Holiday hacks: How to cut down on hassle this festive season


Posted at Oct 29 2018 12:15 PM | Updated as of Oct 29 2018 01:37 PM

While the holiday season is considered one of the happiest moments of the year, it is also the busiest.

This time of the year, traffic jams enter a whole new level, crowds in malls swell, and prices soar, making it inconvenient to run errands or prepare for the holiday festivities.

However, there are ways to cut down on the inconveniences the season brings. Here are some:

1. Make lists for gifts and groceries

Family. Friends. Colleagues. Who do you want to give gifts to? Write down their names and go through your list several times to make sure you don't leave anyone out. Decide what you want to give to each person on your list.

Your shelves might also need restocking. You may also already have an idea on what to include in your Noche Buena menu. Make a shopping list. To make sure you don't forget anything.

2. Do your grocery shopping ahead of time

Refer to the list you made. Non-perishable items can be bought and stocked in advance. Make sure to check the expiry date of the product before adding to your cart.

If you buy ingredients ahead of time, you will not need to join the throngs of last-minute shoppers grabbing the last available stocks on the shelves.

3. Shop for gifts early, during pre-Christmas sales

While it is tempting to wait for more Christmas items to arrive later in the year, you may also be able to find items your loved ones are sure to love in pre-holiday sales or promo discounts.

Shopping early can help you find great deals without settling for the last item in stock. Use your BDO debit and credit card and avail of the best deals this season.

4. Cook food that keeps well early

Are there items in your Noche Buena list that have long shelf lives? Cook these earlier than the rest. This way, you not only reduce the work you have to do come the holidays, but you also add more spare time to bond with friends and family.

5. Maximize your day, give everybody an assigned task

At home, like in work, delegation is key to efficiency. This also helps avoid passing on all burdens of say, washing the dishes to mom, or house repairs to dad. Kids can also have roles in cooking. They can, for instance, roll filling into lumpia wrappers, or pour dough into the cupcake mold. You can still squeeze some online banking transactions while waiting to finish baking the cupcakes!

6. Plot the nearest ATMs, and avoid 'rush hour'

Give yourself calm and peace of mind by avoiding being stuck on the road on their busiest hours. Look for alternate routes. Be mindful of where you could potentially withdraw money as you go.

Banks such as BDO have a useful ATM locator on their website which can help you find the most convenient places to get cash, at any time of the day.

7. Withdraw cash ahead of time

As banks go on a holiday during Christmas, keep a safe amount of cash. Withdrawing money early can also help you avoid long lines of 'ninongs' and 'ninangs' preparing their 'Aguinaldos.'

You can also opt to use your debit card to pay for purchases.

For credit card owners who plan to shop in bulk, you can also check with your banks if it's possible to pay in installments so you don't have to bear the brunt of a one-time big-time payment.

Check also if other transactions you plan to do -- checking balance, transferring money, or paying your bills -- can be done via online banking.

With BDO, you can do all these. Visit to make sure you never miss out.

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