Guys. Thanksgiving—and all the stuffing and mashed potatoes and gravy—is quickly approaching. Don’t panic. With a bit of advanced prep and planning, you’ve got the food (and general holiday merriment) on lock.

RELATED: 6 Genius Tricks That Will Make Thanksgiving a Total Breeze

book thanks checklist
Twenty20

Three Weeks Before: Confirm the Menu

Review the recipes for every dish you’d like to make, skim for any that seem too ambitious (might wanna nix those) and get a jump-start on writing your grocery shopping lists. This is also a good way to have answers at the ready for any guests who volunteer to bring food. Case in point: Mashed potatoes are a must, but you’d rather not spend the morning peeling spuds, if you can avoid it. Assign the dish to Aunt Meredith and it’s off your plate.

RELATED: The Best Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes

turkey thankschecklist
Twenty20

Two Weeks Before: Order the Turkey

It’s as simple as calling your supermarket to reserve one you can pick up a few days before the holiday. The rule for calculating what size bird to order? Typically, one pound per person is good. That way, there will be plenty of leftovers. (Hello, the best part.)

list thankschecklist
Twenty20

One Week Before: Finalize Your Shopping Lists

Start with a blank sheet of paper (or use the Notepad app on your phone) and jot down the name of every dish and the ingredients you’ll need for it. Divide your list into two trips: items you’ll need in advance (say, the turkey, so it can thaw) and items you’ll need a day or two before (like produce and miscellaneous pantry items you forgot on your first trip).

RELATED: 9 Ways to Have a Less Expensive Supermarket Trip

store thankschecklist
Twenty20

The Weekend Before: Grocery Shopping Trip No. 1

Elbows out. You got this. Just remember: The fastest line at the supermarket is always the one that’s farthest to the left.

wine thankschecklist
Twenty20

The Monday Before: Stock Up on Wine

If you’ve already picked up a case of Cabernet, you’re good (and you probably saved 10 percent). Otherwise, now’s the time to make a run to the wine shop to be sure you have enough vino on hand.

cran thankschecklist
Twenty20

The Tuesday Before: Prep All the Dishes Served Cold

For example, the cranberry sauce or any cold salads on the menu. You can also prep chilled hors d’oeuvres—like a cheese plate—by laying it out on the board, individually wrapped. That way, it’s ready to be pulled out and served.

RELATED: 13 Thanksgiving Recipes You Can Make Ahead and Stash in Your Freezer

fridge thankschecklist
Twenty20

The Wednesday Morning Before: Grocery Shopping Trip No. 2

Yikes, it’s a madhouse. But you forgot the apple pie requires an extra stick of butter and you need two more shallots for those green beans. Before you go, edit your list so you can zip in and out. It’s also a great time to grab flowers for your centerpiece, foil and extra food-storage containers. (We repeat: Leftovers matter.)

baking thankschecklist
Twenty20

The Wednesday Afternoon Before: Do Your Final Chopping and Prep

It’s about the little things: Chop the veggies, wash the herbs and assemble the stuffing and any other side dishes you can make ahead. Now’s also a good time to bake all ofyour desserts (mmm, apple pie) and set the table. 

RELATED: 8 Gorgeous Thanksgiving Tablescapes

carve thankschecklist
Twenty20

Approximately Six Hours Before: Prep and Cook the Bird

For every pound, the turkey should roast for 13 minutes. So if you’re serving 24 pounds, it’ll need to be in the oven for a little over five hours.

RELATED: How Not to Screw Up Your Thanksgiving Turkey

cauliflowergratin
PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Five Hours Before: Focus on the Sides

It’s time to make everything you couldn’t whip up the day before: the mashed potatoes (if Aunt Meredith isn’t bringing ’em), the cauliflower gratin, the squash. Remember, you won’t have access to the oven during this time, so stick with cooktop recipes or ones you can pop in the second the turkey is done.

slice turkey thankschecklist
Twenty20

One Hour Before: Whip Up the Gravy and Carve the Turkey

It’s the final step. Worried it tastes too bland? Just add soy sauce for extra kick.

RELATED: 8 Easy Fixes for Thanksgiving Meal Mishaps

table thankschecklist
Twenty20

Five Minutes Before: Give Thanks—and Pour Yourself Some Wine

You’ve earned it. For real. 

RELATED: How Much Wine Should I Actually Be Pouring?

From Around The Web