Thanksgiving prep stressing you out? Wondering how you’re going to get everything done in time for the big day and stick to your budget at the same time?

We’re here to help! Whether you’re travelling home for the holiday or hosting a houseful of guests, we’ve got you covered. Day Air Credit Union is proud to present 15 clever Thanksgiving hacks to save you time, stress and money as you prepare for Turkey Day.

Book your flight early

If you’re flying home for Thanksgiving, book your flight as early as possible. According to travel app, SkyScanner, booking a Thanksgiving flight in September can save you 4 percent off the ticket price.


Travel light

You likely won’t be gone for long. Plus, if you’re going home, you can always dig up something to wear if you haven’t packed for every occasion.


Get an accurate guest count as early as possible

If you’re hosting, this should be your first step – even before you start thinking menus and recipes. Find out exactly how many guests you’re expecting for Thanksgiving dinner so you don’t overcook or need to run out at the last minute for more groceries.


Plan your menu early

Draw up an exact menu as early as possible before you start stocking up on ingredients. This way, you won’t pick up random food items just in case you may end up needing them.


Take stock of your pantry and fridge before shopping

Don’t buy a thing until you know what you already have at home, this way you won’t be unpacking three cans of pumpkin filling from your grocery bag only to find you already have four cans sitting in your pantry.


Shop early and shop the sales

Most supermarkets spread their sales weeks before the big day. Save big by picking up what you need, as it gets marked down in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving.


Use a cooler as a fridge

As you cook your way through your menu, refrigerator space will become a precious commodity. Make room by using a cooler to store bottles of salad dressing and condiments you don’t need for Thanksgiving.


Use pennies instead of pie weights

You need to pre-bake your pie shells before filling them, but you don’t want the shells to puff up and crack. Professional bakers recommend using a pie weight to keep this from happening, but there’s no need to waste money on yet another kitchen gadget.


Keep your mashed potatoes in your slow cooker

After preparing your potatoes, spread some butter on your slow-cooker insert, add some heavy cream or milk and then pour in the potatoes. Keep the temperature on low and stir occasionally to keep the spuds soft and creamy.


 Use aluminum foil instead of a roasting rack

There’s no need to rush out and buy a pricey roasting rack so your turkey can cook evenly. You can get the same results by fashioning a rack out of aluminum foil.


Spray-paint plastic fruit instead of springing on expensive décor

You can find fake fruit for super-cheap at dollar stores-or you may already have some at home. Spray-paint the fruit in gold, silver or any colors that match your décor for a festive look that doesn’t break the budget.


Buy a frozen turkey

Frozen turkeys are a lot cheaper than their fresh counterparts, and if you prepare it well, no one will be able to tell the difference.


Buy in bulk

You can save a ton on your ingredients by buying in bulk. If you can’t see yourself using up a mammoth sack of potatoes or an enormous amount of cranberry sauce, find a friend who is also hosting Thanksgiving dinner and ask about splitting the cost and the item.


Skip the appetizer

Appetizers can take a ridiculous amount of time to prepare, and you don’t want your guests filling up on miniature fried wontons before you bring out your turkey with all the trimmings.


Cook most things from scratch

Convenience is important, especially when your to-do list outpaces your available time, but some shortcuts are just not worth the cost.


Wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday from all of us here at Day Air Credit Union.