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10 Tips For Burns Night, any Night on a Budget

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Haggis, Neeps and Tatties

Haggis, Neeps and Tatties are not just for Burns Night.

Burns Nights can be so much fun – there’s merriment, celebration, great food, dancing, poetry, singing… and maybe just a dash of whisky, but we don’t have to limit it just to the birthday of the bard.

If you’ve had the honour of hosting a Burns Supper, you’ll know there is a lot to organise, and perhaps a lot to pay for too, but Burns Night fare is good enough for any dinner party.

So how can you throw an enjoyable Burns Supper, any night, without blowing your budget?

Here are ten tips that could help you.

  1. Shopping around for your haggis could reap you benefits and work out much cheaper in the long run.  You could get several haggis cheaper than one hefty one and there may be some good deals on.
  2. Consider buying a smaller haggis and serving it as a starter with a smaller serving of neeps and tatties.  Then serve something less expensive – like a good value beef joint or whole fish – for the main.
  3. If you buy a big haggis, don’t waste the leftovers. Keep it and make some haggis-based dishes for the rest of the week – for example haggis lasagne.  Or serve some the next day in a Scottish breakfast if you have guests who stay over.
  4. Buy cheaper whisky and use it to make a pitcher of Hot Toddy. Your guests are unlikely to taste the difference – especially as the night goes on!
  5. Encourage guests to bring their own drinks – especially if they’re quite particular about their brand of Scotch.
  6. Propose that guests bring their own starters or desserts – to cut down on preparation time and cost for you, and to give the supper more diversity.
  7. For next year, consider having your Burns Nights later – some retailers may bring down the price of any leftover Burns Night food on their shelves after the 25th January.
  8. Grow your own potatoes and turnips.  You’ve plenty of time to prepare for 2014.  Here’s how to grow potatoes and turnips. A good crop will last you for Burns Night and beyond.
  9. A Burns Supper wouldn’t be complete without songs and poems from Robbie Burns himself. has a timetable for the evening – including links to the essential poems and songs – for free.
  10. If you’d like your singers, speakers and other entertainers to read from a book, you could borrow one from your local library.

by the Debt Advisory Centre Scotland.  We hope you had a great Burns Night last week and will continue to enjoy haggis throughout the next year as one of your staple foods!