Frugal Luncheon Menu Ideas?

October 29, 2006

Frugal LuncheonI am giving a volunteer luncheon at my church for the nursery workers. What is an inexpensive menu to serve the guests and their families?

Sarah from Dayton, Ohio



By IMAQT1962 (Guest Post)
October 30, 20060 found this helpful


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By carla bledsoe (Guest Post)
October 30, 20060 found this helpful

ham-n-beans with cornbread
spaghetti with meatsauce, salad and breadsticks
biscuits and sausage gravy, eggs and potatoes
beef stew and homemade bread
potatoe bar with lots of toppings including chili
chili and cornbread
taco bar
lasagne and garlic toast

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October 30, 20060 found this helpful

How 'bout sloppy joes, baked beans, pasta salad and fresh fruit.

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By (Guest Post)
October 30, 20060 found this helpful

Soup and salad, or chili,salad and cornbread. Sandwiches made on small rolls, croissants or bagels and salad or fruit and cookies or brownies. It a luncheson, so keep it light and simple. Even a Pancake Luncheon might be fun!

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By (Guest Post)
October 31, 20060 found this helpful

What about home made pizza and soup

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By christine IN. (Guest Post)
November 1, 20060 found this helpful

We just did this only we had a breakfast. We had egg casserole,fruit salad, & a sweet roll, coffee.O.J. & milk
We did it during S.S. hr. & it turned out really nice.


I hope this helps.

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By GPeach (Guest Post)
October 7, 20080 found this helpful

How about a variety of soups, salads and sandwiches. Chili, Veggie, Taco soups-- Tossed, macaroni, potatoe salads-- offer different breads for sandwiches and wraps too.

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May 11, 20090 found this helpful

For easy church luncheons for small groups (less than 50) I always shop GFS. Chicken salad on croissants, potato chips with french onion dip, Relish plate with veggie dip, and brownies. I usually cook a couple of chicken breast and add to the chicken salad, and make a fresh fruit salad.

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March 17, 20110 found this helpful

What about a turkey salad, a 7-layer salad, a pasta salad, some crackers and rolls and a fruit salad for dessert?

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5 More Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

May 18, 2007

I am looking for easy luncheon menu ideas.

Pat from New Mexico


By Virginia (Guest Post)
May 23, 20070 found this helpful

I went to a party this past weekend. They had bread with cream cheese and a slice of cucumber on top. The bread is cut in 4. So you get 4 finger foods from one slice of bread.

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By Danialle (Guest Post)
May 24, 20070 found this helpful

Do a Salad Lunch. Clean and cut up all ingredients and keep separate in serving dishes. Let each guest make their own salads. Serve with several different dressings and some hot bread and butter.


Use different types of lettuce, boiled eggs, grated carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, pickled beets etc. You could also serve hot soup.

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By (Guest Post)
May 24, 20070 found this helpful

A salad bar! What a great idea. Thanks very much.

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By Rose (Guest Post)
May 12, 20080 found this helpful

YOur idea for a make your own salad luncheon is great!! Think I'll do it this weekend!

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March 18, 2012

We are hosting the teachers appreciation luncheon in school. Six groups will be rotating thru in 30 minute intervals (150 total guests). Some are vegetarians, most eat meat. We are unable to heat or cool food. I would like something simple and easy to set up. It can not be expensive, there is a budget of about $600, including beverage and desert.

By Joan


March 19, 20120 found this helpful

I went to a baby shower recently with some of the same issues. The menu was as follows: salad bar with greens, cheese, croutons, dressings, macaroni salad , potato salad, deviled eggs, and ham and turkey rollups, with cake for dessert., and punch (sierra mist with sherbet in it), and coffee and tea. The vegetarians ate salads,the mac/veg and green ones.


The ham and turkey roll ups were made from packaged ham and turkey slices from the supermarket. (Oscar Mayer 1 pound packages) Roll a slice of the meat tightly, insert 2 toothpicks, and slice in half.( 2 roll ups per slice of meat) One pound of each meat was enough for 25 people. Hope this helps.

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March 20, 20121 found this helpful

Here is how I keep food cool on a buffet. I use a large flat Rubbermaid tub (about 16" by 28" by 6" deep) and put those cold packs used in coolers in the bottom (freeze them overnight). I put the salad items on top of them in aluminum pans. It keeps the items nice and cold for several hours. I lay the lid of the container over it to keep the cold in until ready to start serving.


I transport the salad items in individual zip top bags in a cooler with the cold packs to the event. Works great.

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March 21, 20120 found this helpful

I am a retired school secretary and have enjoyed many teacher/staff appreciation luncheons. One that might work for you is a soup and salad buffet. Parents usually make the soups and bring in crockpots, there is such a variety that can be made, even to suit vegetarians.

A nice salad bar to go along with the soup makes a nice complete luncheon. Keep the salad ingredients cool by setting over trays of ice. Our parents provided the items and the rest of the budget could be spent on the beverages, etc. Our parents were great bakers and we enjoyed donated desserts as well.

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May 20, 2016

I am having 7 girls over for lunch in May honoring a gal going to a mission field. I need a menu.


May 22, 20161 found this helpful

Salads, salads, salads...meat salads, vegetable salads, green salads and fruit salads. Ladies love salad luncheons.

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May 22, 20160 found this helpful

How about a vegetable salad (add salmon or tuna if you like) with a light dressing, a few fresh biscuits or buns, perhaps a cheese plate with different kinds of crackers (including rice crackers for the gluten intolerant) and an array of fresh fruit. Tea (hot or cold), depending on the temperature outside? Before finalizing, you might want to ask if anyone has allergies or aversions (for instance, dressing on the side might be a good alternative for those who like to eat light).



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June 24, 2012

I'm hosting this luncheon for 100 people, with a menu of say $12.00 per person. I want it nice, tasty, and memorable. We're African American, and looking for something different from the usual.

By K. Davis from Birmingham, AL


July 24, 20120 found this helpful

I know this is a month late so I don't know if you still need it, but for $12 a person you should be able to get a nice menu together. The Susan Komen folks had a Pink Promises Brunch which I think served pink foods. I'm thinking something made out of raspberries or strawberries, pink lemonade, strawberry ice cream floats, maraschino cherries, jello molds, or pink frosted cupcakes. As far as the main course, perhaps ham or penne pasta with a pink vodka cream sauce? Smoked salmon with creme fraiche is also a fancy (although not inexpensive) idea.

Quiche is also a fancy (and very inexpensive!) alternative; if you make your own pie crusts you can make a quiche for as low as two dollars a quiche, depending on what you decide to use for fillers (bacon, cheese, broccoli, etc.)

However, If I were hosting a lunch, here's what I would serve:

A spiral ham (they sell them ready cooked - you just need to add the glaze packet and heat). They are tasty and fancy and easy.
Some sort of rice pilaf
Spinach salad with strawberries (and maybe topped with grilled chicken)
Seasonal Fruit Salad
Rolls and butter
Pink Lemonade or Sherbert Punch
Coffee and Tea
Pink frosted cupcakes - chocolate and vanilla.

You might also want to check out Better Homes and Gardens' website:

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April 25, 2013

I am hosting a woman's business luncheon. There will be a fashion show and photography. I am having a bit of a struggle with the main course. We will be serving a garden salad and for dessert vanilla ice cream with a strawberry. I am looking for something simple, yet elegant. The luncheon will be indoors. It will take place the end of September. I am also trying not to break the pocketbook. If you have any ideas, please share with me.

By Jaime from CA

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