By Cleve Bryan

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WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBS) — Grocery stores across the region are packed as people scramble to get ready for the big feast Thursday. Those that aren’t traveling are likely preparing for, or have already started, cooking that big Thanksgiving dinner.

It’s all hands on deck at the check out stations at Bottino’s ShopRite in Washington Township where people are picking up last-minute groceries for Thanksgiving.

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You got to be quick with the shopping cart and have your head on a swivel maneuvering through the aisles today. It seems like no matter how much you buy for the big meal, there’s always something you forget to grab.

According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, the average cost for Thanksgiving dinner dropped about 1 percent since last year and has steadily declined each of the last four years. That mean’s you got a little extra green to buy groceries, but be prepared for crowds at the stores this evening.

Cashiers and baggers are earning every penny Wednesday as last-minute thanksgiving shoppers make a mad dash to get ready for the big feast.

“I’m trying to put it all together last-minute,” laughs Katie Lavin of Washington Township.

While other people are gathering food for the whole meal, others just picking up a few extra ingredients.

“The stuff that you forget when you first go out to shop, and then you come home and say, ‘Oh, I got to get some cinnamon, some celery, and some onions,'” says Pat Powell.

“This is only cart number three, my original cart had a 36-pound turkey so we’re going big. Go big or go home,” adds Colleen Laudenslager.

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Those that don’t feel up to battling the crowds are seeking help from Bottino’s popular trend — shop from home. Shoppers can order online and the crew has it all prepared at the curb. Yanell Holiday took advantage of a similar service at Wegman’s in Cherry Hill.

“Just came in the store, told them my name and they gave me my order. That’s the way to do it, I’m telling you,” Holiday says.

But there’s still something to be said for picking out just the perfect turkey, grabbing your stuffing and all the trimmings, and envisioning the meal you’ll hopefully share with friends and loved ones.