This post is an [AD] in collaboration with Jack's Supermarket but as always, my opinions remain my own.
Christmas is almost upon us again and goodness me, hasn’t this year gone by quickly? The run-up to Christmas is so much more than Christmas Day itself – it’s fair to say that the pressure to have the best bashes is high up there, with Christmas Eve and Boxing Day being just as important as the main event nowadays. With the COVID-19 situation upon us, we’re all aware of just how different this Christmas is going to look. Not least because it’s going to have to be celebrated on a much smaller scale, but also because financial situations aren’t always what they were – particularly with increased redundancies, job losses and all of the other terrible ramifications that the coronavirus has had on the family unit. With people still wanting to enjoy the festive period but perhaps having different budgets to last year, that’s where Jack’s Supermarket comes in. We challenged ourselves to put together a budget Boxing Day Picky tea – and I think we’ve absolutely smashed it.
I’ve worked with Jack’s before and am over the moon to be doing so again, with this Christmas brief in mind. The Jack’s Christmas range is something to cry out about – not only is it crazily affordable and outstanding, but with staples such as a giant festive sausage roll, mini toad in the holes and award winning mince pies, there really is something for everyone. Jack’s is a family friendly brand – not only do they stock brand favourites, they have a wide range of homebrand products that are perfect for those on a budget. Whilst we didn’t buy a turkey and the trimmings for Christmas dinner this time around – I’m not the biggest white meat eater and the thought of two turkey dinners didn’t appeal all that much to me – the meat that Jack’s provides, beef, turkey, chicken and lamb is all 100% British grown.
A Boxing Day Picky Tea to Rule All Picky Teas
In our home, Christmas Eve and Boxing Day are a big deal – and they both involve the classic picky tea. No one wants to spend Christmas Eve behind the stove, slaving away – and then spend the rest of the evening cleaning up the mess so the house is spick and span for Christmas Day guests – if COVID allows for it. The same can be said for Boxing Day – after the festivities have wrapped up on the day itself, Boxing Day should be spent relaxing and eating picky foods – not diving into a full blown meal for the whole household.
If you’re a fan of the most recent series of I’m A Celebrity, you’ll know exactly who Jordan North is. If you know much about Jordan, you’ll be fully aware that he is an enormous advocate for the picky tea:
Ladies and Gentleman I give you a PICKY TEA / freezer taps / Ifits / carpet picnic / scruffs tea / bits n bobs / arctic feast…whatever you call it, it’s one of the best meals ever!!! pic.twitter.com/BfCwYMcNfP
— Jordan North (@jordannorth1) August 7, 2019
Normally beige in colour and made up of whatever you fancy, a picky tea is pinacle to a great gathering – minimal fuss, can be completely budget friendly as you can use bits you’ve got left in the freezer as well as stocking up on a few value-filled essentials and can be completely catered to yours and your guests dietary requirements.
Our vision was clear – a cheeseboard build using fresh Jack’s products, fruits, crackers and all the charchuterie we could dream of, alongside some veggie classics. If you’re a fan of cheese, a specially made cheese box is available in store – featuring a variety of different soft and hard cheeses perfect for every palate. At £4 for 5 cheeses it was an absolute steal, however I decided to build our own cheese board as I’m not the biggest fan of blue cheese. I ended up choosing a Five Counties Cheese, a Mexicana spicy cheese, a sharp cheddar and, from the other cheese section, a classic crumbly Cheshire. At around £2 a cheese, it did work out a little more expensive than buying the box would have been, but it meant that everything we bought we would actually eat and nothing would go to waste. There was also a camembert roule, affordably priced at £2 and some other soft and blue cheeses. I always like to pair my cheese board with fruit – grapes and strawberries being my choice at this time of year along with other tasty nibbles including satay chicken, charchuterie – I’m talking the most delicious proscuitto, salami and spicy pepperoni, with crackers and onion and chive pastry bites.
If you’re more of a hot picky tea kind of gal or guy, then Jack’s has you covered there too – we opted for some of their veggie options as the main aspect of our picky tea, the mighty charchuterie board, obviously contained meat. Garlic mushrooms are some of our absolute favourites so they were a winner and we also got a variety pack of sweetcorn fritters, smoky barbeque tater tots and beer battered onion rings. All delicious and affordable – at £2 a pack, each pack could comfortably feed 3 or 4 people in combination with the other bits we threw out on the table. If you’re on the lookout for a few meaty options, Jack’s offers staples such as pigs in blankets and other Christmassy essentials as well as the ones we went for – why not get them all and put on a real spread?
With £40, we were able to buy all of the above and make a delightful little feast and some frozen for when we get to the actual festivities later this month – with mince pies, a christmas pudding and Christmas themed chocolates to follow for dessert.
Jack’s isn’t all about the food, either. With affordable crackers, decorations and Christmas wrapping, you really can do your food shop and top it up with the Christmas bits you need for the celebratory period. We also picked up a few of their gifting items, with Boxing Day in mind – a gorgeous set of Christmas candles priced at £4, which I imagine will last a good while from the WIGIG section of the store. WIGIG, when it’s gone it’s gone, is brilliant for those looking for last minute, affordable gifts. Not only did they sell human advent calendars in Jack’s, there was also plenty of choice for your furry friends. Our little Hector may have a treat for the Christmas countdown courtesy of Jack’s Supermarket!
Affordability wise, Jack’s is fantastic – we previously shopped at another supermarket name but over the last few months we’ve been shopping exclusively at Jack’s – our local store being the Wakefield branch and only 15 minutes drive away. We’ve managed to save a fortune over the last few months which, considering out savings goals, is great for us. Whether your circumstances have changed slightly, significantly or not at all due to Coronavirus, understanding your finances and shopping affordably is vitally important – especially at Christmas time. Shopping at Jack’s not only gives you guaranteed 100% British meat across chicken, turkey, beef and lamb, fresh fruit and vegatables at affordable prices, but also the brands you love at the best prices available.