Consumers cut expenses as prices of Noche Buena items soar

Jose Carretero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 26 2022 09:21 PM

ABS-CBN News/File
People buy traditional ‘Noche Buena’ (Christmas dinner) items at the Blumentritt Market in Manila on December 20, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

Some consumers are thinking of strategies to save on higher costs of Noche Buena or Christmas dinner ingredients.

Consumer Imelda Caputol said she has started buying  Noche Buena items, before they are expected to increase further as the holiday season approaches. 

She said she would always look for items which are on sale or have discounts or promos to help her save. 

"Tumitingin ako ng item na medyo mababa, binibili ko na basta hindi lang expired yun lang ang binibili ko kung talagang kailangan di wala kahit mahal bibilhin mo,” she said.

She also plans to cut down on extravagant celebrations this holiday season to save expenses. 

“Hindi na kamukha ng dati na bonggang-bongga, basta mairaos lang ang Christmas na meron ko okay na yun,” she added.

Meanwhile, prices of the famous ham in Quiapo, Manila have already increased as holiday season draws near.

Chinese sliced and scrap ham are among the customers' favorites, costing P1,500 to P2,800 per kilo, due to the spike in prices of pork products. 

Higher cost of sugar and even salt also contributed in the increase in prices of ham, according to the manufacturers.

Despite the increase, many still lined up to buy ham. Among them was Zeny Bables who is a balikbayan from Australia.

She said she would always drop by the ham store in Quiapo whenever she vacations in the Philippines. 

“Kasi mula noon hanggang ngayon consistent ang lasa. Masarap, kakaiba,” she said.

But some regular customers were a little shocked at the increase.

“Medyo tumaas compared last year dati nakakuha pa ako ng mga P1,500, P1,600 ngayon P1,860 na," customer Mina Casas said.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has issued a price guide for the Noche Buena items, which have increased by 10 to 27 percent compared to last year. 

Philippine Association of Supermarkets, Inc. President, Carlos Cabochan said the increase in prices of Noche Buena items does not only happen in the Philippines.

“No doubt na tumataas talaga ang presyo, this is global thing. Iyung delivery cost, logistics,” he said.

He said the price guide released last week by DTI will be beneficial to the consumers compared to the suggested retail price (SRP). 

This is because the supermarkets make price adjustments depending on the price guides.

Cabochan said this would result in lowering of prices of some supermarket owners to gain more costumers.

He also advised consumers to look for cheaper Noche Buena items.

Consumers must not base their preference on the popularity of brand because there are similar items but of different brands that would even taste better than the popular brands, he said. 

He also urged consumers to shop early to avoid the holiday rush.