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Figuring How Much Food to Buy for Parties

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It will soon be time for graduation parties, family reunions, etc., and it can be difficult to know how much food to fix for a large crowd. Here are several serving guides I have come to rely on:


  • Cold cuts: generally 2 to 3 ounces of deli meat per serving (25 servings of deli meat would be 3 to 5 pounds of meat). This is based on what is called a "sandwich slice" rather than shaved. Sandwich slices will go further than shaved as people often overload on shaved.
  • Cheese: allow 1 to 1.5 ounces of cheese slices per serving. (25 servings would be 1.5 to 2.5 pounds of cheese). Sliced cheese is more economical than cubes as people will generally only take one slice of cheese, but several cubes of cheese.
  • Vegetables: Plan on 4 to 6 pieces of raw vegetables per person in a relish tray. (How much dip to have is anyone's guess!)
  • Salad: One gallon of potato or pasta salad or chicken or tuna salad will feed approximately 25 people. Don't bother counting the kids in this because most of them won't eat this type of food.
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  • Fruit: Plan on allowing 1/2 cup per serving of fruit per person. Generally, 1 pint of strawberries, blueberries or raspberries equals about 2 cups; 1 pound of green grapes equals 2 cups.

By Ronsan from Southwest MO

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By (Guest Post)
April 17, 20061 found this helpful

Where were you 20 years ago when I NEEDED this info? LOL Thanks from the kids,grandkids though.GG Vi

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By peggygv. (Guest Post)
April 19, 20060 found this helpful

Along those same lines, do you know how to calculate for a gathering when people don't RSVP these days? Is there a rule of thumb like 50% of the total number invited or what? Thanks.

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February 23, 20170 found this helpful

How do I calculate traditional boneless wings for a crowd of 300? This is a picnic/tailgate type of gathering with other foods like lasagna and sloppy joes

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May 2, 20170 found this helpful

I'm making a pan of chicken spaghetti for at least 20-30 people. And I'm a little lost on figuring out how much ingredients is needed

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August 23, 20170 found this helpful

I found this information very helpful, We are having guests at our church from North Carolina and wanted to something different than chicken.


Thanks so much.
Gmom Jai

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