Even with the pandemic upending traditions, many of us will still cook a Thanksgiving turkey with all the sides for our households. If you haven’t bought groceries for your family’s feast yet, Gov. Jay Inslee’s new COVID-19 restrictions may have thrown you into a panic. But keep in mind, his order limiting grocery stores to 25 percent of their fire-code determined capacity is only slightly more strict than the previous order, which put the limit at 30 percent in counties like Clark that were in the second phase of reopening.
Even so, don’t wait until the last minute. Here are tips from stores on how to keep Thanksgiving shopping safe and easy.
New Seasons Market
New Seasons Market‘s motto for Thanksgiving this year is “shop safe, shop early.” A cheerful video on the company’s website encourages shoppers to buy pantry staples and frozen turkeys now to avoid crowds later, and reassures customers that “reheating is not cheating” if they choose to order ready-made items.
Thanksgiving meals (a main dish and sides) can be preordered right now. Customers pay ahead of time and choose a time slot to grab their preordered meals at a special pickup station.
Online orders for curbside pickup or home delivery are available through Instacart for grocery items and prepared foods. New Seasons designates special parking spots for Instacart orders. Customers use the app to let their shopper know they’ve arrived and their order is brought out to the car. Turkeys and sides will appear on Instacart’s online order system as Thanksgiving approaches. However, if you want to buy a Thanksgiving meal, it’s best to preorder and pickup, according to store managers.
The store is closed on Thanksgiving Day so everything must be ordered or picked up before then.
Ridgefield’s new Rosauers store is gearing up for its first Thanksgiving. Demand for Thanksgiving meals has been high. Customers who want one of the meal bundles (featuring turkey, ham or prime rib) should order early because supply is limited. Orders can be picked up hot or cold at the deli on Thanksgiving Day.
Rosauers also offers an online ordering system. Shoppers can order everything on their shopping list for curbside pickup or delivery to their home.
Fred Meyer added a Get All Set for The Holiday Season section to its website with a helpful guide to planning your shopping, a gift guide and online orders for party platters and holiday meals.
Fred Meyer has focused on providing safe, clean and stocked shelves for Thanksgiving, said Jeffery Temple, director of corporate affairs. Stores use an electronic tracking system that provides updated customer counts in order to limit numbers inside the stores.
The key to the most effective, efficient and pleasant shopping experience is to plan your trip in advance, Temple said. Make a list of everything you need. Group your shopping list by category (for example, baking goods all together) or by store department (such as produce).
If you bring reusable bags, be sure to launder them between each use and plan to bag your own groceries to minimize contact.
Try to shop as early as possible to help spread out holiday shopping. Everything in the store can be ordered online through the Fred Meyer website. Meal bundles, party platters and desserts can be ordered ahead on the website for pick up or delivery. To accommodate increased demand, Fred Meyer will expand the time slots available for pickup and delivery customers as Thanksgiving gets closer. In addition, pickup fees are waived for orders over $35.
Safeway offers online shopping available with curbside pickup or home delivery. An order-ahead page on the website includes turkey, ham and prime rib dinners with sides, as well as party trays, cakes and flowers. Recognizing that groups may be smaller this year, Safeway is also offering a turkey breast meal with sides for six people. Safeway stores close at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.
Timing is everything. If you search for your favorite store on Google, the results show a graph of the busiest times. Check for special shopping times for senior citizens or people with compromised immune systems (usually Tuesday and Thursday mornings).
With some planning, instead of wrestling for the last turkey on Thanksgiving Day, you can be home relaxing with a plate piled high.