We don't want you to spend the Sunday before Thanksgiving rushing from store to store, hunting down ingredients in the mob of other harried home cooks. We wan't your Thanksgiving prep, from the shopping to the cooking, to be a stress-free affair. To begin, design a Thanksgiving menu that suits your goals as a cook. Then use one of our handy guides to shop for all your Thanksgiving ingredients at one store. Here's how to do it.
Know Your Thanksgiving Goal
A joyful celebration of gratitude is the point of Thanksgiving, but as cooks we each have underlying goals to achieve when serving guests for this holiday. You might be cooking Thanksgiving for the first time and you want to do it with style in your new home. Or perhaps you're serving more than family and friends this year and need a shopping strategy for a crowd. For each scenario, there is a shopping solution.
Feeding a Crowd: Costco
Feeling Adventurous: Trader Joe's
Sticking to the Classics (on a Budget): Aldi
Have a Thanksgiving Menu Plan
Plan out a menu and make a shopping list before you go. Each of our shopping guides include suggested menus and tips for the specific store. Knowing what to expect will help you shop and avoid wasting time tracking down herbs at Aldi (spoiler: they don't usually carry them) and booze at Target.
Need more suggestions? Try Kitchn's Menu Planner: Thanksgiving-o-Matic
But Be a Flexible Thanksgiving Shopper
When you are shopping for nearly the same ingredients as every other customer, especially if you waited until the week of Thanksgiving, don't be surprised if you can't find certain items. Have an alternative side dish or appetizer idea at the ready and don't be afraid to use store-bought shortcuts to get Thanksgiving dinner done without rushing from store to store.