Stock up on household & kitchen essentials (Day 16 of 31 days to take the Stress out of Christmas)

31 days to take the Stress out of Christmas - large

This post is part of a series – “31 days to take the Stress out of Christmas”.  You can read all the posts in the series here.  And to make sure you don’t miss a post you can subscribe to have every post delivered to your inbox, or follow me on facebook.

Day 16 - Stock up on basic essentials before the holidays

There is nothing worse than having to grocery shop or step in the doors of Walmart on the day before Thanksgiving or on Christmas Eve!  I did my major Thanksgiving shopping trip the day before Thanksgiving one year because I had worked all week and it was the only time I had to do it.  I couldn’t find macaroni noodles, rolls were gone off the shelf, the aisles were crowded, only 5 out of 10 lanes were open and the lines were 10 deep with overflowing carts.  I was so stressed and so frustrated when I was done!  When I still had to go home and put it all away and immediately start baking some of it.  I vowed never to do it again.

So while I can’t completely prevent you from having to go to the store for groceries before Thanksgiving or Christmas, I can help encourage you to stock up on basic essentials weeks before the holidays get here so even if you are running in for rolls, and milk, and fresh fruit, you won’t be having to buy basic essentials like toilet paper, cleaning products, flour, sugar, etc.  Because you certainly don’t want to run out of toilet paper, dishwasher soap, or even laundry detergent on Thanksgiving or Christmas with a house full of guests either!

So sit down and make a list of basic essentials that you use and need in your home in a daily basis (not perishable food).  And plan to stock up on a 6-8 week supply so when you buy them by November 15th or so you have enough to last you through to the 1st of January.  Things like toilet paper, cleaning supplies, paper towels, laundry and dishwasher soap, batteries, light bulbs, hair products, toothpaste, makeup, diapers, etc.  And basic essentials in the kitchen – flour, all kinds of sugar, cooking oil, spices, baking powder, chocolate chips (yes those are essentials! Winking smile), pasta, meat you can throw in the freezer, soft drinks if your family drinks those, canned pumpkin, canned or frozen veggies, and I could go on and on. 

Then pull out your calendar that you organized back in this post and schedule a day when you do will do a basic essentials shopping trip or add a few of those from your stock up list to your weekly grocery list each week for the next several weeks to spread out the cost.  So from November 15th or so until January 1st you are only having to pick up weekly perishable groceries, things for your holiday menu, and special things for baking days. 

Have you tried this approach to stocking up on essentials to cut down on the shopping during the holidays?  Ever run out of toilet paper or shampoo or even worse dishwasher soap (I hate washing dishes by hand!) on Thanksgiving or Christmas?? 


  1. Heather B. says:

    Hello Christina,
    I’m loving your 31 Days series (again!). Today you have made a good point – we need to be intentional about buying those essential (expensive) products so that we don’t forget or end up with a huge grocery order. Also, starting now for the next month we can watch the flyers/coupons/price matching on these products as well.
    I haven’t run out of these essential items, but I have had to purchase them close to Christmas and by then our budget is stretched thin so it hurts at the cash register ….so today’s post is a good reminder to start stocking up!

    • Yes. those last minute purchases – even on basic foods add up so fast around the holidays! I am stocking up little by little on baking ingredients now and anything else I see on good sale.

  2. A year or two ago I made a big list of all the cookies and sweet things I wanted to bake in the month of December. I made a big ol’ grocery list and went shopping for it all in November. It was the best thing I’ve done!
    Beth Hynes recently posted..OctoberMy Profile

  3. Great tips! I especially like your suggestion to be willing to try different brands. I’ve been amazed sometimes at how much I actually end up liking a new brand. I do a lot of couponing and so often I can get household supplies/cleaners free or nearly so. This allows me to try a lot of new brands too.

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