It’s actually quite easy to avoid the post Christmas grocery budget hangover with a little bit of careful planning and preparation.
And it’s even easier to put an end to panic buying by making a list (or downloading ours), and spreading the Christmas supermarket shop over SEVEN blissful weeks. Better for the budget and your sanity!
We’ve all been there, trolley laden with all things festive, a week out from Christmas. We (mostly begrudgingly) hand over what’s left of our hard earned cash to the cashier for what will no doubt be an epic feast. But still, it’s all a little ouch on the pocket at the pointy end of the Christmas stocking.
Here’s a thorough seven week countdown Christmas grocery shopping so you can blitz through that Christmas shop. With time on your side and our handy Christmas planner, you’re spoiled for choice. There’s plenty of stock on shelves, you get ALL the upcoming specials and, best of all, you can spread the cost out over seven whole weeks!
First things first though. You must plan what you want to eat Christmas Day, in order to shop for it. Cold meat and salad? Easy. Hot ham and vegetables? No dramas! Three types of dessert? You bet! Clear a shelf in the fridge, some freezer and pantry space and let’s SHOP.
Being the good Christmas elves that we are, you can keep on track with our free shopping list, Just download, print and tick items off as you buy.
7 Weeks to Go:
Choose Your Delicious Turkey and Leg of Ham
Starting off reasonably gently, warm up those trolley wheels by adding these festive season picks!
Choose your fresh ham leg and store it deep in the back of the fridge on the lowest shelf to resist eating it before Christmas. Don’t forget to grab a ham bag for storing leftovers. If turkey is your meat of choice and you have room in your freezer for a frozen roast turkey, buy one now while you have the room.
Pick up the kids’ Advent calendars now while there’s still plenty on the shelves. Alternatively, if you’re filling an existing one, choose lollies or chocolates that are individually wrapped. The ants really enjoyed my red frogs one year!
Let the gift shopping begin. Keep your eyes peeled for small chocolate gifts, which are handy to have on hand when unexpected guests drop in. Cruise the stationery and toy aisle for small, inexpensive stocking stuffer gifts such as little cars, slinkies, pretty pencils, basically all the knick-knack things.
6 Weeks to Go:
Desserts and Drinks
Get your sweet tooth in check, it’s dessert and drinks week!
Admittedly, this is the week I go a little crazy. This week stock up on varieties of fruit mince pies (Woolworths has traditional Fruit Mince Pies AND Summer Berry Mince Pies, just $3.50 for a packet of 6!), brandy snaps or easy-to-fill brandy snap baskets, pavlova nests and bases, Christmas cookies, Christmas cake and of course, Christmas pudding.
It’s worth noting you can control the amount of pavlova you eat in one day easily with Woolworths pavlova bases. The Woolworths Pavlova Base 1kg ($12) is perfect for feeding a crowd, while the Woolworths 4-pack of Individual Pavlovas ($5) help you exercise some self control when it comes to meringue.
Woolworths has a scrumptious selection of rum balls and festive pastry biscuits that make for a wonderful sweet treat too, don’t miss out on them!
Don’t forget to keep your fluids up, hydration is important. Make a list of drinks and cross it off your Christmas checklist as you put them in your trolley. Have plenty of drinks on offer for all your guests and don’t forget to include cocktail mixers!
Who doesn’t love to have a glass of champagne on Christmas Day? Of course, not everyone is a drinker so be sure to have a non-alcohol alternative, such as a sparkling apple juice, for those who don’t drink alcohol.
5 Weeks to Go:
Set the Festive Scene (and Don’t Forget the Batteries!)
This week we’re getting ready to set the Christmas scene! Buy any tree decorations or lights you might need to replace from last year. Add any table decorations you
want need to give your Christmas table that festive feel.
This is also the week to buy your gift wrap, gift tags and sticky tape. Hide that tape like your life depends on it, or you’re guaranteed midnight Christmas Eve is when you’ll discover the kids used it all wrapping the cat’s present.
If you send Christmas cards (as in old-school post at the Post Office style), buy those now. That’ll give you plenty of time to write and send them off in time.
If you’ve done your gift shopping and know some will require powering up, buy batteries. Buy ALL THE BATTERIES!!
4 Weeks to Go:
Nibbles, Nibbles, Nibbles
Week four is all about building up your store of nibbles and quick throw-together foods to put on the table to graze on when friends drop in.
Have plenty of nibble type foods in the pantry for the lead up to Christmas, as well as the day itself. You can whiz up a small cheese or nibble plate in no time if you’re prepared. Shop a selection of cheeses, dips, pates, nuts, crackers and pretzels. Grab a handy Woolworths Christmas Snack Mix Pretzels ($3) to mix it up!
Frozen finger foods stashed in the freezer are a lifesaver. Woolworths has an awesome selection including Chicken and Mushroom Arancini Balls ($5) and Garlic Chicken Bites ($5). They’re delicious, super quick to heat up and take practically no effort. #winning
3 Weeks to Go:
Sauce, Dressing and Cream – ALL the Condiments
We’re down to the nitty gritty folks – it’s condiments week on our Christmas planner! Refer back to your menu plan and make a note of which sauces and dressings you’ll need. For savoury you might need gravy mix, cranberry sauce and apple sauce and don’t forget salad dressings.
It’s a good idea to pop a fresh container of ice cream in your trolley, along with custards and cream, they generally have lengthy shelf dates and can comfortably sit in the fridge or freezer until pudding calls!
2 Weeks to Go:
Frozen Seafood and Replenish Everyday Basics
If you traditionally cook a turkey roll for Christmas lunch, head to the freezers and add one to your trolley. While you’re there, pick up your frozen seafood, prawns and salmon for the easy Christmas dinner win!
This is the week I like to replenish the everyday items I forget about until they run out on Christmas Day. Make sure you have plenty of tin foil, plastic wrap, garbage bags, foil roasting trays, and paper towel.
Because generally I’ve spent most of the day in and out of the kitchen, hands in and out of dishwashing water, I’m ALL FOR disposable plates and cups for serving a relaxed Christmas dinner. Santa knows I don’t want to do any more dishes for the day. If you feel the same, add a pack or two of plates and bowls to your shop.
1 Week to Go:
Fresh Poultry and Produce
The home stretch! This week is the week for all of your perishable produce on our Christmas planner.
Shop your vegetables, fruit and herbs in the days leading up to Christmas to make sure you get the freshest on offer. Pick your bananas slightly green to avoid them over-ripening before hitting the pavlova.
Choose your fresh poultry now too and waste no time worrying about defrosting a giant bird. Just cook from fresh following instructions. You can do it!
Head to the bakery section of the supermarket and pick your bread rolls, artisan loaves and flat-breads. (These can even be frozen up until Christmas morning to keep fresh).
It also pays to err on the side of caution. Add extra milk, eggs and oil to the trolley in case some impromptu baking or eggnog creating takes over. And don’t forget Santa’s treat! Grab two packs of Santa cookies – one for the big man and one for the killer ice cream sandwich you can make when the kids go to bed!
That’s it, you’ve done it! With luck combined with the amazing festive and fresh foods at Woolworths, you’ve built your Christmas haul over SEVEN weeks, scoring awesome prices along the way AND not blowing the Christmas budget out of the sleigh. Put your feet up and enjoy a treat on Santa, you deserve it!
This is a sponsored article for Woolworths.