Thanksgiving can be a tricky time of year. Unlike other holidays where the focus is divided among presents, church services, etc., the sole object of Thanksgiving is food, food and more food (and family, of course!). In theory, this makes everything easier. However, in actuality, it means that the pressure is on to create a bountiful menu, most of which will require day-of cooking. Thankfully (no pun intended) new technology makes this process much easier than in the past.

With various apps, gadgets and blogs, prepping for any holiday is so much simpler! With that in mind, we have taken a variety of app recommendations and created a step by step planner to help you get the most relaxing Thanksgiving you’ve ever had!

Two Weeks Before: Plan Your Menu

Planning your menu a few weeks out can save a lot of trouble. People have been raving about Paprika Recipe Manager, an app for both iPhone and Desktop. Some of the best features are:

  • Create & modify your own recipes on any device
  • Automatically download recipes from the web
  • Scale ingredients to your desired serving size
  • Store nutritional information and personalized notes for each recipe
  • Intelligent grocery list automatically combines your ingredients and sorts them by aisle
  • Use the pantry to keep track of what ingredients you already have.
  • Save time and money by planning your meals by the week and month
  • Print and email support for recipes, grocery lists, and meal plans

One Week Before: Shop for All Non-Perishable Groceries

Now that you have your menu and grocery list all planned out, it’s time to actually get down to shopping. But just because you’re buying big doesn’t mean you have to spend big. Using Grocery Pal, you can easily find coupons for all your local stores, and also compare prices at stores in you general area. Some of the main features the app brags are:

  • Browse weekly savings at local supermarkets and chain stores
  • Add sale items to shopping list and track them easily
  • Scan barcodes to add products to shopping list
  • Compare prices across multiple stores
  • Redeem coupons at hundreds of thousands of stores
  • Organize list items into aisles and categories

5 Days Before: Make All Freezable Items

Of course, not all food is equal. Some items will keep for months when properly frozen, and others do not freeze well, and their consistency will entirely change. So how do you know what you can make now and freeze for the big day? Take a look at this ultimate ‘Freezable Foods’ list, and figure out exactly how much you can make ahead of time!

3 Days Before: Final Shopping & Veggie Prep

Of course, there are some items to your grocery list that will not keep for long. This is the time to run back to the store and grab those! But at this point in time, you may already have relatives at your house, and it may be hard to slip out the door and grab those last ingredients. Not to worry though! With the Instacart app, you can hire someone to pick up groceries from your local store and deliver them to your house within a few hours!

2 Days Before: Prep Stuffing & Dressings

Set your bread out to stale a bit and whip together some yummy dressings to complement your main courses. If you’re looking for a few last minute ideas using the ingredients you have laying around, take a look at the Allrecipes app! Just search my ingredient and find some ideas!

1 Day Before: Make Casseroles, Desserts, & Dough

Of course, prepping all this food at once is the hardest part of the job. With potentially six to seven dishes cooking at once, most ovens don’t have the capacity to set enough timers to keep up. With the Timer+ app, however, you can set as many timers as you need to!

Thanksgiving: Throw the Turkey & Rolls in the Oven

Almost to the finish line! However, with these last two dishes in the oven, set your Timer+ app, and you are all set to go!

Thanks to modern technology, it’s easier than ever to have a relaxing holiday! Have you used any of the apps above? If not, does your family have any meal-planning apps that you would recommend?