Shopping for T-day
I recently posted a question about how much people spend on T-day and everyone talked about how if you "shop around" for weeks before T-day you can get a lot of great deals on different things.
That got me thinking, while I am not opposed to a deal and I do watch some items (mostly proteins) and buy them when they are on sale, I just don't have that kind of time when the Holidays roll in. So for me Thanksgiving is really 1 or 2 shopping trips when I have time. I will buy things on sale if it is my brand for Thanksgiving but it isn't a meal I typically take risks with.
So I'm just curious about other people's shopping habits for THANKSGIVING specifically. Do you shop multiple stores and across multiple trips to get the best deals on different items?
We are having 26 this year, and have already started shopping. A trip to Trader Joes for gluten free stuff ( we have 5 celiacs coming for dinner!"), a trip to Ocean State Job Lot for tin pans for turkey roasting, napkins, and paper goods for munchies before dinner. At the supermarket I have already bought stock, peas, cranberry sauce ( we serve both canned and homemade), canned corn, butter, relish tray "stuff". Next Saturday, we will go to the farm stand for all of our produce and cheeses. Supermarket for stuffing bread and any last minute things. We are cooking two turkeys, so I cant pick them up until Wed afternoon. I dont necessarily get the best deal on everything, but it is easier to spread the damage over a few weeks!
For me it's not just about saving money, but I find the food stores are packed and shelves are empty leading up to the big day. I don't want to chance not being able to find, for example, heavy cream (this happened once).
A lot is on sale now- two weeks before. There won't be many sales and what is will be sold out by next week. Also there have been coupons in the paper up to this weekend (there won't be any next weekend). I did buy 5 lbs of fresh cranberries at Costco because I know they won't be that inexpensive (75¢/lb) anywhere.
I normally shop for sale items only and don't shop the day before or the day of for any of my cook at home meals, unless to buy fresh bread /rolls or dairy for that meal. I absolutely avoid Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving unless some sort of accidental forgetfulness has occurred, in which case I am at the store when the door opens.
I'm cooking this year for the first time in a loooooong time.....have been going out for years only to be dissatisfied lately. So I'm cooking only for 2 people - 1 a vegetarian. I plan on getting my turkey for free from BJs with a coupon and keeping everything else really simple. So shouldn't really cost that much in the long run.
I don't find I have to shop around much, but it helps to figure out the menu and make a master grocery list early in the month. That way, I can snag a few items at a time during my normal grocery runs, when they're at rock bottom price.