Step 1: Budget. Put aside money through the year. At least twice as much as you think you’ll need. (If you’ve missed this step then Step 1 might be buying a TARDIS. You can go from there.)
Step 2: Watch American Ninja Warrior or Ultimate Beastmaster or some such strength/parkour adventure competition game show the night before.
Step 3: Write a list. A complete list. Don’t forget to ask everyone in the house what they need you to buy to make it feel like Christmas.
Step 4: Pick a buddy that will have fun with you while shopping. Singing and dancing along to the shop music is perfectly acceptable behaviour.
Step 5: Decide it’s going to take a long, long time to do this.
Step 6: Park at the very far end of the car park. Why not? It’s easier to park and you’ll get to stretch your legs.
Step 7: Stop and buy a coffee on the way in. This is particularly effective if you’ve decaffeinated yourself for months beforehand. The caffeine feels like a Christmas miracle. A large chai can also work if you’re not that into coffee.
Step 8: LARGE trolley. The smaller ones have all been taken anyway.
Step 9: Visit every aisle in the shop. But reframe each aisle as a level in the American Ninja Warrior or Beastmaster show. We are now playing Ultimate Hardcore Grocery Challenge. Each aisle/level has different challenges – some have pillars in them, some have people going up the aisle on the left and on the right, some have that person stopped right in the middle that holds up traffic both ways, some have people you need to stop and chat to, it’s all part of the game.
Step 10: Check the list at the end. Do you have everything or is it time for a bonus round?
Step 11: Pick a checkout with a friendly check out chick/chap that you can chat to. Remember to try not to wince when the total comes through, you’ll be eating this stuff until the end of January.
Step 12: Putting it all away when you get home is part of the game. Or is it a new game? Tetris, maybe.