Christmas is coming soon. Shopping is now becoming a challenge for consumers because the branches are getting fuller. If you need a parking space or a shopping trolley, you will have to search longer for it. FOCUS online tells you when is the perfect time to shop stress-free at Aldi Süd, Aldi Nord, Lidl, Rewe, Edeka or Kaufland.

Christmas Eve falls on a Saturday this year.

If you want to buy groceries in time for the Christmas holidays, you should hurry. Especially on Thursday (December 22nd) and Friday (December 23rd) it could get fuller in the supermarket branches, at the discounter or in the drugstores.

The week before Christmas is particularly important for the German retail trade because they are particularly busy. Consumers then not only buy the last Christmas presents, but also stock up on groceries for the festive season. Consumers should definitely allow significantly more time for shopping. The stress often begins with the search for a parking space or shopping trolley.

Ideally, do not shop on Friday 23 December or Saturday 24 December. There can be long waiting times on both days.

FOCUS online advises: Write down in advance which groceries you need and work off your shopping list. This way you avoid forgetting important products and having to go shopping again.

If that’s too cumbersome for you: apps can help. In many cases you can even do a price analysis. Useful shopping apps can be found here. For example, our editors recommend HNGRY (“very good”) or you can use household book apps, which you can find here.

The shop opening hours are regulated by the shop closing laws of the federal states.

Basically, however, it can be said that the supermarkets are open regularly up to and including December 23rd. Many retailers are extending their opening hours by one hour on December 23, for example by opening the shops at 7 a.m. instead of 8 a.m. This is the case with Edeka, Rewe and individual Aldi and Lidl branches. FOCUS online advises: Find out in advance about the changed opening hours on the retailers’ websites.

The branches nationwide are closed on December 25th and December 26th. Christmas Eve (December 24th) is not a public holiday, supermarkets are open then. However, most shops close between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. depending on the location and location.

At Aldi, Lidl, Rewe, Edeka, Kaufland or Hit, there are only queues in the checkout area. According to information from FOCUS online, most of the branches are well staffed, since retailers mostly imposed explicit vacation bans on their employees shortly before Christmas. Cash registers could remain unmanned in some cases, however, since sick leave is currently very high in the German retail sector.

At jewellers, department stores, luxury boutiques or delicatessen retailers, there can be long queues in front of the shops because access is controlled there. So dress warmly in case you have to stand in the cold for a long time.

If you want to buy goose, lamb, duck or veal from the butcher for the holiday menu, you should order the meat in advance. Ideally, your order should reach retailers by Wednesday 21st December at the latest.

Danger! Some regional butchers are still taking orders for Christmas goose or catering services until December 22nd. Whether it’s dumplings, spaetzle or red cabbage: this year too, many families will be ordering the Christmas treats. This also applies to the classic Christmas goose or duck.

Fish and wine merchants also have their hands full from now on. To be on the safe side, you should also pre-order fish and wine early or have your favorite wines put aside early.

Be sure to go shopping in the morning between Monday and Wednesday. The sooner the better. The ideal time is between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Workers are out at noon. From 5 p.m., the number of customers in the branches suddenly increases. Then there are families.

On Thursday (December 22nd) you can easily browse the shops before 12 noon. This year, the shopping stress begins on Thursday afternoon. The hustle and bustle lasted until Saturday morning. During this time you should avoid supermarkets and discounters, as there is a real rush.

If you can only go shopping on Friday, use the early morning hours between 7 a.m. and 8.30 a.m. During this time you still have the best chance of finding a wide range of fruit and vegetables. From 9 a.m. the number of customers increases significantly. The majority is then on the road in the late afternoon.

FOCUS online warns: It is unlikely that you will find enough lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, schnitzel or whipped cream on Friday (December 23) just before the shop closes at 8 p.m.

The best savings tactic is: prepare, plan, search, compare, note, look for vouchers and only then shop.

Create a cooking plan for Christmas and only buy the groceries you need.

Make a note of special offers from brochures. If you can’t find a brochure or the retailer doesn’t print a flyer, check the retailer’s online site for special offers. You often have to enter a zip code there because the special offers vary by region.

The in-house apps from Aldi Süd, Aldi Nord, Lidl, Netto Marken-Discount, Rewe or Edeka can also help. There are also programs that combine all the promotional offers. Such apps are, for example, Smhaggle, Sparpionier, KaufDa or MarktGuru. The CHIP colleagues have put together the appropriate downloads for you.

If possible, do not engage in one-stop shopping. So don’t just go to a supermarket to do your weekly shopping. One-stop shopping is only worthwhile if you only buy private labels. Here all supermarkets and all discounters use the same prices. Also, always shop on a full stomach.

If you want to save more: Don’t rely on a combination of special offers from Aldi, Lidl, Penny and other retailers, from private labels and use vouchers and cashback programs.

With Cashback you buy a product and then send the photographed receipt and the purchased product to the manufacturer via mobile phone photo. They will send you the money back within 14 days.

Pay only with cash at the checkout. This is how you avoid spontaneous purchases.

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