Before any cooking can go down, you have to hit the grocery store. But it's important not to go in blindly. Have a list of everything you'll need, arranged according to aisles, so you aren't racing back and forth for overlooked items, plus a stock of coupons you've collected. A few dollars off here and there can add up if you have an entire cart to fill with the makings of a holiday meal for many guests.
Look for sales; often items are carried by many brands, so you can pick and choose if you're looking to save a little cash. It can also be a good idea to do a little leg work before the big shopping trip. If you compare prices between stores and find one runs cheaper than others for a particular product, you'll know where to snap up the lowest-priced goods when the time comes. Also, since prices fluctuate from week to week, you can start eyeing the foods you'll need in advance and maybe see a discount in the days leading up to the holiday. If it's nonperishable or the expiration date gives you the leeway you need, go ahead and grab it early.