Twelve Thanksgiving tips to save you time, stress and money as you prepare for Turkey Day.

1. Book your flight early

If you’re flying home for Thanksgiving, book your flight as early as possible. According to SkyScanner, booking a Thanksgiving flight as early as September can save you 4% off the ticket price.

2. Travel light

You likely won’t be gone for long, and if you’re going home you can always dig up something to wear if you haven’t packed for every occasion.

3. Get an accurate guest count as early as possible

If you’re hosting, this should be your first step. Find out exactly how many guests you’re expecting for Thanksgiving dinner so you don’t overcook or need to run out at the last minute for more groceries.

4. Plan your menu early

This way, you will buy only what you need and won’t randomly pick up items just in case you may end up needing them.

5. Take stock before shopping

Don’t buy a thing until you know what you already have at home.

6. Shop early and shop the sales

Most supermarkets spread their sales weeks before the big day. Save big by picking up what you need as it gets marked down leading up to Thanksgiving.

7. Use pennies instead of pie weights

Instead of using a pie weight as you pre-bake your pie shells, line them with foil and then fill the center with pennies to keep the dough weighed down as it bakes.

8. Keep your mashed potatoes in your slow cooker

How do you keep your mashed potatoes soft when every burner on your stovetop is occupied leading up to Thanksgiving dinner? With this hack, of course! After preparing your potatoes, spread butter on your slow-cooker insert, add some heavy cream and then pour in the potatoes. Keep the temperature on low and stir occasionally to keep the spuds soft and creamy.

9. Use aluminum foil instead of a roasting rack

Twist some foil into thick ropes and weave them across the bottom of your roasting pan until they’re strong enough to hold your bird. Instant roasting rack!

10. Spray-paint plastic fruit to use as décor

Spray-paint plastic fruit with colors to match your décor for a festive look that doesn’t break the budget.

11. Buy a frozen turkey

Frozen turkeys are a lot cheaper than fresh, and if you prepare it well no one will be able to tell the difference.

12. Skip the appetizer

Appetizers can take a while to prepare, and you don’t want your guests filling up before you bring out your turkey. Consider skipping the appetizer and just starting with a tossed salad.

Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving from all of us here at Duke University Federal Credit Union.