Alex outside Tesco on his mobility scooter

A man from Salford is swapping his Christmas dinner for rare steak and cannot afford to visit his family because of the ongoing cost of living crisis. 

Originally born in Scotland, Alex is also spending this Christmas without his family because he can not afford to travel.

Instead of visiting his children in Scotland, he will spend this holiday with his wife at home.

He said: “We are staying in. The family is doing their own things, but we are doing it ourselves because it is too dear for everybody.

“You have to do what you have to do. Make sure the family is okay and that’s about it.”

Alex and his wife usually visit their eldest son in Glasgow in the holidays, but with the travel costs and other Christmas expenses, family time wasn’t possible this year.

Alex on his way to Tesco to do his weekly shop. Photo Credit: Niamh Mc Dermott

Alex said he’s looking forward to spending the day with his wife, but they’ve had to make more sacrifices to ease the financial burden of the holiday. He continued: “We aren’t actually having a turkey, we are having a steak. It’s a waste of time getting a turkey for two of you because you end up wasting most of it.

“Everything else, gas and electric, you want something you can cook quick. I’m going to learn to eat my steak really rare and just put it on for 10 seconds, turn it and take it off. Save a few quid and sort the gas man.”

The prices of groceries are soaring due to the cost of living crisis, with some Christmas dinner essentials are out of the average budget.

It is estimated that total Christmas dinner shops could be up to £17 more expensive than last year.



The Food Collective – based in the Angel Centre – is a ‘Food Market for the People’ that is helping people in Salford with the Christmas food shop.

The Food Collective giving out hot meals to Salford residents. Photo Credit: Kate Simpson

They offer a warm space and hot meals to Salford residents, as well as offering discounted groceries to help reduce the cost of Christmas dinner.

Service director, Kate Simpson, said: “We’ve been running the free food scheme since the 1st November and numbers have gradually picked up especially as the weather is turning a bit colder.

“We are getting a wide variety of people so old people, young families, refugees, anybody in the community who is a little bit vulnerable, or short of money or lonely, they are able to come in and use that space.”


A chef making hot meals at The Food Collective. Photo Credit: Kate Simpson










It is open five days a week from 8:30am – 5pm.

For more information, visit the Food Collective website.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *