The Coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we work, live and play. Most of our shopping habits have changed too. Unfortunately, the virus isn’t going to take holiday break. As we head into the holiday shopping season, it is more important than ever to be conscious of virus risk and practice safe shopping practices.
Here are some tips for lower stress and safer shopping:
- Start your shopping early. It’s no fun in a normal year to be scrambling to find that last-minute gift when the stores are emptying and time is running out. This year as product supplies are likely lower and shipping times longer, shopping early will help you find that perfect gift in ample time before the holidays. And better yet, you’ll be less stressed and less likely to let your guard down.
- Order online from local stores. Many mom-and-pop retailers over the pandemic have added online sales to their websites and social media pages. Others may even offer curbside pick-up and delivery services, just like the big-box stores. If not, a simple phone call to the local owner or manager, may be all you need to find the gift you have in mind.
- Order holiday groceries for pick-up or delivery. Many grocery chains and independent groceries have added online shopping and curbside pick-up and delivery options during the pandemic. Some stores even offer personal shoppers to help you find that more obscure ingredient.
- Shop in-store during quiet times. If you do choose in-person shopping, avoid peak shopping times. Many retailers are reserving the early opening hour for seniors. Crowds are still generally low when stores open to the general public. You can also check out an individual business’s Google listing that shows a graph of its “Popular Times.”
- Prioritize safety. If you do shop in-person, there are several ways you can ensure a safer shopping experience:
- Prepare a shopping list in advance to reduce your time in the store
- Wear a mask
- Wipe your cart down from top to bottom
- Avoid crowded aisles and lines, and keep six-feet distance from others
- Limit touching items in the store
- Choose touchless payment options when possible
- Sanitize your hands before getting into your car, and wash your hands as soon as you get home
From everyone at PayneWest Insurance, we hope that your holiday season is as stress-free and enjoyable as possible. Stay safe and be well!