We are just about a week away from the big Thanksgiving Day feast! In my home, my children are diligently working on their centerpiece creations, place cards and anything else they can turn into a turkey. The menus are being printed and the shopping lists created. While food and crafting seems like the main focus around here these days, I am trying everything I can to instill a spirit of gratitude in my boys this year. (not so easy with a 4 & 2 year old!) We have been choosing books about sharing and thanksgiving, talking about what we are thankful for and this weekend we will make these adorable Thankful Turkeys! I am loving the gratitude posts from Discount Diva; Operation Grateful Child and The Whatever Mom; 7 ways to give back with little ones in tow and after talking about it last night, my boys are thrilled to head out this weekend and fill up their shoe boxes for children in need over seas.

This week’s top 10 is all about reducing the stress on the big day.I have rounded up 10 Thanksgiving Day hacks and tricks that might even let you get a quick nap in on Thanksgiving this year.

  1. menusMake a menu! It helps to visualize all of the dishes so you don’t over or under do it. Every year my dad lists every dish posts it right on the kitchen cabinet. The other thing my he does is make a simple schedule in excel that lists how long each dish needs to be cooked, the oven temps, times for prep, cooking, etc. Having it all laid out makes the cooking go much more smoothly and there is never a question of timing or juggling dishes and ovens.
  2. turkey craftLet the Kids play before the big day. Having everyone under foot and in the kitchen Thanksgiving Day can certainly add to the stress of getting everything done on schedule. Stock the kids up on Wednesday with lots of Thanksgiving themed crafts and activities like pumpkin play doh. Start a new tradition with this adorable handprint turkey table runner or let the kids make the decorations like these Thankful Turkeys that create the perfect centerpieces for your Thanksgiving table.
  3. chopped veggiesDid you know that chopped veggies will last days in the fridge? With a great big Thanksgiving feast comes a lot ofthe tedious prep work. Peeling, chopping it doesn’t seem to end on Thanksgiving. Break up some of that work by peeling and chopping the veggies ahead of time. If you put them into zip lock bags labeled with what dishes they go into you are sure to cut your Thanksgiving prep work at least in half! www.stilltasty.com
  4. Wash-Potatoes-in-the-DishwasherHere is another genius time saver! Save a lot of time scrubbing all those potatoes by putting them right in the dishwasher. Just make sure you leave out the soap and run it on a quick rinse only cycle. (another tip: boil the potatoes with the skin on, dunk them into an ice bath and gently rub and the skin will fall right off!) heavenlyhomemakers.com
  5. wine glassesMake perfect biscuits every time by using a wine glass to cut out the dough! Quick, easy and perfect circles. But the best part is, when you are done flip that glass over and fill it up. You deserve it! southbyse.com
  6. cornMaybe I’m the last person to know this, but I thought it was too good not to share here. Is corn on the cob onyour Thanksgiving menu? You can cook a ton of corn at a time by pouring boiling water over the corn in a cooler. www.bonappetit.com
  7. pieEven if you want to keep your pies easy and simple you can fool people into thinking you slaved over yourpiesbypretty-ing up your pie crust edges using a few things you have right in the kitchen. A fork pressed into the dough at an angel creates a neat criss-cross pattern, the edge of a spoon dents in a scalloped edge to the dough or use the edge of the tongs to create a pretty design along the edge. Look around your house and see what you have that will make a neat pattern pressed into the dough. Some cool ideas here! bakepedia.com
  8. stuffingDoes everyone in at your table fight over the crispy top of the stuffing? You can create perfectly crisp, individual servings of stuffing by baking it right in muffin tins. Everyone has their own proportioned serving! acozykitchen.com
  9. turkeyThere is nothing worse than serving a dry turkey on Thanksgiving Day. Don’t letit happen to you with this easy tip! Sticking an opened can of beer into the bird will steam the meat from the inside out creating the most delicious and moist turkey you have ever tried. Drink or pour out about half the beer, fill the can with herbs and garlic and stick it right into the bird! allrecipes.com
  10. leftoversOne of my favorite things about Thanksgiving dinner is the leftovers but there are only so many turkey sandwichesIcan eat. Thanks to the internet, it is easy to find a list of recipes to use up those Thanksgiving leftovers! My mouth was watering looking at these photos! chow.com

What are your best Thanksgiving Day time saving tips?