Every year, food prices seemingly just keep going up and up and up… It can get depressing just thinking about the food and the amount you’ll have to pay for your Noche Buena feast. You can make a Noche Buena feast in under 3 hours but you may want other food beyond its menu like the essential Christmas ham, spaghetti, pasta sauce, cheese, and even the special queso de bola.
This year, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has released its price guide of Noche Buena staples. (You can download the full list here.) The good news is that there are items on the list that have stayed the same price as it was a year ago or even dropped its prices.
Here are the most affordable food items from DTI’s newly released Noche Buena Price Guide for 2023:
Christmas hams range from P169 for 500 grams up to P898.50 for a 1.5 kg. CDO American Ham is still the most affordable ham on the market at P169/500 grams followed closely by Purefoods Brick Ham at P170/500 grams.
For bigger families who need a bigger-sized 1kg hams, look for the Swift Noche Buena Ham at P339/1kg or King Sue Hawaiian Ham Loaf (Promo Pack) or the Virginia Pear Shaped Ham both priced at P345/1kg.
If you need a medium-sized ham that’s just the right size for your handaan, check out the King Sue Pear Shaped Ham at P237/700 grams or the CDO Pear Shaped Ham for P239/800 grams.
Dessert is always on the table if it’s a complete Noche Buena that you’re looking for. Fruit cocktail ranges from P57.72 for 432 gram can up to P293.86 for a huge 3.06 kg can.
A small-sized fruit cocktail of 432 grams ranges from as low as P57.72 for Seasons Tropical Fruit Cocktail or as high as Del Monte Fiest in Extra Light Syrup for P67.50 for the same size.
If you need a bigger can, Seasons Tropical Fruit Cocktail offers one that is P81.91/822 grams or get the slightly bigger Jolly Tropical Fruit Cocktail for P77.76/850 grams.
Cheese and Keso de Bola
Christmas always means there are dishes that are cheesy, including the cheese board after the main meal. Expect cheese to range from P56.50 for a 160-gram block up to P420 for a 900-gram block.
The most affordable cheese is Eden Original for P56.50/160 grams followed by OK Filled Cheese Spread for P47.15/200 grams. If you need a quick-melting cheese, Eden Meltsarap is P95/160 grams while Che-Vital Cheese Quickmelt is P79.90/200 grams is the next most affordable.
Those who queso de bola meanwhile should expect to spend from up P210 to P435. The biggest cheese ball on the list is Danes Queso de Bola‘s 750-gram ball. If you want the smallest cheese ball, look for Ques-O De Bola which costs P211.60/300 grams.
If you’re making a macaroni salad or any other salad that has a creamy dressing, you may need mayonnaise. Mayonnaise ranges from small 80-ml packets that cost P24.70 to a large 700-ml jar costing P193.75.
The most affordable is Best Foods Regular Mayonnaise Mayo Magic for P24.70/80-ml sachet followed by Magnolia Real Mayonnaise for P31.25/80-ml sachet a price lower than it was last year.
Spaghetti may be the pasta of choice for most days, and Christmas is no exception. Spaghetti ranges from P25.50/200 grams from Amigo Segurado Spaghetti up to P105/1 kg from Ideal Gourmet Spaghetti. The smallest pack of spaghetti on the list is from Del Monte Spaghetti at P30.95 for a 175-gram pack, perfect for those who are dining for two.
What is spaghetti without a fantastic pasta sauce? You can make your own or you can grab a premixed spaghetti sauce. Classic spaghetti sauces, whether sweetened to cater to our local taste or more tangy and classic, range from P23.55/250-grams for Amigo Segurado-Italian Style and Amigo Segurado-Sweet Blend Style. Those who are preparing bigger servings have the option of getting 1-kg packs, costing as low as Sunshine Sweet Kiddie Style for P72/1 kg pack and Hunt’s Basil and Cheese for P83.70/1 kg pack.
You even have your choice from creamier sauces that include a white sauce, Del Monte Carbonara for P39.50/200 grams or one that already includes cheese such as Hunt’s Parmesan for P28.75/250-grams or Del Mone Creamy & Cheese for P70/500 grams.
All-purpose cream can be used for desserts such as the classic fruit salad or homemade ice cream but can also be used for savory dishes as well including a creamy pasta sauce or salad dressing. Depending on the price you can afford, the most affordable is Alaska Crema at P36/135-ml. All-purpose cream packs can also be by size, costing P36.50 for the smallest 110-ml pack from Magnolia All Purpose Cream while it can be as big as Angel All Purpose Creamer for P55/370-ml.
Remember: these food prices are the suggested retail prices (SRPs) by manufacturers to retailers and are valid only until December 31, 2023. It helps for you to be aware of discounts and promos that might make your feast more affordable and delicious according to your Noche Buena plans.
For more information, visit the E-Presyo page of the Department of Trade and Industry’s website.