1. READ THE ADS!!!! Grocery stores are trying to give you the best deal on your turkey. Look at the ads for all the stores in your area and find the best deal for you. I know of a store right now that if you buy a turkey and spend an additional $50 in food, then you get $8 off your bird. If you just go to the first store you come to you might miss out on a great deal.
2. Stock up! Look for things that are on sale during this time period that you can keep on hand for later use and stock up on them. Some items might be cheaper now than at any other time of the year. Things to look for: cranberry sauce, chicken broth or stock, evaporated milk, canned pumpkin, and many baking ingredients. This is also the only time of year you can find fresh cranberries. They are easy to freeze for later use. The best way to do so is lay them out on a cookie sheet so that they don’t touch, place them in the freezer, and once they are frozen place them in a plastic bag. This way they won’t freeze all together and they will be easy to portion out later.
Also if you have a separate freezer, buy more than one turkey and store it to use later. You don’t have to just eat turkey at Thanksgiving, it’s a great choice anytime of year.
3. Don’t wait for the last minute! You may show up to a store only to discover that you can no longer get that great deal because they are out of stock. One Halloween, I came to the store 3 days before Halloween and they didn’t have any carving pumpkins left. The store probably won’t run out of turkeys, but they might run out of the one that is the best deal.
4. Make sure to pick up the basics (flour, eggs, sugar, salt, butter, baking soda, etc)! You don’t want to be in the middle of making a pie and discover you have no flour. If you are at the store and are not sure you have something in your pantry, then pick some up. It’s better to have more than enough than to be stresed out having to make an extra run to the store on turkey day.
5. Before you go shopping, make sure your fridge and freezer are well organized! You will need room for that turkey and the other dishes you are making. You also don’t want to find out a week after Thanksgiving that you have moldy leftovers shoved at the back of your fridge because you had to hurry and make space.