Here's When You Should Go Grocery Shopping for Thanksgiving to Avoid the Crowds This Year

Get in, get your pumpkin puree, and get out this Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is full of family bonding opportunities, including that stressful pre-feast trip to the grocery store. But figuring out when to go to the grocery store for your Thanksgiving shopping can be tricky—at least, if you and any loved ones you rope into your shopping trip want to maintain your holiday cheer. Fortunately, data from Google Maps can help.

According to Google Maps data, Saturdays between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. are usually the busiest times to visit the grocery store. The best time to go grocery shopping for Thanksgiving may be Monday at 8 a.m., when stores are typically least busy.

Monday may seem too far in advance to pick up your groceries for Thursday, but if it helps you avoid crowds, it may be worth it. Tuesday and Wednesday leading up to November 25 are sure to be popular Thanksgiving grocery shopping days, and many stores may be closed on Thanksgiving this year, so don't plan on going morning of without confirming your store will be open first.

For a sense of how crowded your go-to store is, you can also check "busyness" information on Google Maps—and even see real-time info on how crowded it is. If your grocery store, restaurant, or any other location seems crowded, you can change your plans.

The key to avoiding crowds and having the best possible Turkey Day is to plan ahead for your Thanksgiving dinner. Make your grocery list, pick a quieter time to go grocery shopping, and make an efficient trip. If you're ordering food from a local restaurant or dining out for your feast, see if you can put in your order or make a reservation now—the last thing anyone wants on Thanksgiving is a sudden change of plans because of over-crowding.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles