The Thanksgiving holiday is just a month away, and if you are planning on hosting Thanksgiving dinner for your family and friends this year, you may be starting to think about all the planning and logistics that you need to figure out ahead of the big day. Prepping for a Thanksgiving dinner can be very overwhelming and stressful, especially if you do not start to plan for it in advance. There are many things that you can get started on a month out from Thanksgiving to allow you to have a more manageable time as it gets closer.

Tips on how to start prepping for the holiday

Thanksgiving preparation

Create your menu – and your shopping list. 

First, it is important that you create what your menu will be – everything from appetizers to the main course to the desserts. You should also keep in mind any ingredients that you will need for cocktails, and any other beverages that you will need to have on hand, such as wines, beers, and sodas. Once you know exactly what will be on your menu, as well as the number of guests that you will be having over, you can create your shopping list. This will help you to stay organized and focused when you hit the grocery store! 

Buy your turkey in advance.

If you are holding off on the majority of your shopping list until it gets a little closer, one item that you should not wait on purchasing is your turkey. Turkeys can sell out extremely fast since it is an item that most everyone looks to have for the Thanksgiving holiday. The sooner you get your turkey, the sooner you can check it off your list! Freeze your turkey upon purchasing it and make sure you take it out early enough for it to defrost before you go to cook it.  

Ensure you have all the proper cookware and kitchen tools. 

Depending on what is on your menu for the holiday, assess whether you have all the proper cookware and kitchen tools that you need to successfully make each item. If you are finding that you are missing a tool, check in with family, friends, or neighbors who may be able to offer a helping hand and let you borrow an item! It’s also never too early to clean up and organize your kitchen to prepare for the gathering. 

Make and freeze gravy. 

Gravy is one item that you can truly never have enough of on Thanksgiving! Making and freezing gravy is something that you can get done way ahead of time, so is a great task to check off your list. And once the turkey is cooked, you can always add turkey drippings to the gravy on the day of to get some extra flavor before serving it. 

Prepare sides that you can easily reheat. 

If you have several sides on your menu for the main course, you can prepare and freeze them ahead of time so all you have to do on the day of is reheat them. Some of these sides can include the cranberry sauce, mashed or sweet potatoes, dinner rolls, or desserts such as cookies, brownies, or pies. If you have the space in your freezer, this will be a huge weight off your shoulders!


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