Ah, the beloved sweatpants day. Growing up, Thanksgiving meant stretchy leggings, a five course meal that starts at 4:00 pm, and family memories and moments. But in college, Thanksgiving involves something else. While I may not be able to fly home for the holiday this year, I can definitely have an incredible Friendsgiving with my closest pals. 

Now for my favorite part, FOOD.

As a typical broke college student, price is definitely on my mind. Also, since Thanksgiving occurs during that wonderful time where assignments and final papers start piling up, convenience is a major factor. In my experience, Trader Joe's provides products with the perfect blend of inexpensiveness and easiness.

Here is a list of some essential items you need for a flawless—and filling—traditional Friendsgiving! 


feast, corn
Abby Hassinger

Appetizers! Although a little on the pricey side, if you want that authentic Thanksgiving feel, a cheese platter is a necessity. Pair the cranberry goat cheese log with pumpkin cranberry crisps, and perhaps some mixed nuts and dried fruit on the side. A small cheese platter is great to snack on while the meal is cooking.


Cranberry Sauce

Abby Hassinger

The cranberry orange relish at Trader Joe's is great to scoop onto your turkey. And if you aren't a cranberry fan, definitely pick up the kettle cooked gravy from Trader Joe's to drizzle on.


vegetable, pepper
Abby Hassinger

Stuffing is an essential side to have for your Friendsgiving. Luckily, Trader Joe's offers two options! If you're feeling particularly wheat-free, pick up the gluten-free stuffing mix. But if that doesn't float your (gravy) boat, get the cornbread stuffing mix. After a few simple steps, you got yourself a delicious and easy side.

Brussells Sprouts

Abby Hassinger

Praise almighty Brussels sprouts! What used to be the untouched side is now a favorite of any feast. Trader Joe's has a perfectly sized package with already seasoned brussels sprouts so you can just pop them in the oven and you're done. And if you are feeling extra chef-like, toss in some crispy bacon for added flavor.

Mashed Potatoes

vegetable, rice
Abby Hassinger

No Friendsgiving is complete without a creamy bowl of mashed potatoes. You can either go the more traditional route with the classic frozen mashed potatoes, or try out Trader Joe's frozen mashed sweet potatoes. You could even top the mashed sweet potatoes with some marshmallows and pecans for extra sweetness to your feast.


Abby Hassinger

Ahhh, the pièce de résistance! Turkey (typically) takes hours and hours to cook and baste and serve. Not with this awesome fully cooked oven roasted turkey breast! Only a couple of minutes on the stove top and you have yourself the meal that this day is centered on.

If you're a vegetarian or vegan, check out Trader Joe's awesome cruelty-free products so you can still have your protein.


chocolate, sweet, cake, pie, pastry, pumpkin, candy, bread, cookie
Abby Hassinger

No matter how much you eat on Friendsgiving, there is always room for dessert. Make sure to pick up a Trader Joe's Frozen pumpkin pie or sweet potato pie (or both) to finish the meal with something sweet. If you're going for that cute rustic look, grab the French apple tart and top with some vanilla ice cream.


wine, chocolate, beer
Abby Hassinger

To wash down your meal, pick up some raspberry cranberry spritzer. It's light, bubbly and incredibly festive. And if a sparkling beverage isn't your drink of choice, then finish off your delicious meal with some apple cider (or some coffee to stay awake for those Black Friday deals).

So please. Slip on your stretchy pants, watch some Friend's Thanksgiving Episodes, and enjoy your day off by cooking and eating with your closest friends. Happy Friendsgiving!