Thanksgiving is one of the most cherished holidays, so why does it tend to come with the most stress? When you’re hosting a Thanksgiving meal, there are a lot of pre-established expectations. Staples like turkey, mashed potatoes, and pie are only a few of the items expected to be on the table, not to mention any additional family favorites. Don’t worry, though! These 6 time-saving hacks will help you plan the perfect Thanksgiving meal, with none of the stress.

  1. Delegate the menu.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the number of dishes to prepare, ask guests to bring a favorite side or dessert. This will ensure there is enough food for everyone without you having to be solely responsible. If you can cut green bean casserole off your list, it will leave you time to handle the turkey.

  1. Make a grocery list.

Lists are so important for every occasion. Before you head to the store, take inventory of the pantry ingredients that you have and what you need from the store. You won’t have duplicates and you also will avoid the last-minute rush when you realize you forgot the heavy cream.

  1. Create a timeline.

The most difficult part of Thanksgiving prep is having every dish come together at the same time. Create a timeline for when you want to eat and note down what items take the longest to cook. The turkey should always be started early, and in the mean time you can prepare sides.

  1. Do some prep ahead of time.

There are things that can be done one or two days ahead of Thanksgiving, so you aren’t getting up before the sun to complete every task. Chopping veggies, baking pie crusts, and even prepping mashed potatoes can all happen beforehand and be finished the day of.

  1. Don’t neglect the slow cooker.

It’s inevitable that you’re going to run out of room on the stove and in the oven. The slow cooker is such a versatile item that can cook everything from the stuffing to the cranberry sauce and could even cook turkey breast if you needed. It’s a low-maintenance must-have for Thanksgiving Day.

  1. Snag some disposable food containers.

There are bound to be leftovers, but that doesn’t mean you want to be giving up your prized Tupperware. Have some disposable containers on hand so that you don’t have to match lids or worry about chasing your reusable containers down later.

You’ll be thankful for these tips when the big day comes around! You’ll have more time to spend with family, watch the parade, or toss around a football. Your day doesn’t have to be about slaving in the kitchen, and these time-saving hacks will have you looking forward to hosting the Thanksgiving meal every year.

Need more Thanksgiving ideas? Read our ideas to Plan an Organized and Stress-Free Thanksgiving