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Dry/Freezer goods that can be put away for Christmas(27 Posts)
I've already started adding one or two extra items to the online shopping each week to be kept in the big basket on top of the freezer. This will really help keep costs down nearer the time. At the moment I'm checking the 'half price' offers and popping anything remotely suitable in the trolley.
I'm wanting to put a list together.
Anyone else doing or planning to do this? What kind of thing do you buy ahead of time?
So far I have a jar of mincemeat, A bottle of appletiser and a tin of fruit cocktail for the trifle.
Any suggestions for my list?
Dried fruit if you make your own cake.
A packet of frozen pastry for knocking up some extra mince pies or to make a pie out of leftovers.
A packet of stuffing or a jar of dried sage if you make your own.
After dinner mints
Paper napkins if you use them
Extra wide tin foil
Mixers for alcoholic drinks
Frozen breakfast pasties
Not very glamorous but likely to be forgotten and still needed at Christmas -
Washing up liquid and sponges
Pringles / crisps
Cheesy shapes / Twiglets etc
All manner of booze
Baking ingredients like flour, nuts, fruit, chocolate etc
I'm sure @BiddyPop has a very comprehensive list of things that can be bought ahead of time. Hopefully she'll see this and can come along to add some more stuff.
Is it just food inspiration you're looking for? Things like serviettes, paper cups, party poppers etc you could stock up on.
I've also started buying a few stocking fillers. A personalised Christmas phone cover for a fiver from eBay, a set of 3 reindeer sheet face masks etc.
Good question op. I shall read the answers with interest.
I freeze a punnet of the fresh cranberries but they don't appear until later in the year.
I freeze flour if I have the space to keep it fresher.
Great start, Thanks all!
Not just food @HollyBollyBooBoo ...party poppers are a good shout.
Though I'm sorted for all presents for DC except the one from Santa and I've got all the family members except for my Dad.
Frozen pastry and batteries are good shouts also @TheWoollybacksWife
I need a christmas freezer....Where can I hide one that BF won't see it?
He already thinks I'm quite mad with my Christmas obsession.
(He doesn't mind the fortune I save him in gifts every year though )
I always buy 5kg bags of rice/pasta.
so far I've got:
Cranberry sauce (if I can't make fresh)
have also got
ohnyes, also have lots of baking ingredients and cinnamon
We've bought loads of herbs and spices from buywholefoodonline.co.uk. We don't be short of such things!
I'll probably start keeping an eye on and stocking up on the frozen party food selections from places like tesco, Iceland etc. I'm pretty sure pigs in blankets will be stocked up and eaten up soon haha.
Hi Wolly (waves),
I have a bit of a list and mostly thoughts, so when my brain is working, I’ll be back to answer properly (I’ve just spent 3 hours in ikea with a teenager...brain no longer functional...)
I’ve got a couple of tubs of pringles and some Oreos with my shopping today as my kids are obsessed with them. Looking for inspiration now x
So far I've got:
jar of mincemeat
short crust pastry mix (just in case)
gingerbread mix (ditto)
marzipan & food colouring
marshmallows (large for toasting & mini for hot chocolate)
couple bars of nice chocolate
2 fancy cat meals
alcohol-free prosecco type fizz
Christmas pudding (long date that didn't get eaten last year)
butter (in the freezer)
ginger Pepsi Max
I think that's it for the Christmas food box, I've got plenty of baking stuff in already but I just wanted enough so that if there's any problems getting stuff nearer to the time, it'll still feel like Christmas.
I did have Turkish Delight too, but the expiry date was before Christmas so I used it as a test run.
Vac packed chestnuts as I use in stuffings, the 'leftovers' pie and a few other dishes that time of year
I always make sure I have the ingredients for mulled wine - spices, ginger wine, red wine, sugar. I buy spirits and bottles of coke etc and put them away.
Also those big foil tins so you can bin them and not wash up roasting pans on Christmas Day.
I put unusual sweets and chocolates in my kids' stockings, so I get those whenever I see them. That works out surprisingly expensive so I like to get them gradually.
Apart from that, it's the usual nuts, crisps, chocolates. Basically anything that keeps.
And coffee - do not want to run out of that over Christmas!
Get your marzipan early as it pretty much always runs out just as I need to ice my cake
Sorry, I’m officially on holidays at the moment, so working on my Christmas planning and organising, and not really at my computer much this couple of weeks.
I don’t really have a specific list, as such, more a planning process. But I do work on putting away stores items across the autumn, both for our Christmas and the local Lion's Club collection (I aim to gather a weekly (non-perishable) shop for a family of 4, including 2 DCs, for that - mostly using offers).
And it's a bit different this year anyway, as my regular stores levels are higher than normal, just in case.
Start by going through the cupboards - I try and do a major clean of the whole house in late summer/early autumn, going room by room - which is a good time to get ready for autumn/winter, back to school, change seasonal clothes etc, clear out expired food/meds etc. And it also allows me to see what holes I have and what I need to stock up on or replace with larger sizes etc. (Or potentially any repair jobs that are needed, on clothes or the house).
I build up a list of what we use a lot of and what replacements are needed, and also what we tend to use in winter that we don't in summer (instead of lots of BBQs needing marinades, I need more stew seasonings, hot chocolate powder and tins of mixed beans, for example).
I think about the need for easy dinners in December, when life is going bananas and you will need all the energy you can get. So what shortcuts can I take now to help then - freezing meat which is already prepped to cook by being cut and with marinade already on it, or making a double portion of family friendly (and favourite!) meals at least once a week and freezing the second portion to have in December (spal bol sauce, curries, chilli, chicken and mushroom pie, shepherd's pie, lasagna etc).
And putting away things for December.
If I have my list good and early, I will try and just add a couple of things every week to the weekly shop - as much as possible of that being things that are on offer THAT WE WOULD EAT ANYWAY - and putting the extra away. Ticking that off the list, and only worrying about getting specific in mid-November. If there are no offers, I will get something that I am fairly sure won't have an offer in the future or that is more likely to run out, before the more generic things (so I always want smoky bacon pringles which are a seasonal thing that DD adores and will get those as soon as I see them in case they run out - but I won't worry about ready salted or sour cream flavoured pringles/crisps until quite late (unless there's an offer) as they are generally readily available).
I want to make sure I have all the things for a family running around in the madness of December (school, extra curriculars, family events, various parties, exams, work deadlines.....) and for the Christmas Day feast and the rest of the Christmas season relaxation time.
And if at all possible, I want to be able to do online shopping in December (so cannot care too much if things are substituted) and really only mainly getting meat, fruit and veg, bread and milk/dairy in those shops.
So I want all my cleaning supplies, meds and first aid, basic food supplies and ingredients, treats, drinks, etc all bought ahead of time. Most of those will actually just be an extra packet or 2 of the things we normally use, to avoid unnecessary (or longer than necessary) trips to the supermarket, and a few will be more luxurious versions or special treats or things we only eat/drink at Christmas.
I'll stick another post below with a general list of the things I would look for.
Oh, I forgot 1 other bit on the planning part - I try to get to a few specific stores a couple of times a year, and tend to buy more strategically in those. I usually try and make it to those in the autumn as well, so grab things I need for Christmas when I am there.
Like the Asian supermarket near my office in town - great for lots of herbs and spices, sauces, tins of coconut milk/bamboo shoots/various beans, dried mushrooms, bags of rice and beans and lentils and noodles, fish and shrimp stock cubes (which are very hard to get in mainstream grocers), big bottles of vinegar for cleaning, Chinese rice wine, packs of prawn crackers and poppodums to fry at home etc. I try to plan that for a (rare enough!) day that I am driving.
There is also a good baker's supplies store in the city, that I will go and get a large bottle of vanilla essence, smaller bottles of other flavours, various food colours for icing, bags of chocolate chips, sometimes fondant icing etc.
There is a really nice deli near my office, that is great for treats (and they are rare treats at the prices!) - but it is bananas from mid-December onwards. So I will try to get in there in early November for nice crackers and flatbreads (the dried type), a particular Turkish delight, and a couple of specific seasonings they import. And then, if I have time another day in December and the queue is ok, I can get fresh things - but I am not upset if I can't get back in there.
And when we are "down home", there are a few local artisan producers near DPs/DMIL that I will go to for cheeses, charcuterie, apple juice, pumpkins/squashes, chocolate, coffee etc, so I will try and plan to have fridge space made and leave it late enough that these will be good for December eating.
Flour (cream and self-raising mostly, bread and rice flours more recently as well)
Sugar (caster, dark brown, light brown, icing, and now stevia for DD)
Chocolate (good quality for baking - white, milk, 70% dark) or choc chips
Hazelnuts , walnuts, etc (I buy them whole and chop myself)
Dried fruit - sultanas, raisins, (small amount of Currants), mixed peel, cherries, dried mango, dried apricots, dried apple
Decorative bits and bobs
Family meals: Seasonings:
Olive oil, sunflower oil (and frylight spray for DD)
Sea salt, peppercorns
Dried herbs (basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme)
Spices (cardamom pods, chilli, cayenne pepper, garlic granules, lemon pepper, cloves, cinnamon, mixed spice, star anise, cumin, coriander, …)
Vinegar - I have malt (for chips), white wine, balsamic, cider, and a blackberry one for salads
Bisto gravy powder
Fajita and taco seasoning
Chinese sauces (chow mein, chop suey, sweet'n'sour, lemon and honey etc) to add into stir fries or over wings
Stew mixes (to put something into the oven on a timer for the day as we go to work/school that's ready when we get home) - chicken chasseur etc
Rice (easi cook, basmati, thai jasmine, risotto, and pudding)
Pasta (a couple of types of shapes eg penne and fusilli, and long spaghetti, and lasagna sheets)
Couscous, bulgar wheat, polenta
Tomatoes (whole, diced with herbs in, cherry, puree)
Beans (mixed, cannellini, baked)
Bamboo shoots, water chestnuts
(I know I mentioned packets of sauces for stir fries, and having tins of tomatoes to make pasta sauce from scratch, and having premade and frozen meals, but sometimes time is not your friend in December and fast solutions as plans change can be needed - so I keep a small selection of GOOD jars for those emergency meal nights).
Olives, roasted peppers
Part baked bread rolls (for lots of meals but falls here handily)
Tea, coffee, hot chocolate (sometimes a jar of boveril for bad winters)
Squash (usually 2-3 flavours, we drink a lot)
Fizzy drinks (I usually buy in cans as we don't drink a lot of these, rather than them going flat in larger bottles - but if they would be used, the larger bottles are better value)
Tonic or preferred mixers
Alcohol (as per your family choices - I get wine, beer and gin generally, but also have a bottle of cream sherry, brandy, whiskey and amaretto - the latter have all lasted years, and get used for both cooking and occasional drinking).
Biscuits (I tend to buy a mix of nice packets and store in an airtight tin once opened, rather than buying the mixed tins as there is less waste, or eating for the sake of getting rid of the unwanted ones).
Sweets (similarly, we usually buy a large bag of Leonidas orangettes the week before Christmas rather than a tin of Quality Street...but I usually also have a few boxes of nice chocs for visitors and parties and can give them as hostess presents if visiting someone else)
Crisps - I tend to get a few sharing bags for immediately around Christmas, and a couple of multipacks of family favourites (of different types) for emergency snacking or occasionaly treats
I also have a box of breakfast bars and other snack bars to grab and go (and there's usually some left over mini treats from Halloween to get through)
Bin bags (black sacks, regular bin liners, compost bin bags, etc)
Washup liquid, dishwasher tablets, dishwasher salt and rinse aid
2 extra pairs of rubber gloves (who knows what jobs you may face unexpectedly, or who might volunteer to washup)
An extra pack of j cloths
All purpose spray cleaner, window cleaner, furniture polish,
drain unblocker, dishwasher detergent (for the machine itself) and washing machine cleaner (ditto)
Handsoap (I get the bottles of liquid soap and just top up nice dispensers beside the sinks)
Matches, firelighters, candles/nightlights etc
Spare batteries - AA, AAA, C, D, square, CR2042 (always good to check your smoke alarm batteries in the autumn if you don't do it monthly)
Pain killer, heartburn and indigestion remedy, antihistamines, bandaids, antiseptic cream, antiseptic wipes etc and remember to fill any family prescriptions in good time
Sorry, that feels really long and I've probably forgotten stuff - and I haven't done long life but stored in fridge/freezer items either - I hope it helps.
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