Grocery cart with produce and grocery items in grocery store aisle

How to Turn Five Thanksgiving Shopping Trips Into One

Thanksgiving is your biggest grocery trip of the year. So how do you make it as seamless as possible? By planning ahead and stocking up early, you can knock out your entire list in one go. That’s right — just one trip and no day-before-Thanksgiving panic. You know, the moment when you realize you didn’t buy enough bread for your stuffing — or you forgot cranberries for the cranberry sauce. Our shopping guide will make your trip easy-breezy this year.

Get organized.

Thanksgiving groceries can require some serious kitchen real estate — and if you’re making just one big trip this year, you’re going to need all the space you can get. Be prepared by purging your pantry and fridge. Toss any items you don’t want or need, wipe down your shelves and organize items by ingredient (spices, canned foods, produce, etc.)  

Check out our Guide to Organizing Your Kitchen for Thanksgiving for more tips.

Finalize your menu early.

The sooner you can lock in your Thanksgiving menu, the sooner you can start preparing for your shop. Whether you’re cooking the entire meal or you’ve divvied out dishes to family and friends, set a menu deadline of three weeks before Thanksgiving. We get it, stuff happens, but stick to it as best you can. That way, you’ll have plenty of time to get organized and build your shopping list. When you show up to the store, you’ll breeze through your shopping in no time.

Need inspiration? Our Thanksgiving Menus and Holiday Recipe Collection have tons of delicious ideas.

Prep ahead.

Streamline your Thanksgiving shopping by prepping and freezing ingredients for stuffing, casserole and even your turkey ahead of time. Not only does this mean a shorter shopping list, but it also reduces your chances of not being able to find key ingredients during your shopping trip.

Looking for more prep-ahead tricks? Check out our Thanksgiving Cooking Hacks

Take stock of what you have already.

Before you build your shopping list, take time to comb through your pantry and fridge for ingredients you already have on hand. Keep an eye out for the staples you tend to stock year-round, like spices, vanilla extract, flours and sugar. Not only will you save time at the store not having to hunt down items you don’t actually need, but you’ll also save money in the long run.

Make a shopping list.

Building a shopping list ensures you don’t forget essential ingredients for your Thanksgiving dishes and it will help get you in and out of ours stores more efficiently. The easiest way to do this? Use our shopping list feature in the Whole Foods Market app. Each time you add an item to your list, it’s automatically grouped by department so you can quickly locate it in our stores. Start building your list

Shop early.

Don’t wait until the last minute to do your Thanksgiving shopping. In fact, we recommend hitting our stores at least 5 to 7 days in advance. Not only will this help you avoid long lines, but it also guarantees that you can get the items you need in one trip.

We also have special sales on turkey, wine and other Thanksgiving essentials — be sure to shop by Sunday, 11/22, to save on your entire feast. See sales in your store.

Know how to make on-the-fly swaps.

If you do find yourself in the middle of your shop and unable to find an item on your list, don’t fret. There is likely a substitute that’s just as tasty and won’t dramatically alter your recipe. Try these ideas:

  • Can’t find fresh thyme? Try rosemary.
  • No sour cream? Use Greek yogurt.
  • Out of walnuts? Try pecans.
  • No mesclun mix? Pick up a spinach and arugula mix.

Not planning to shop? We’ll handle the meal for you.

You can reserve your Thanksgiving meal — turkey, appetizers, sides and dessert — all together or à la carte. That way, all you have to do is pick up your order at your store, reheat and enjoy. Prime members can also order Thanksgiving meal favorites for pickup or delivery. Visit amazon.com/wholefoods or the Amazon app to get started.

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