BOSTON (CBS) – Holiday foods are expensive and often there are special foods we only have this time of year.

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The grocery store will be happy to cater a prime rib dinner for 10 for $185, a ham dinner for $95. I think you can do it for a lot less.

So what can you do to keep your holiday traditions and not wreck the budget? Think potluck. And if its family give out assignments. You know who makes the best cheddar cheese biscuits or pecan pies.

At our house I cook roast beast for dinner for my son when he was little loved the idea we were eating what the Whos down in Whoville ate for their Christmas dinner. That is how traditions start!

Beef is on sale this week and instead of getting a tenderloin roast opt for an eye round roast for less. Most of the Whos in your house won’t know the difference. Make lots of gravy.

Now if ham is the tradition at your house here again you can find them on sale. The fancy hams are priced at $10 to $12 a pound. I found an 18 pound spiral ham at William Sonoma for $180.

The ham on sale at the grocery store is in range of $3 to $4 a pound and at Walmart its $1.97 a pound.

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Make your own mashed potatoes. If you buy the refrigerator boxed potatoes it is about 90 cents a serving. If you make it yourself it costs about 25 cents a serving. And you can make them the day before and just reheat in the microwave or a double boiler.

Desserts; you can make a pie for under $6 and it can be a deep-dish pie with lots of apples.

Cookies are easy. You can even buy the dough and make sugar cookies with the kids. The fun part is decorating them.

Alcohol can be a budget buster. Start with a good bottle of wine and then open a less expensive bottle. If Uncle John traditionally expects brandy after dinner ask him to bring it.

You can serve 10 people for under $60. You will need to spend your time if you don’t spend your money.


You can hear Dee Lee’s expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m., 3:55 p.m., and 7:55 p.m.

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