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Feeding a Large Crowd Cheaply

I'm throwing a surprsie 30th birthday barbeque for my brother and I need recipe ideas to feed a large crowd cheaply. We're expecting around 40 people. I have no idea how to estimate food amounts for this many people! We don't have the money to cater the event and we can't do a potluck, so does anyone have any ideas or recipes for food we can serve that's cheap and easy to make in large quantites. Thanks so much!



Feeding a Large Crowd Cheaply

Sloppy Joes are inexpensive and go a long way for a crowd.
Macaroni Salad is cheap to make and Jello Molds or just jello/fruit in a pretty bowl then you don't have to unmold. and CHIPS and relishes.
Baked Beans aren't expensive and/or Coleslaw, not expensive to make either.
Have FUN.(quote)(/quote)(quote)(/quote)(quote)(/quote) (06/27/2005)

By Joanne/IL.

Feeding a Large Crowd Cheaply

If you belong to Costco or Sam's Club I think that would be the best way to go. I get my hamburger at Costco and it's really good. The buns are pretty cheap too. You could buy sliced cheese in quantity, giant cans of baked beans and bags of chips. They also have hot dogs or large bags of chicken. The chicken would be more expensive of course. I think you could easily feed 40 any of the above for less than $100 - the cheaper stuff for a good bit less. Good luck and have fun. (06/27/2005)

By Ann

Feeding a Large Crowd Cheaply

Most of the grocery stores that sell fried chicken will also sell large quantities at a good price if you order ahead. Buy potato salad/ coleslaw/green salad in bulk at a club store or Smart and Final. Order a sheet cake from one of these stores. Some dinner rolls, and its a snap! (06/27/2005)

By Linda

Feeding a Large Crowd Cheaply

Potato salad is simple to make in large quantities, as well as coleslaw and macaroni salad. Baked beans and chili are easy to make in bulk. Don't forget those huge bags of chips, too, and corn bread/rolls/biscuits (depending on what you serve). You won't need much in the way of desserts if you pick up (or make) a large sheet cake. Assorted sodas, coffee and tea would round out the meal. As far as estimating what people will eat, I'd guess on at least 2-3 pieces of meat per adult or teenager (hamburger/hot dog/chicken) and 1 piece per child (kids tend to eat more chips & stuff). If you're buying your salad, figure on at least 1/2 pound per person. Those estimates might seem a little high, but at least you'll have leftovers and not run out. Good luck!



By Karen in NH

Feeding a Large Crowd Cheaply

Shredded Chicken Sandwiches! Find chicken on sale (boneless/skinless or bone in). Boil chicken until cooked. Let cool so you can handle it. Shred chicken (removing bones and skin). Crush "ritz" type crackers--I recommend generic--stir crackers into chicken and add chicken broth to desired consistency. You can add as many cracker crumbs as you want to stretch the chicken FOREVER! Just add more broth when you add crackers. Make ahead and store in fridge a day or two then heat in crock pot! (07/05/2005)

By guest

Feeding a Large Crowd Cheaply

I'm hosting a luau party for my four year old's birthday and came across this recipe (see bottom) for 50 tonight. It's easy and should be fairly cheap, depending on whether you can get down to the store to catch some of those post fourth of July deals on hamburger:
I can recommend another recipe as well: cut up watermelon with canned tropical fruit or fresh to go with it. Macadamia nuts, fresh fruit, and tons of sticky rice with soy sauce to people's individual preferences (you can usually buy this kind of rice in huge bags at the grocery stores, such as Safeway, the main brands are Calrose and Botan around here). It is easy to make and the directions are simple. Follow them and make two or three batches and you should have plenty. Scoop up with a big ice cream scoop. This and delicatessen Macaroni Salad are a cheap and authentic way to do a cheap and fun luau. Add cake and maybe ice cream or pineapple sherbet and your family will be thrilled. Play some beach boys and luau themed music. Shop at the craft or dollar store for cheap leis, etc. I bought the cheapy leis 6 for $1 at the local dollar store. The market is just exploding right now with cheap Hawaiian and Polynesian themed summer and party everything.
Serve Hawaiian Fruit Punch, or a concoction of your own; there are lots of recipes if you search online for this and other dishes:
Easy punch: 7 up combined with a fruit punch and even pineapple sherbet mixed in just before serving. That's if you enjoy the luau thing. And never never forget the power of the hot dog! I just bought several packages for $1 a package, Hebrew Nationals, good stuff, at the grocery outlet here. You never know what you can save even on the cheapest items!
Recipe: Maui Meatball for 50 People:
6 lbs leanest ground beef
2 C soy sauce
1 C water
1 clove garlic
1 2/1 tsp powdered sugar
food picks
Form meat into 1" meatballs; place in single layer in shallow baking pans. Combine remaining ingredients and pour about 1/2 of sauce over meatballs. Check frequently, adding more sauce as necessary. Bake for 1 hour at 275 degrees. To prepare ahead of time, up to 2 days, store cooked meatballs in a large casserole dish--pour remaining sauce over them; cover and refrigerate; Reheat in oven and serve with food picks. (07/06/2005)


Feeding a Large Crowd Cheaply

THANKS Joanne for the Sloppy Joe idea and to the guest who suggested the shredded chicken sandwiches! I have a one year old birthday party to through for my daughter and I need to feed about 40-70 people! :) You've been a GREAT help! (10/30/2006)

By Melissa

Feeding a Large Crowd Cheaply

Have you ever tried sloppy joe's with hot dogs? My friend suggested this for a party, her family puts sloppy joe's in a roaster and then adds hot dogs to cook with the sloppy joe's. Your guests can have hot dogs, sloppy joe's or sloppy dogs. (11/23/2007)

By Amie Savage

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