13 Supermarket Tips, Strategies, and Secrets for Thanksgiving Dinner Shopping from 13 Supermarket Tips, Strategies, and Secrets for Thanksgiving Dinner Shopping

13 Supermarket Tips, Strategies, and Secrets for Thanksgiving Dinner Shopping

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13 Supermarket Tips, Strategies, and Secrets for Thanksgiving Dinner Shopping

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13 Supermarket Tips, Strategies, and Secrets for Thanksgiving Dinner Shopping

Hosting Thanksgiving dinner, even for a small group, can be a nerve-wracking experience. How much food should you buy? What should you buy pre-made, and what should be made from scratch? How much time should you set aside? How do you avoid running out of food without being saddled with tons of leftovers? We’ll admit that it’s not easy, but we’ve assembled 13 tips to keep in mind as you plan your feast.

Plan Far In Advance

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Plan Far In Advance

Give yourself at least a week to plan your menu. Figure out exactly how much food you’re going to need, talk to your guests about bringing dishes of their own if you’re going that route, and give yourself plenty of time to stock up.

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Clear Out Your Fridge

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Clear Out Your Fridge

It can be incredibly annoying to return home with a trunkful of groceries only to find that you have nowhere to put them. Make sure there’s plenty of room in your fridge and pantry before you leave the house.

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Make More Than One List, and More Than One Trip

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Make More Than One List, and More Than One Trip

Plan on going to the supermarket at least twice, and make a separate list for both trips. The first trip can be a week or more in advance, and should be when you purchase non-perishables like canned goods. The second trip should be a couple days before the holiday, when you purchase perishable items like vegetables.

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Check Out the Circulars and Compare Prices

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Check Out the Circulars and Compare Prices

Do your research before heading to the supermarket. Visit your local supermarkets’ websites to see if they’re offering any deals, and scan the circulars and newspapers for any appropriate coupons.

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Shop Early in the Morning or Late at Night

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Shop Early in the Morning or Late at Night

Supermarkets can get packed, especially around Thanksgiving. The best times to visit the supermarket to avoid crowds are early in the morning right when it opens, at night after the post-work rush, and on Friday and Saturday nights.

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Be Flexible With Your List

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Be Flexible With Your List

Plan all your recipes in advance, and make sure that every item you need is on your list. But it’s not set in stone, so don’t be afraid to make some on-the-fly changes, especially when it comes to prices. If you’re shopping and realize that you’ve bitten off far more than you can chew, don’t be afraid to swap a dish for a pre-made version or scuttle it altogether.

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Check Off List Items as You Buy Them

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Check Off List Items as You Buy Them

The last thing you want to be doing in the middle of a crowded supermarket is digging through your cart to make sure you already grabbed sage. As you put something into your cart, check it off your list.

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Stick to a Budget

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Stick to a Budget

They say not to do your grocery shopping hungry for a reason: Our eyes are often bigger than our stomachs. While Thanksgiving grocery shopping, it’s easy to go overboard with all the extra additions and trimmings. Set aside a specific (and realistic) amount of money, and stick to it. The bill can add up a lot faster than you think.

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Don’t Buy a Whole Extra Turkey

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Don’t Buy a Whole Extra Turkey

In general, it’s suggested that you budget about one and a half to two pounds of turkey per guest. A lot of people will simply buy two turkeys to make sure they have enough, but you don’t want to be saddled with an entire uneaten turkey! Don’t forget that there’s an alternative to buying a whole extra turkey: Just buy an extra turkey breast. This way you’ll save money and will guarantee that everyone gets enough.

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Buy Prepared Items Only as a Last Resort

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Buy Prepared Items Only as a Last Resort

If you’re looking to save money, a good rule of thumb is that preparing something from scratch is always less expensive than buying it pre-made. Side dishes at the deli counter are always significantly marked up, and even frozen pies cost more than the raw materials. But if you’re feeling overwhelmed and want the peace of mind, spring for it.

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Go Generic

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Go Generic

Another way to save money is to buy the generic or store brands. Trust us, your guests won’t know the difference.

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Buy Tupperware

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Buy Tupperware

There are going to be leftovers, so prepare accordingly.

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Buy a Little More Than You Think You’ll Need

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Buy a Little More Than You Think You’ll Need

It’s going to be a little bit more expensive, but buy just a little bit more of everything than you think you’ll need. You don’t want to run out of butter while making those pie crusts, or run out of cranberry sauce before everyone’s gotten some.

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13 Supermarket Tips, Strategies, and Secrets for Thanksgiving Dinner Shopping

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