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Thanksgiving Cheat Sheet: The Ultimate Guide to Holiday Prep Like a Pro

From cooking to cleaning to taking advantage of Black Friday deals, we break down how to nail Thanksgiving this year.

Macy Meyer Editor I
Macy Meyer is a N.C. native who graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2021 with a B.A. in English and Journalism. She currently resides in Charlotte, N.C., where she has been working as an Editor I, covering a variety of topics across CNET's Home and Wellness teams, including home security, fitness and nutrition, smart home tech and more. Prior to her time at CNET, Macy was featured in The News & Observer, The Charlotte Observer, INDY Week, and other state and national publications. In each article, Macy helps readers get the most out of their home and wellness. When Macy isn't writing, she's volunteering, exploring the town or watching sports.
Expertise Macy covers a variety of topics across CNET's Home and Wellness teams, including home security, smart home tech, fitness, nutrition, travel, lifestyle and more. Credentials
  • Macy has been working for CNET for coming on 2 years. Prior to CNET, Macy received a North Carolina College Media Association award in sports writing.
Macy Meyer
4 min read
Dining table filled with thanksgiving food

Thanksgiving dinner can be a stressor. 

Tetra Images/Getty Images

For many, the holiday season is the best time of the year. The period from Thanksgiving to the New Year is full of exciting moments with family and friends -- but it's also a time of stress. From expensive grocery bills to holiday shopping to hosting family and friends, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and let tasks on your to-do list slip. 

To help with the chaos of Thanksgiving, we've put together this cheat sheet to help you prepare for your meals and guests like a pro. 

Groceries are more expensive. Where should I buy food for Thanksgiving?

It's no secret that inflation has caused prices to rise, and groceries are no exception. Grocery prices have jumped by about 12% over the past year, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

With this in mind, we can help you keep from blowing your budget. Plus, we'll offer some tasty recommendations any guest will enjoy.

Plus, we have some great cooking tips even a novice can ace. 

Close-Up Of Shopping Cart In Supermarket

No need to blow your monthly budget on Thanksgiving groceries. 

Jenwit Ritbundit/EyeEm/Getty Images

I'm hosting Thanksgiving. What are the best ways to clean my house for guests?

Being a host isn't easy. A ton of work goes into cleaning and prepping for guests. While cleaning your house could take a full day -- or even longer -- we have some trusty tips that can make the cleaning process much more efficient. 

Read also: Don't Make These Common Thanksgiving Mistakes

Cleaning tips for the home:

Girl preparing to spring clean kitchen

A ton of work goes into cleaning and prepping for guests. But here's some easy tips to help you. 

Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

Cleaning tips for appliances and kitchenware:

How can I prioritize my health and wellness during Thanksgiving?

Holidays only come around once a year, so it's understandable to want to splurge on the delicious food and drinks that are sure to be served up. But Thanksgiving can also be an anxiety-inducing time for those on a weight-loss journey or those who tend to feel guilty after indulging in dessert, alcohol or other treats.

The important thing is that you don't need to deprive or restrict yourself. Instead, you can practice some of these wellness tips to enjoy your Thanksgiving weekend guilt-free.  

Sportsman running against metal wall

It can be hard to prioritize your health during the holidays, but there's always time to take for you. 

The Good Brigade/Getty Images

Where can I find early Black Friday deals and holiday gift ideas?

In the fray of prepping for the holiday season, it can be easy to let things slip, but gift-buying is one thing you won't regret planning for ahead of time. Whether you're buying for a parent, sibling, significant other or friend, our CNET experts have a roundup of the best deals and gifts available. 

Try these other gift guides for your loved ones:

Take advantage of these great deals, too:

To never miss a deal, checkout CNET's complete roundup of top Black Friday deals. And for all the best gift recommendations, explore our ultimate gift guide.