas pudding recipe

Mum and food blogger Emma said “everyone goes nuts” for this delicious dessert, which is great for people who want an alternative to the traditional Christmas pudding

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Christmas time has become synonymous with indulgent food and drink, and of course one of the main customs that most families follow is the serving of the traditional Christmas dinner.

There may be some debate about what exactly belongs on the holiday table - Yorkshire puddings or not, gravy or not, cheese sauce or not  - but one thing people can agree on is that the cost of Christmas feasting can be expensive - and this year it’s going to be more expensive than previous years due to the cost of living crisis.

Here at NationalWorld, we want to help have the best possible festive season, while keeping your bills down, so we’ve spoken to food blogger Emma Bridgeman for her top tips on saving money on your Christmas food.

Emma, of Surrey, launched her food blog called Together to Eat in May 2022. The mum-of-two, who formerly worked as a Digital Marketing Manager, was always an advocate of eating family meals together, and during the coronavirus lockdown she had what she described a s “true lightbulb moment” when she realised she could combine her love of family cooking with her digital marketing skills and became a food blogger.

Emma, who lives with her husband Ricky, children 10-year-old Nate and five-year-old Georgie, and 12-year-old cat Onyx, now runs her very own blog. It is dedicated to creating meals for other parents who love food and eating with their babies and children of all ages, including fussy eaters.

Read on to find out about Emma’s money saving hacks, and a recipe for an alternative Christmas dessert which will cost you less than 40p per portion to make.

Six top tips for saving money on your Christmas dinner

Here are Emma’s top tips for saving money on your Christmas feasting:

  • Roast two extra large whole chickens instead of a turkey. Just roast them a little earlier, take out to rest, cover in foil and tea towels or newspaper and then put your vegetables in to roast.
  • Make as much as you can from scratch - don’t buy pre-prepared anything. Everything can be prepared before Christmas day and then chilled or frozen until ready to cook.
  • Buy value or imperfect vegetables, like carrots and parsnips, and dress them up with honey or maple syrup.
  • Start looking out for offers on adult drinks in advance and just store them somewhere dark and cool, ready for Christmas.
  • Make a homemade pudding in advance. Frozen puddings, like an ice cream bombe, are ideal for this, it will be much cheaper than buying two to three deserts to feed everyone. You can see Emma’s recipe for a raspberry ice cream bombe below.
  • Take the pressure off. Everyone is feeling it this Christmas, you don’t need to have all the trimmings and extras as usual.

Raspberry ice cream bombe recipe

Here is Emma’s version of a raspberry ice-cream bombe, although she’s borrowed this recipe in particular.

She said: “I actually can’t take credit for this raspberry ice cream bombe recipe, it’s one my mother-in-law has been making at Christmas for over 20 years, ever since she was given the recipe from a friend. My mother-in-law is Norwegian, which means she celebrates Christmas Eve instead of Christmas Day, hosting the whole family, and each year she rolls out this dessert and everyone goes nuts for it. I think most of us can say that it’s one of our favourite things about Christmas Eve.”

Food blogger Emma Bridgerman with her raspberry ice cream bombe.Food blogger Emma Bridgerman with her raspberry ice cream bombe.
Food blogger Emma Bridgerman with her raspberry ice cream bombe.

It takes just four ingredients to make, it serves eight and takes just 15 minutes to prepare. It will also cost you less than £3 to make, if all the ingredients are bought from Aldi. There’s also no cooking involved so it will save you money on your energy bills too - but be aware that it does take a few hours to freeze.

Below is the basic bombe recipe, but you can see all the details for the recipe - including top preparation tips, on Emma’s blog.


  • 1 pack of 8 meringue nests / 104g-115g / 3.67oz-4oz meringue shells or cookies
  • 300ml whipping or double cream / 1 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons icing sugar / powdered sugar
  • 150g frozen raspberries / 5.29 oz

To decorate (optional)

  • Créme fraîche
  • Fresh raspberries
  • Sprig of fresh mint


  • Stick blender / blender
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Electric hand whisk
  • Sieve
  • Sturdy spatula or large metal spoon
  • 1 litre (medium) glass or freezer-proof bowl (2 litre if doubling the recipe)
  • Cling film and foil


  • Add the raspberries and icing sugar to your stick blender pot or blender. Whizz until smooth.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream using an electric whisk on a high setting until you have soft peaks.
  • Sit a sieve over the cream bowl and scrape down the raspberry mixture from inside the blender pot into it. Use the back of a spoon or sturdy spatula to press down on the sieve and pass through all the raspberry puree, leaving behind the seeds. Scrape down the outside of the sieve once done and discard the seeds on the inside.
  • Add the meringue nests, breaking them into small pieces as you go with your hands. Fold in with a spatula or large metal spoon until well combined.
  • Line a 1 litre (medium) deep glass bowl or freezer proof bowl with foil and then clingfilm. See notes on Emma’s blog if doubling recipe. Then add in the Bombe mixture. Use the back of your spoon or the scraper to level it out, you can give the bowl a gentle shake side to side also to help the mixture settle. 
  • Cover tightly with cling film and again with foil and then transfer to the freezer, keeping the dish level.
  • Leave overnight or for 8 hours minimum. Remove from the freezer about 20-30 minutes before serving and lift the Bombe out by the cling film lining.
  • Place on the counter. Put your plate or cake stand upside down on the flat edge of the Bombe and carefully turn the Bombe and the plate/cake stand up the right way. Once slightly softened, use a knife to cut it like a cake.
The raspberry ice cream bombe made by food blogger Emma Bridgerman, who runs a blog called Together to Eat.The raspberry ice cream bombe made by food blogger Emma Bridgerman, who runs a blog called Together to Eat.
The raspberry ice cream bombe made by food blogger Emma Bridgerman, who runs a blog called Together to Eat.

You can keep the raspberry ice cream bombe for up to three months in the freezer, and you can also freeze leftovers on a plate wrapped tightly in cling film and then foil, or in a food storage bag too so there will be no waste - but we think it will all get eaten anyway because it’s so delicious.

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