CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Thanksgiving is right around the corner, so when should you start buying components for your Thanksgiving dinner?

Thanksgiving is all about family bonding opportunities, which includes that stressful pre-feast trip to the grocery store. Real Simple says that according to Google Maps data, Saturdays between 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. are the busiest times to visit the grocery store.

The best time to go grocery shopping for Thanksgiving may be the Monday before Thanksgiving on Thursday at 8:00 a.m. when stores are typically the least busy. 

Monday could seem too far in advance to pick up your groceries for Thursday, but if it helps you avoid crowds, it may be worth the early trip. Tuesday and Wednesday leading up to Thanksgiving are going to be popular grocery shopping days, and many stores may be closed on Thanksgiving, so don’t plan on going to the store the morning of without confirming your store will be open first.

Before heading out to shop, here are a few tips to keep in mind, according to Real Simple:

  • Plan ahead– The key to avoiding crowds and having the best possible Thanksgiving is to plan ahead for your Thanksgiving dinner. Make your grocery list, pick a quieter time to go grocery shopping, and make an efficient trip.
  • Utilize curbside pickup– Curbside pickup is just about the easiest way to get groceries, and many grocery stores offer this service for free. You’ll simply add what you need to your online cart, checkout, and then drive up at the time designated for your order. Then, the grocery clerks will bring all your groceries out to your car.
  • Stock up on extra ingredients– To avoid having to make multiple trips to the store, buy a few extra ingredients. There’s nothing worse than realizing you have one too few pie crusts or are short a few eggs. 

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