Episode 108 Pre-Holiday Shopping for Basics

 In Planning, Podcast

Years ago, Lisa Woodruff of Organize 365 talked about how she would do a big shopping trip in early December to stock up on basic items. I thought it was brilliant. I have been doing this for years and it has been a huge part of getting organized for the holidays. I have taken it one step further and now like to do a big shopping trip once a quarter.


First, know that a big shopping trip may not be in your budget. That is okay. You may want to just buy a few weeks of basic items.https://feedyourfamilytonight.com/holiday/

The Feed Your Family Tonight Holiday Planning Guide has printable sheets for your pre-holiday shopping lists.

You want to set a time to do this shopping trip. I highly recommend doing it on a weekday morning or a Sunday morning if you need to do it on the weekend. Put it on your calendar and honor that appointment with yourself.

There are two pieces to the pre-holiday shopping for basics. The first is “basic” items that include paper products, cleaning products, personal care items, and over the counter medicines and vitamins. The second is basic food items.

Before you decide what food items you are going to buy, think about how you eat during this busy season. Are you making soups and stews? Are you super busy and rely on frozen convenience foods like frozen meatballs or potstickers? What kind of canned goods, frozen foods, baking supplies, and dry goods do you use frequently? Do you need to buy coffee, tea, or hot chocolate mix? If you drink alcohol, you may want to stop at the liquor store too. By examining the kinds of foods you plan to eat, you are helping yourself meal plan in the weeks ahead. You can plan your meals around the staples you have purchased. This limits your choices and makes meal planning much easier.

Be warned, now is not the time to be aspirational in your purchases. Be realistic. You may want to make lots of meals from scratch, but know that in reality you are going to reach for fast and easy meals. That is not to say that you won’t make a special meal or two. You can go and get the ingredients later. This is the time to get items you will really use. I stock up on frozen fruits and veggies, canned tomatoes, canned beans, and lots of pasta. I get the ingredients I need for most of my holiday baking too.

A word about how to execute the shopping trip. Lisa Woodruff advises to start at the store farthest away from your house and work your way home. You may need to put a cooler in your car to hold frozen items if that store is farthest away. I live in Wichita, Kansas and everything is 15 minutes from my house so it is not as big of a deal, but if you are in a large city and need to drive far to get to a big box store, it is worth it to put a cooler in the car so you don’t have to rush home.

Marie Fiebach is a married mother of four active kids. She helps busy families plan and execute weeknight dinner so they can recapture a little calm in the crazy. You can see her every week on KAKE TV’s Good Morning Kakeland or listen to the Feed Your Family Tonight Podcast.

For a transcript click here

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