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During the holidays, grocery stores turn into battlefields. And if you don’t have the right tactics and enough ammo, you might as well say goodbye to those noche buena feast ideas you’re planning to do.
But don’t worry, ladies, we’ve got your back. Here are some Christmas grocery shopping hacks that can help keep you sane as you battle against fellow shoppers and outsmart the holiday stress and chaos:
1. Examine the Battleground
Before you start shopping, take a good look at the store. See how long the cashier lines are. Typically, all the basket lanes are available during the holidays. Plus, check if the store has special checkout counters for wines and imported goods. On a normal day, these counters only accommodate wine or imported products purchases. But if the store gets too busy (which it will) during the holiday season, these special checkout counters are open for regular purchases, as well.
Also, bring your friends or siblings when grocery shopping during the holidays. You can have one of them fall in line at the cashier once you get to the store. This way, you don’t have to wait for another hour or so just to get to the checkout counter after filling your grocery cart.
2. Strategize Every Move
When the store is packed, you have to be strategic about collecting the items on your grocery list. Every move must be fast and efficient. Remember, the longer you stay in the store, the more stressed you become. Plus, don’t forget that long hours of shopping can leave your body and feet feeling sore.
While examining the battleground, aka the store, take note of the grocery sections. Re-arrange your list according to those sections. For instance, if the pasta sauce stall is near the produce section, make sure vegetables and pasta sauces are next to each other on your grocery list. This helps you avoid time going back and forth to one area of the store.
3. Do the Basket Lane Hack
As mentioned, all the basket lanes are usually open during the holidays. Use a grocery cart to get all the items on your list as it’s faster and more convenient. But once you’re done shopping, transfer all the goods into multiple baskets, so you can check out at the basket lane (or justify why your sister is at the basket lane). Since there are no big carts allowed in this lane, you can finish shopping ahead of time.
4. Bring Ammo (Enough Cash)
Instead of thinking about your OOTD before heading to the store (like Heart Evangelista did in her latest viral post), it’s more strategic to focus on your ammo (i.e., enough cash). Remember, you’re about to enter a holiday grocery war — and no soldier goes to war without a gun and ammo. Plus, it’s easier for you to get on any cashier lane as some lanes don’t allow debit or credit card payments. Withdraw cash from your bank ahead of time and bring enough amount (grocery budget + extra cash) to the store.
With these hacks, you can keep your cool while shopping for the most joyous meal of the year. It is easier to spread the holiday spirit to fellow shoppers and store personnel when you know you can win against the holiday chaos.
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She's a web content writer, a playwright, and the author of the children's novel, Detective Boys of Masangkay: Ang Mangkukulam.