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From family get-togethers, to tobogganing, to tree-trimming, the holiday season is always hectic. Let us help you save time by following our plan-ahead tips and downloading our shopping list on your phone – you’ll be fully prepared to hit the aisles with ease leaving you more time to relax with the ones you love.

Click here for our handy holiday ingredient checklist.

Tips for a Smoother Trip

Before you go:

1. Only one fridge and freezer? A few days before the big trip (or two) to the store, clean out your fridge and freezer, and reorganize the pantry. Use up any odds and ends in soups, stews or stir-fries so there’s plenty of room for incoming groceries. Freeze portions of these dishes so you’ll have instant meals for the family when the holiday season is in full swing. Donate excess non-perishable items; call your local Sobeys to see if it has a food bank donation bin.

2. Create a one-week meal plan that incorporates leftovers from big holiday meals. Browse our recipes for dishes that use cooked ingredients like turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes.

3. If you can, plan to hit your local Sobeys at a quieter time: during weekday hours or late in the evening. You’ll be glad to have the extra space to maneuver a heavy cart!

At the store:

1. Bring a shopping partner! Grab the kids, your wife or boyfriend and create a divide and conquer plan to get the shopping trip accomplished quickly and stress-free.

2. Remember to pick up butter, flour, baking chocolate and sugar is you’re planning a cookie swap or some holiday baking. Tip: Butter can be frozen, so go head and buy multiple packages.

3. Stock up on baked-in-store breads and baguettes, and freeze them to thaw later on to accompany holiday meals and apps or to use for French toast.

4. Be ready for drop-in guests with a well-stocked snack and appetizer stash: think nuts, chips, dips, olives, crackers, cheeses, deli meats, gingerbread, shortbread and frozen appetizers.

5. Buy tonic water, as well as pops and juices, for mixed and non-alcoholic drink options. These can be stored in the pantry until guests come and then kept cold in a cooler to save space in the fridge. Also double up on
your usual tea and coffee reserves; besides entertaining, you’ll want them for cuddling by the fire when festivities are over.

6. In between celebratory dinners and buffets, most people crave simple fare. Stock up on fresh vegetables and fruits for easy-to-prep salads and crudités. Eggs, yogurt, whole grains, rice cakes and tofu are all versatile ingredients for meals and snacks. Slip a couple of frozen pizzas in the shopping cart for family movie nights and well-deserved breaks from home cooking in between the blow-out meals.

7. Keep in mind there will be more house guests than usual and more dishes to clean, so pick up extra kitchen and dishwasher soap and napkins too. For more convenience: pick up some disposable plates and cutlery to cut
down on the dishes.

8. Include some items that can be served to guests or gifted such as a tin of Belgian Biscuits, gift cards or a themed, food-based gift basket – just in case you receive surprise gifts.

Back home:

1. It’s never too early to start prepping. Dry any moisture from delicate salad greens, wrap them in paper towels and seal in a large zip-top bag to keep them fresh until you’re ready to wash and use them. Chop any fruits and vegetables and store them in sealed bags or containers so they are ready for holiday dinners, nibbling between meals or serving to guests.

Click here for our handy holiday ingredient checklist.

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