Sweet potatoes are a stable of Thanksgiving. The question is how far in advance can you buy them? The information is great for any time of year you are looking to enjoy some sweets.
Are you the kind of person who eats sweet potatoes just for Thanksgiving? Or could we find them on your shopping list at the same time you are buying hot dogs and potato chips for a 4th of July cookout?
Whether you fall into either camp this post is for you. Learn how early before Thanksgiving you can buy sweet potatoes. Also if you are meal planning for 2 weeks at a time in the middle of April, find out when you can buy sweet potatoes.
🛒 When to Buy
Like most our root veggies, sweet potatoes have a long shelf life. It's why many root vegetables have become a stable of the Thanksgiving meal. In a lot of the country, harvest season is over and mainly only the longer lasting veggies remain.
Whenever your grocery store has their ad begin for Thanksgiving week (whether that is on Sunday or a week before, starting on Wednesday) is going to be the best time to buy sweet potatoes. A good portion of stores will have them on sale for super cheap prices, easily under $1 a pound at most places.
If you are trying to get your ingredients as early as you can, you can buy them right at the start of November if you want. Sweet potatoes can last 2-3 weeks, or even a month if stored properly.
That being said if it's not Thanksgiving you are buying them for, you can still get them for a meal you are going to have 2-3 weeks down the road. One word of wisdom, is when you buy a perishable food especially ones with a long shelf life, plan when you are going to use it. Yes, sweet potatoes last a long time but that also makes them easy to forget about. You don't want to waste them.
Don't want to buy your ingredients for Thanksgiving dinner at the last minute? Then you need to check out our Low Stress Thanksgiving Shopping Guide for all the answers. This guide will help you get ahead of the game and avoid the long check out lines. Know how early you can buy each ingredient with customizable printable shopping lists.
📦 How to Store
Sweet potatoes like their potato counterparts, like to be in dry conditions. They aren't as sensitive to light as potatoes are but they certainly don't mind being in the dark. Also you don't want to store them in a warm place. There is a reason why people had root cellars in the past.
Never put them in the fridge unless you have already peeled them or cut them.
In the photo I shared above, small sweet potatoes (they are labelled yams but they are true sweet potatoes) are in a paper container. A paper bag is fine for storing sweet potatoes. If they came in a plastic bag or you brought them home in one, I would remove them from the plastic. Plastic can trap moisture next to the sweet potatoes giving them a greater chance to rot.
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🍠 More Sweet Potato Posts
Here are a few more posts on the blog about sweet potatoes like How to Know When a Sweet Potato Pie is Done.
- Sous Vide Sweet Potatoes (Recipe)
- Sweet Potatoes Swirled with Mashed Potatoes (Recipe)
- Difference Types of Sweet Potatoes
- Purple Sweet Potato Gnocchi (Recipe)
- Roasted Sweet Potato Fries
🗓️ Other Ingredients to Buy in Advance
Here are some Thanksgiving ingredients that you can buy in advance and when to buy them