Try the following method...it works for me. Each year I follow the same 'shopping list'..when I pack the decorations away, I put the list in with them. I put my decorations up on the 1st December. That way, it gives me plenty of time to arrange the 'food' shopping. I will list some the items on my list... Turkey, bacon, potatoes, brussels, Chestnuts, sage, parsley, onions, butter, bread, gammon, vegetables, prawns, tomato sauce, tinned red salmon, smoked salmon, dill, soft cheese, double cream, brandy cream, custard, yorkshire puds, honey, cloves, spirits, beer, mixers, ...you get my jist. Along side each item, I place 1,2,or 3 or I leave it blank. 3= Buy the item 3 weeks from Christmas 2= " " " 2 " " " 1= " " " 1 " " " If it is blank, I know this item will need to be bought the last shop before Christmas. Ie, the Turkey will need to be bought/collected Christmas eve. Potatoes and other veg will be blank. Cream and other dairy produce will have 1 because they will have a 'use by' date usually for a few days after Christmas day. Prawns will have 3 because I use frozen...and so on. I write 4 lists, one for each of the weeks and hey presto...no last minute worrys. Ideally, your 'last' most dreaded shop will be just the handful of vegetables and salad stuff.... I follow this method every year...and it works. Also, in the 'Christmas Bag'...(the back I put away with the decorations)...I put all the left over crackers, serviettes, paper plates, christmas cards/wrap/tags and recipes. So, when you pull them out on December the 1st you get a pleasant surprise...'oh, I forgot I had that...'...it will save you buying it again!! Good luck, and merry christmas. UPDATE: 01/12/00 My other half got the tree and decorations down from the loft this morning...and I looked at my 'recipe' list...I had written down: Turkey cost £35.00 from Willets Gammon cost £19.00 from Mandys (an Irish shop near I live...we always get our gammon from there..it is the leanest and best we have tasted)..cook for 5 hours Gas mark 3, Cloves =13 Honey=1/2 jar of clear.... Now, I know how big a turkey I should get and how much it will cost... and the same for the gammon...so handy!
The annual christmas bun fight is great fun if you're not organising it, but a headache if you are. Here are a few ideas that might help make it less of a headache for you. Buy locally. Don't just automatically go to the supermarket for all your produce. They can be overcrowed and unpleasant places at the best of times. Instead, go to your local butchers. Most butchers will be happy to take an order for you, and prepare it for Christmas eve. All you have to do is collect it. No more glazed gazing at chipolatas! Buy in advance. Much of the food you will use can be bought in advance, especially sauces, frozen food, tinned food. This way you can avoid the rush at the supermarket. Buy at the last minute. There are somethings you just can't get in advance - your salads and veg. This can be a real pain, with trolley wars taking place on Christmas eve as everyone tried to buy their pound of sprouts. There are two ways around this one - take pot luck on the veggies you get, and go to the supermarket just before closing. Only to be recommended if you have no fussy guests! Alternatively, put in an order with your local greengrocers. By shopping at smaller, local shops you will get better service, and less stress over the Christmas period. Have a good holiday!
Whilst most of you will be slaving away, pushing those your trolleys through crowds of people at 4pm when every other person had decided to get there Christmas Turkey, a few days before christmas, I will be sat at home!. Every year, I across the challenge of buying the food for Christmas, well no more!! Last year, I have the Guineas idea of Going to the supermarket at 5:00am!! Our local Supermarket (Tescos) is open 24 hours a day, so when I got there, there were only a handful of people in there! I could cruse round, choosing what ever I liked! because is was so early in the morning, all the shelves had been re-stocked and so I get the pick of the crop!! Appart from the Extremely early morning, I would suggest it to anyone!!
Every year Christmas comes around i have the same problem- I have to buy the food for Christmas Day but when is the question. If I buy it early then it is left stored in the freezer for months, and by that time if it has not gone off, it does not taste as fresh as if you buy it closer to Christmas. If I buy it nearer to Christmas then I am going to be faced with these massive queues- did you see the queues at Mark's and Spencer last year? They were horrendous, and I must have spent at least an hour trying to get my turkey. Therefore this is not a very good idea either (unless you like standing in queues). You need to find somewhere in between, so that you are not waiting for ages in the supermarket, nor buying it so early, it feels like summer. You make the choice. I have not decided when I will get my food this year- good luck whatever choice you make.
I'm not advocating leaving the essentials to the last minute! However, it's certainly worth visiting the supermarkets in the last hour or two before they close on Christmas eve. The last few hours of shopping before Christmas, supermarkets reduce their remaining fresh produce drastically. You can buy all sorts of products such as double cream, fruit and vegetables (and for non-vegetarians, top quality beef and salmon) for enormously reduced prices. Safeway tend to have even better reductions than Sainsbury's. Perhaps surprisingly, the supermarkets tend not to be very crowded at this time, either. Availability is a bit unpredictable, so you can't plan to buy your Christmas dinner this way, but it is a really good way of buying extra luxuries. If you have a freezer, you can stock up with good food to tide you over the economising in the new year!
Christmas always seems to loom like a dark cloud over everyone's lives when it comes to buying everything that is required. The important thing with Christmas is to plan! Its not much fun to do, but boy does it make a difference to your stress levels! A good tip if you use loyalty cards like Tesco and Sainsbury's is to save up the money off vouchers until you go to buy your Christmas shopping. This helps you spread the cost of Christmas without even noticing! But don't buy everything all at once - expecially if you are shopping alone. It is far to hard to lug bag after bag into your shopping trolley and car. Write yourself a shopping list and start to accumulate tinned food and anything that will keep. Keep a special eye out for special offers that can save you a few pennies and take advantage of these wherever you can! If you can also put the same level of planning into your Christmas present shopping you should have a stress free Christmas - good luck!
I have recently discovered the delights of Carte D'or Icecream. This would make a wonderful Christmas treat. (It's a bit pricey to feed the family except for on special occassions.) The Strawberry one with real strawberry pieces is really good. You can taste the fruit. Then there's my favourite one: Italian Cherry. This one has bits of red cherry in it and real cherries on the top. Put some on your Christmas food list. Carte D'Or is excellent quality icecream but don't buy it before Christmas. Best buy it as late as possible.Why? Well, I've eaten mine and now need to replace it. It just looks too good to remain uneaten for long.
Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat, Please put a penny in cindy1's hat, If you haven't got a penny, a rating will do, If you haven't got a rating god, bless you. DooYoo want to have a really good Christmas? Well read on and I will tell you how. I haven't got a lot of money coming in each week, so when Christmas came I just couldn't afford to go out and buy nice presents for my family, or nice food to eat over Christmas. I couldn't even afford to buy Chocolates. I was sick of having a really crappy Christmas. After a particular bad year I sat down and pondered on how I could afford to buy decent food and presents. Then I had a brainstorm. I thought to myself if I could collect food throughout the year when Christmas came I could take the money I normally spend on the shopping and buy presents with it. So I started collected my food in January every week I would buy something, some weeks I would get maybe a tin of salmon. If I was flush, I could buy more. When December come I had 4 weeks worth of shopping plus the Christmas food, which gave me about £300 to spend on presents, a turkey, fruit and vegetables and meat and cheeses. I had a fantastic Christmas I bought nice presents for everyone and I had plenty of nice food to eat. That was 3 years ago, now I have this method down to a fine art, I now collect about 5 weeks worth of shopping, and even all the alcohol. This means I can take part of the money in November and spend it on presents. To make this scheme work you need to be committed it's no good eating it all. I suggest you pack the food into boxes and store it in the attic especially the alcohol and chocolates. Remember you can collect anything that isn't perishable. You can even collect washing powder, washing up liquid, shampoo. All you have to remember is to buy the things you normally buy. When buying the Christmas food you can buy chocolates an d biscuits, but remember to check the sell by date. Try to collect better food for Christmas that way it will be more of a treat. This year thanks to DooYoo I have been able to buy all my alcohol, thanks to the thresher vouchers. I have Jack Daniel's whiskey, Grolsch larger, Boddingtons, Vodka and even some cigars. I have even used my vouchers to buy presents for the family. So this gives me even more money. If you follow my advice, I will guarantee you will have everything come Christmas. In addition, remember the more food you collect the more money you will have. Also you can collect presents for the family, I'm not talking about big presents, but smaller items that cost no more than £4. If you have a teenage daughter you could get her loads of little bits, and the chances are she will probably like them more than the big present. Good shops for cheap quality presents are superdrug and Wilkinsons; both have a large range of smaller goods, like make-up, hair accessories, toiletries and things like fluffy notebooks, and pictures frames. This method applies to the whole family; any woman will welcome make-up and toiletries. And for the man you could get socks, shaving equipment and maybe some tools. Men always feel left out at Christmas, as no one knows what to get them; he will enjoy opening his smaller presents. In addition, don't forget your pets, the same method applies, get them treats and toys. My dogs always go berserk at Christmas because they have so many presents to open. When somebody buys you one big present it can be boring, but with my method you can still buy that big present, plus lots of smaller items. Above all remember to do your shopping early to avoid the queues, and if you leave it too late all the best stuff is gone anyway.