How much does a Thanksgiving meal cost?

(Johnny/Flickr Commons/CC BY-SA 2.0)

MASON CITY, Iowa – It’s busy in the Hy-Vee kitchen as workers prepare for next week’s Thanksgiving catering orders.

The price of cooking a meal adds up quickly, so what is the most effective way to go?

Hy-Vee will cater the entire meal complete with a meat like turkey, rolls and three sides.

“It’s quick, easy, convenient and the directions are right there on the box ready to go,” perishables manager Larry Knowles said. “If you don’t want to have it cold we do offer it hot at an additional charge.”

They are also serving up pies and additional main courses like ham or prime rib. The average cost per person is $10 to $12, and that can go up depending on how many extras you order.

However if you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and cook up a meal by yourself, how much will it set you back?

Grabbing the ingredients it’s clear there are a lot of options.

And it also depends on how many people you’re feeding. Picking the same sides as the catered meal, and adding in pie, total cost per person is about $9.

However if you’re looking to make Thanksgiving as easy as possible, and go out to eat, you have several options including the buffet at Butcher’s Steakhouse in Mason City.

“For Thanksgiving we’re going to have a Thanksgiving buffet all your traditional ham, roast beef, turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy stuffing,” owner Laurie Buchanan said. “We’re going to have a dessert bar and everything is homemade, just kind of your traditional Thanksgiving dinner.”

Total cost per person is $16.99 for adults and $10.99 for kids 10 and under.

In the end it depends a lot on what your family traditions are and if you’re looking to cook with them or go out and enjoy someone else doing the work.

In Rochester, the Canadian Honker Restaurant and Chester’s Kitchen and Bar are both open on Thanksgiving. However, for many places including Butcher’s Steakhouse, you need to make reservations beforehand.

At Hy-Vee, they ask to have all orders in by Monday but will take last minute requests.

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