Starting this weekend grocery stores will be packed every day with shoppers loading up on ingredients for Thanksgiving. But one of those days will be the least crowded and have the best stock of items.

You may already be planning on when you'll get the food shopping done to avoid getting stuck in the pre-thanksgiving mob at the checkout counter. Most people assume that the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the worst day to go grocery shopping. While it's true that the day before the holiday will be crowded, it turns out that it's actually not the busiest day to shop on Thanksgiving week.

There are several days next week that grocery shopping will feel like a military invasion. Starting Saturday stores are expected to be slammed with weekend shoppers using their days off to prepare for out-of-town visitors and load up on ingredients for Thursday's big meal. During prime hours on Saturday and Sunday, you can expect most of the Hudson Valley's grocery stores to be a miserable war zone.

Those who don't get their shopping done this weekend will need to go during the week. Because most people assume Wednesday will be too crowded, most will try to outsmart the system by hitting the store on Tuesday. It turns out that the Tuesday before Thanksgiving is historically the very worst day for Thanksgiving shopping. Data shows that it's the most crowded day of the week every year.

So when's the best day to shop? It looks like Monday is the perfect day to do your shopping for Thanksgiving. Not only will it be the least crowded day of the week, but workers will also have restocked shelves from the busy weekend in anticipation of crowds on Tuesday and Wednesday.

A word of warning, however, for shoppers in the Hudson Valley. Meteorologists are currently watching a winter storm that could hit our area on Tuesday and Wednesday. If that's the case, you can expect Monday to be incredibly busy with pre-storm shoppers and people scrambling to prepare for the holiday before the rain and snow hit. If that worst-case scenario happens, you may just want to order a pizza for Thanksgiving and call it a day.

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