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'Buy it and freeze it' | Experts say get your Thanksgiving turkey early

The star of your holiday feast will not only be harder to find this year, it will be harder to finance.

HOUSTON, Texas — It's the first week of November, and you probably haven’t started even thinking about your Thanksgiving meal, but experts are warning -- you might want to start. 

Many meat markets and restaurants are asking you to get your orders in now.

Inside Hebert's Specialty Meats, the Thanksgiving holiday is practically year-round. 

“We're getting all our dressings done, getting all our de-boned turkeys processed and ready to go," Vice President Scott Catlett said. 

 But this year, it came even earlier. 

 “We booked it quite early, in February, so we were able to get them in in time with no problem," Catlett said. 

 And by planning early, their stock is on lock.

The star of your holiday feast will not only be harder to find this year, it will be harder to finance.

“I think what you’re going to find from grocery stores and things like that is they will only have a limited supply," Catlett said. “When you have same demand, but less amount, prices rise."

 From supply chain issues to staff shortages, turkey prices are rising. 

“Anywhere from 20 to 40%," UHD Supply Chain Management Professor Dietrich von Beidenfeld said. 

 And the pressure is building on suppliers. But your problem can be solved with a little planning and some early preparation. 

“I think you should buy it and freeze it and that way, you’ve reduced at least one variable in the risk of things that can go wrong on Thanksgiving Day," von Beidenfeld said. 

Von Beidenfeld says when you hit the grocery store, turkeys should be in stock, but your options may be limited.

“I think you’re going to find more of the larger turkeys available and fewer of the smaller turkeys as people still persist in their concerns with health and welfare of their family and friends," von Beidenfeld said. 

And when it comes to one of Houston's most cherished Thanksgiving tradition, Super Feast organizers say they expect the meal to go on as planned, and they’re getting creative when it comes to those supply chain challenges.  

But as for you at home, no need to get creative - just be cautious. 

 “It is probably best to get your turkey early. I would not wait until the week of Thanksgiving," Catlett said. 

Hebert's Specialty Meats is taking orders for fresh turkeys now, contact them to reserve yours.