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Thanksgiving is by far the most delicious holiday of the year, but if you’re hosting a house full of people — or even just preparing dinner for a few friends — it can be a lot of work. Luckily, with some early preparation, you can minimize the stress in the days leading up to Thanksgiving.
One way to preserve your sanity is by starting your shopping early. Getting your list in order a few weeks ahead gives you ample time to mentally prepare for the one or two things you’ll inevitably forget. It also means you can start chipping away at that list so that you aren’t faced with one giant grocery bill in the second week of November.
Save time and energy by getting groceries (and other hosting necessities) delivered to your door with Walmart+ delivery. What I love so much about this service is that it streamlines the ordering process. With Amazon, you have distinct carts for groceries and home goods, with separate checkouts and delivery choices. With Walmart+, it’s simpler: I can place one order that combines fresh produce, home essentials, even decor items like the killer charcuterie tray below and check out once. Totally easy.
Walmart+ is $12.95 per month, or $98 annually, but there’s a 30-day free trial (which, if you time it right, could get you through Thanksgiving and the rest of the holidays).
Scroll for easy ways to prep in advance for Thanksgiving with Walmart+.
Thanksgiving isn't just about sitting down to turkey and stuffing — it's about a long day of eating yourself silly surrounded by your nearest and dearest, and that starts with the appetizers. A charcuterie tray like this, with sections for crackers and other goodies, keeps everything organized while making it easy to create a beautiful display.
Learn from the greats — the great chefs, that is — and brine your turkey a day in advance to get maximum flavor and moisture. This brine is a savory mixture of salt and spices, and though it's not available in some stores, is available to ship right now for free.
Learn from my family's mistakes: all pans are not created equal. Upgrading to a great quality roasting pan will not only ensure better results on Turkey Day, it will cut down substantially on your cooking time because of the way it traps heat and moisture inside the lid. Get this one sent to your house and you won't even have to lug it from the car to your pantry.
Stove Top is the universal crowd pleaser — not just because people love to eat it, but because you won't have to spend hours chopping, dicing and seasoning your own stuffing mixture. It's a win-win.
One of the great revelations of my adult life is that cranberry sauce, against all beliefs I held as a kid, is delicious, especially as a sweet/tart complement to all the savory Thanksgiving foods. That jellied stuff, though? It's for kids. Upgrade to whole berry cranberry sauce and add a level of sophistication to your Thanksgiving table.
Unless you're Martha Stewart herself, nobody is going to expect you to be the level of domestic goddess who fills her cornucopia with hand-kneaded bread. Buy these, stick them in your freezer, put them on a baking sheet and in 10 minutes you'll have fresh-from-the-oven goodness on Thanksgiving.
Don't tell my family, but Libby's Easy Pumpkin Pie Mix is my mom's go-to pumpkin pie hack. It's delicious, it makes a gorgeous pie, and it leaves her time to focus on other things she really does make from scratch. (I have a hack for this, too: Infuse a can into a liter of vodka, let it sit for a few weeks, strain and then give it as the most delicious bottle of pre-mixed pumpkin pie martinis as a holiday gift.)
Here's the thing: There's homemade pie, and then there's "took me forever, my house is a mess, my hands are raw from kneading dough" homemade pie. Save yourself some work and buy pre-made, frozen pie shells. They'll make a perfect dessert, and you won't be finding flour on your ceiling for the next two months.
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