One of the ways I plan for Christmas is to start shopping early. And I mean September/October early! As soon as Christmas is out in the shops, I’m onto it. I start by planning my theme, and then I look for all the pieces that go with it. I’m talking wrapping paper, decorations, table settings - the lot.
I’m not someone that redesigns our Christmas tree decorations every year. I love a Christmas tree of memories, rather than changing the theme every year, but this doesn’t extend to my wrapping or table themes.
Christmas Planning: Styling
I like to look at what's on offer in shops like Woolworths, Big W, Kmart and Target and decide on my colour theming. Here are a few we have done over the years - I'm a believer of everything disposable for Christmas so no one is stuck doing the dishes all afternoon.
I’ve also started picking up the little things the kids love - reindeer ears, Santa hats, some cute decorations. If you’re just spending $3-5 here and there you don’t notice the hit in your shopping bill.
Christmas Planning: Food
There are a whole bunch of Christmas food items you can start buying now, that will last until Christmas. You’ll see that fruit mince pies, fruit cakes, puddings, biscuits, and rum balls are all appearing on the shelves at your supermarket. All of these can be purchased and put away because they have a long shelf life.
Some foods you might consider buying early are:
Fruitcake: Fruitcakes are known for their long shelf life, thanks to the alcohol used to soak the fruits and nuts.
Cookies: Most Christmas cookies, such as gingerbread cookies, sugar cookies, and shortbread, can be stored in an airtight container for several weeks.
Dried Fruits: Dried fruits like apricots, figs, and dates are naturally preserved and can last for months if stored in a cool, dry place.
Chocolates: Quality chocolates can be stored for several months if kept in a cool, dry place.
Canned Cranberry Sauce: Canned cranberry sauce can last for a year or more when stored in a cool, dark place.
Preserves and Jams: Homemade or store-bought preserves and jams can last for months.
Cheese: Hard cheeses like cheddar, parmesan, and gouda can be stored for several months when properly wrapped and refrigerated.
Lollies: As long as you wont eat them, lollies have a long shelf life so you can definitely buy them early.
Alcohol: Alcohol has a long shelf life and can add up to a lot. So start buying early.
Meringues: Meringues will last a long time in the pantry, just store them where they wont get crushed.
Christmas Planning: Shopping
To help you prepare for Christmas and not break the bank, we have put together an easy, downloadable shopping list with everything you can buy early. Cross them off over the weeks leading up to Christmas and you’ll be ready to go!
Christmas Planning: Christmas Gift Shopping
I also like to start my Christmas present shopping early. I keep an eye out for bargains and sales and cute things family members will like. Black Friday sales, Afterpay sales and other sales are a great time to pick up discounts.
I've put together a printable shopping list for you to download to help you budget and plan, and so you don't double buy for people (like that time I bought my son the same DVD box set twice and wrapped them both!)
What else do you buy in the lead up to Christmas?