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Feeding a Huge Crowd as Thriftily as Possible?

I'm having a large get together in a few months (and by large I mean it could be up to 200 or so people) and I need some help. I'm trying to save money by making the food myself and not hiring a cater. Any ideas? or would it be best if I just found a good cater?

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By Katlin Y

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August 23, 20130 found this helpful

We live in the Country and have about 3-4 rowdy parties a year, with anywhere from 10 to 80 + people. These are my fail-safe, go-to dishes that can feed an army - I always have leftovers! The good thing about them is you can tailor them to your budget (less meat, more veggies, etc..)

Sausage, peppers, onions and potatoes:
Deep disposable aluminum pans
**For each pan you use
1lb Italian sausage cut into 1 inch chunks**
5-8 potatoes peeled and quartered** (depending on size)
2-4 green peppers sliced** (depending on size)
1-3 onions sliced** (depending on size)
Oregano
Basil
Salt & Pepper
~Fill up each pan with first 4 ingredients and mix it up. (You can use more or less of anything - I usually never have enough money for a lb of meat per pan but always clean out my local farmer's market on veggies so I tend to cut the sausage into even smaller pieces and use more vegetables).

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~Sprinkle generously with next 4 ingredients.
~Cover tightly with aluminum foil.
~Bake in oven either on Low (250 for 4-5 hrs), or High (375 for about 1 1/2 - 2 hrs). Let cook for at least 2 hrs on low or 1 hr on high before uncovering and stirring, and then just keep warm as long as you need to until you're ready to serve. When done the fat from the sausage and the liquid from the veggies makes a nice tasty juice. I usually make 2 or 3 pans and it's plenty!

Crockpot meatballs:
Fill your crockpot with good quality frozen meatballs. Add either spaghetti sauce or brown gravy, stir, and cook accordingly (Hi or Lo, depending on your time frame) until nice and hot.

Pork and sauerkraut:
I do this in my dutch oven pot on the stove-
2 pkgs of pork (country ribs, pork chops, etc.. and DON'T Trim the fat!! That's what makes the flavor. I buy the cheapest pork on sale that I can find in the grocery. It'll fall apart while cooking).

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1/2 lb bacon, diced small
2 lg cans sauerkraut
~Mix everything in the pot, and cook med to med-low til pork is done, depending on your timeframe. I promise you everybody will ask you for your recipe after they've eaten it!

Baked Beans:
1-2 Deep disposable aluminum pans
2 lg cans (or 1 #10 size) of cheap baked beans (Van De Kamps, Campbells or store brand) drained
1-2 lg cans of any flavor Bush's baked beans (OR any baked beans of your choice) NOT drained, and
Any other kind of canned bean you'd like to add, rinsed. I like to add some black beans and great northern beans.
Brown sugar (I use maybe 1/4 c or so)
1 sm can of dice tomatoes
1/2 lb bacon diced small (per pan)
*browned ground beef Optional
~Dump beans and bacon (and browned ground beef if so) in pan, sprinkle generously with some brown sugar, mix, cover, and bake until bubbling. Keep warm till ready to serve.

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***You can also add any leftover meats you may have in your fridge...crumbled hamburger, ham, chicken...it's all good and just bulks it up even more!

***I DO NOT precook the bacon for either recipe, I just dice it up small and stir it right in - adds a tremendous amount of flavor that way!

I also buy a family pack/party pack of hot dogs and either grill them or keep them in a crockpot in water.

Any of these can be modified to suit your taste/budget/amt of people.

I put the pans/pots out, paper bowls and plates, and toothpicks (for the meatballs), a couple of plates of sliced breads and/or rolls, and a bag or two of restaurant-style tortilla chips (goes awesomely with the beans.)...and there you go! Fairly cheap food to feed an army! I've never gone broke at my parties and people have left the buffet table full.

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If you have any questions about the recipes you can email me dcon64@hotmail.com.

I hope this helps!
Dc

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Anonymous
April 27, 20170 found this helpful

1st recipe, sausage, peppers etc. Doesn't this need some oil or liquid?

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May 4, 20170 found this helpful

Buy Boston Butt about 4 .and put them on the grill for about hour and then put them in the oven and let them Bake on 275 to 300 for about 3 hours. & pull them apart make great BBQ .purchase About 3 extra large
Cans of Pork in beans bake with Brown sugar and little BBQ sauce green pepper and Onion for Baked Beans , Purchase Cole slaw containers from Sam Club and 3 bags of Rolls . Places baskets of Rolls on the tables and a Toss Salad Ice tea & Lemonade Southern BBQ Dinner. Yummi

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