It is now nearing festive session (Chinese New Year CNY) and everyone is really busy shopping for the festival. Hypermarkets are throwing in huge last minute discounts on various items such as can drinks, biscuits and rice.
Last weekend when I visited Giant, it was packed to the brim. The nice thing is during each major festive session, all races would be shopping and enjoying the discounts.
If you are planning to shop for festive session- there are a lot of last minute deals thrown in about 2 weeks before the festive session. However shopping on weekends would be jammed packed and uncomfortable.
In fact, we went in the morning before lunch and already there were lots of people and the trolleys actually ran out (meaning customers needed to go and search for their own trolley in the parking instead of outside the hypermart) as the workers were not able to put back in time.
If you can, it is best to go on weekdays so that it is not so packed. The offers are great and we managed to get almost an entire trolley filled with items. Biscuits like below are at unbeatable offer.
The Mandarin oranges are on offer now.
The packet drinks are usually very cheap at hypermart but for can drinks, I have seen the prices of a cartoon of drinks are quite reasonable like Kickapoo at RM23.88 for 24 cans which is same price as Giant.
As I buy a lot of my can food and groceries at Speedmart 99, I am almost familiar with the pricing and the range of items that are available. Like the Julies biscuits tin are not available in Speedmart but are under huge offer at Giant so we got a few tins.
What should you be giving for CNY? Biscuits or commercial products?
By commercial products are like chocolates (Ferraro Roche, Kit Kat, etc) or biscuits (Julies or other brands) or more traditional types like dried meat/meat floss, Macau almond biscuits or egg rolls? Or homemade cookies?
Up till a few years ago, my mom made pineapple jam tarts to distribute to her friends and relatives. I have been helping her from as young as I can remember to make the tarts. She made one of the most delicious jam tarts – as commented by her friends and relatives.
Now that she has stopped making, I realized the value in home baked cookies…. and indeed, you can really save a lot of money if you make the cookies yourself.
However, if you wish to make cookies, it must really be delicious or else people may have their comment. Hypermarkets and markets everywhere would sell these cookies but you would need to be sure they are really delicious before you buy to visit someone. Generally I would not buy from hypermarkets as I had bought once and it actually did not taste fresh.
As the years go by, I find the price of homemade cookies are getting more and more expensive and even unreasonable. It cost almost RM20 for a medium size tin of peanut or butter biscuits. With that money, I could have bought some nice chocolates or Macau almond biscuit/ egg rolls (see below) that are only available once a year during CNY.
It is traditional enough as these items are available once a year during CNY and are imported from Macau. Or a nice huge tin of Julie wafers which can last much longer. Often for these items, we know of the taste and it comes in a fixed price. I usually get my egg rolls and almond biscuits from a snack supplier.
Planning your CNY shopping items
To avoid multiple trips to stores to purchase your CNY items (and everywhere is very jammed as CNY approaches), please plan ahead- create a full list of people that you plan to visit and the items you wish to bring to them. As well as a list of what you want to prepare at home for visitors (ie can drinks, packet drinks, biscuits, other delicacies). From there, you would know how much of items that you have to buy for CNY.
I personally use this list to guide me on how much to buy. And I would keep the list nicely so that I can use it to refer in future years.