Think it’s too early to start prepping for Thanksgiving? Think again. Now is the perfect time to stock up on the best Thanksgiving food deals. We shared some of our best Thanksgiving shopping advice with Rachael Ray, and now we’re about to let you in on ALL our secrets. Activate feast mode!

a table full of Thanksgiving food, from ShelfCooking.com

The turkey, the gravy, the potatoes, the stuffing, the pies, the bread. We’re already drooling just thinking about the upcoming Thanksgiving feast! But buyer beware: you can end up shelling out some SERIOUS cash on Thanksgiving dinner if you’re not careful.

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Save big this year and get stuffed, right along with the turkey! Read on for the best Thanksgiving food deals. We’ve even got tips to make meal prep less stressful. Bonus: check out our tricks to store your Thanksgiving food and enjoy it, regardless the season. Are you ready to go shopping?!

WATCH ME SHOP THANKSGIVING FOOD DEALS ON RACHAEL RAY

Before we share our full grocery list, check out this quick clip from the Rachael Ray show. You guys, we LOVE Rachael Ray! We were lucky enough to make an appearance on the show and shop our way through the top Thanksgiving deals. Watch the video below or on Rachael Ray’s YouTube.

Now that you know some of our favorite hacks, let’s get your shopping list ready! We’ve organized all the best steals and deals so you can save big money on your Thanksgiving shopping haul. Here we go!

THANKSGIVING FOOD DEALS + STORAGE TIPS

a Thanksgiving turkey, from ShelfCooking.com

By now, you probably know we’re not impulse shoppers, so before we head out to do any holiday food shopping, we set a budget and make a list. Here’s what you need to know to save big at the grocery store:

  • Did you know that right before the holidays is often the best time to buy pantry staples? You’ll usually find some of the lowest prices of the year on items that you’ll use again and again, even after Thanksgiving. For example, spices, flour, and sugar are often marked down for holiday baking.
  • When you see a price ending in a zero or one, it usually means that’s as low as it’s gonna go, so stock up!
  • Buy what you need for Thanksgiving dinner, and then get two extras to keep in the pantry if it fits within your weekly grocery budget.

Here are some examples of the best items to stock up on along with tips for storage:

MAIN DISH DEALS

  • Turkey – If you have shopper loyalty points, you may be able to score a turkey for free or take advantage of a BOGO deal! If so, definitely buy one turkey for Thanksgiving and one for later in the year. To store for later: You can either freeze it whole or cook it and shred it before freezing. Need help preparing the perfect turkey? Check out these four different ways to cook a turkey.
  • Ham – Same thing goes here! Many stores offer free ham if you buy a Turkey. Why not go ahead and stock up for Christmas or Easter?! To store for later: You can freeze the ham whole in the freezer; then thaw when you’re ready to cook it. Want to save money AND time? Try this slow cooker ham recipe.

Now that we’ve gotten the main protein out of the way, let’s move on to some of the items you may need for those sides and desserts (yum!).

CANNED GOODS DEALS YOU CAN’T PASS UP

green beans and cranberry sauce, from ShelfCooking.com

Canned goods are almost always on sale this time of year, and since they don’t expire for at least three years, it’s wise to stock up when you can. Here are some of the canned foods on our Thanksgiving shopping list:

  • Olives – Olives are a great appetizer. But more than that, don’t toss that brine! Check out all the ways you can put that olive juice to use. Spoiler alert: it’s a great brine for turkey!
  • Pumpkin – It’s pumpkin pie season, so stock up now while you can. You can put any extras to good use with these sixteen canned pumpkin recipes!
  • Soups and Broths – We’re always down for a hot bowl of soup and a grilled cheese sandwich! So many soups go on sale before and during the holidays, so grab those deals while you can. By the way, in a pinch, you can use this chicken broth substitute.
  • Vegetables – Green beans, carrots, peas, you name it! Some of the best Thanksgiving food deals are for canned vegetables.
  • Pie Filling – Cherry pie, anyone? Get that filling now and buy extras. There’s really never a bad time for pie!
  • Fruit – Anyone else liked to keep canned fruit on hand for the kids’ lunches? Might as well buy while prices are low. While you’re at it, whip up a batch of our killer fruit salad.
  • Cranberries – You can’t celebrate Thanksgiving without cranberries! But you can also use those cranberries long after Thanksgiving. Toss them in some cookies with white chocolate chips. Yum!
  • Evaporated Milk – You’ll need plenty of evaporated milk for all your pumpkin pie, but since it has a long shelf life, you might as well pick up some for later.
  • Pickles – Remember how we told you not to toss that olive brine? That advice applies to pickle juice, too. Check out all the clever ways you can use pickle juice.

Alright. All set on canned goods? Let’s chat dry goods.

THE BEST THANKSGIVING DRY GOODS DEALS

glass dish filled with brown sugar, from ShelfCooking.com

When you store basic pantry staples like flour and sugar in a cool, dry place, you can get years of use out of them. So when we see low prices on those items, we buy several. Here some of the dry goods we suggest adding to your Thanksgiving food deals shopping list:

  • Sugar – Now’s the perfect time to find sales on granulated, brown, and powdered sugar. A quick tip: these brown sugar substitutes are a lifesaver!
  • Flour – Homemade biscuits, bread, or pancakes on your menu? Get the flour while the getting is good! If you need a recipe, try this super simple rustic bread! If you store your flour in a plastic freezer bag, you can even freeze it.
  • Seasonings and Bouillon- You can totally freeze bouillon, so go ahead and buy a bunch while the prices are low.
  • Chocolate Chips – Do we really need to convince you to buy chocolate when it’s on sale? Enough said.
  • Cake Mixes – Did you know you can use cake mix to make cookies? Yup! Take advantage of holiday discounts so you’re prepared the next time that sweet tooth strikes.
  • Crackers – ‘Tis the season for casseroles, and that means crackers are on sale! Keep extras on hand so you can make DIY Lunchables for the kids.
  • Stuffing Mix – If you see a good deal on boxed stuffing mix, go ahead and snag it, but here’s a hack! Ask your bakery to sell you a bag of discounted bread or bread ends and make your own stuffing for pennies! You’re welcome.
  • Onion Soup Mix – Onion soup mix always comes in handy! Season a roast, whip up a soup, or make a tasty dip to snack on before the big feast.
  • Marshmallows – You guys! Did you know you can freeze marshmallows? You sure can, so go ahead and get them while they’re on sale. Once you thaw them, they’re good as new.

Stocking up on these dry good essentials will save you SO much money throughout the year! Now, let’s move to the frozen foods section.

FROZEN FOOD FINDS

pumpkin pie, from ShelfCooking.com
  • Whipped Topping – Meringue, anyone? You’re gonna need whipped topping cream as you’re making holiday desserts, so don’t leave this off the list! Save even more money by making your own whipped cream.
  • Pie Crust – Can you even celebrate Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie?! We think not. Stock up — crust keeps beautifully in the freezer!
  • Frozen Vegetables – Don’t want to serve canned veggies on Thanksgiving? Fair enough. Now’s the time to find 10/$10 deals on the frozen stuff! Roast or steam them and enjoy.

Pro Tip: Don’t buy the vegetables that come in the steamable bags! Steam them yourself and save up to $2 per bag! That adds up to some serious cash.

DAIRY DEALS

  • Butter – Now is the BEST time of year to find marked-down butter. Of course, you’ll need it for all those holiday baked goods, but you can freeze it, too.
  • Cream Cheese – Who’s ready for cheese balls? Get that cream cheese on sale while you can and freeze it to use in baked dishes later.

Phew! There you have it. The ultimate Thanksgiving grocery shopping list. Now you’re officially ready to feed a crowd!

What’s your all-time-favorite Thanksgiving dish? Comment below and let us know!

Image with text that reads "food deals to buy right now for Thanksgiving" from ShelfCooking.com

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