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Feeding a Large Crowd Cheaply

I have to feed a group of 15 for a weekend. Does anyone have any recipes for nutritious, inexpensive, easy to prepare meals?

By Susan from WY


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November 19, 20090 found this helpful

Buy several cheap pizzas and add your own garnishments to it. I do this all the time and they're always tasty. Buy mozarella cheese and shred it yourself. Add any of these items: pineapple, mushrooms, olives, pimentos, sweet or hot peppers, lunch meat, pepperoni, onions, and chop, slice, or shred to top and bake. The pizzas are nutritional and filling. Serve chips and drinks and you're sure to please. It costs a lot less to buy these canned/jarred items than if ordering from a restaurant. You could also do the all meat pizzas using lunch meat, pepperoni, cooked ground beef or sausage.

Grilled cheese is also good or how about a crock of chili with peanut butter sandwiches. Sloppy Joes, A ham and cheese melt sandwich or sausage and biscuits or spaghetti with ground beef added to the sauce with crackers.

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November 19, 20090 found this helpful

Wow! This is a tough one! There's almost no way to feed that many people for an entire weekend cheaply that's nutritious and easy too :-o

I would suggest (depending on the meal) fairly plain veggie or pasta salads, soup, have build your own sandwich ingredients on hand, fruit, casseroles, scrambled eggs or simple omelets. It also wouldn't be a bad idea to ask for them to pitch in with bringing dishes to pass that would stay fresh in or out of the fridge for the weekend.

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November 19, 20090 found this helpful

When our group has gatherings, everyone brings a dish to share, as well as any "favorite" drinks they have. Once I brought a whole tray of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, some on white, some on potato bread, and some on wheat. It was a hit with the kids!


You can also offer Make Your Own pizza, taco, or salad. That way you just have to put out the fixings and they not only have fun creating, but it saves labor for you. You could have several crockpots of different soups, chili, or chowder, accompanied with crackers, bread, croutons. We make lots of fried rice, both vegetarian and with meat. Hope this helps!

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November 20, 20090 found this helpful

I suggest to ask everybody to bring a covered dish. If they live close enough, then make a big pot of chili, serve with toast, when that's gone make a big pan of chicken & dressing, good luck.

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November 22, 20090 found this helpful

I hope I'm not too late. Here are my ideas:

Pasta is cheap, so I would have a pasta night with mac & cheese (3 for a dollar boxes) for the kids maybe and spaghetti for the adults with lots of homemade bread or thrifty bread from a bakery outlet. You could also put out hot dogs with the mac and cheese.


You could get the cheapest lettuce you can find and chop it up for salad and make some homemade dressing or put out oil and vinegar and seasonings.

Next I would have a chicken or turkey and potato night because that would be cheap cheap cheap.

For lunches I would serve homemade soup/stew and lots of homemade bread or marked down bread from the bakery outlet. A pot of plain old beans and bread is sometimes refreshing and a simple surprise to people who are used to eating different things.

For breakfasts I would make lots of pancakes with a large jug of syrup and biscuits with sausage gravy ( you could stretch 2 one pound rolls of breakfast sausage) to a lot of gravy for 15 people. Just saute the sausage with some onions and add flour for rue and then add a gallon of warm milk to make gravy. Add some more flour mixed with cold water if the gravy isn't thick enough. Season to taste.


Pancakes from scratch for 15 people:
5 pounds flour
1/2 cup baking powder
1 TBSP salt
1/2 cup sugar (optional)
6 eggs
1 cup of oil
enough milk to make a good pancake batter consistency.

Biscuits for 15 people:
5 lbs flour
1/2 cup baking powder
2 sticks margarine
1 TBSP salt
enough milk to make the proper biscuit dough consistency. Bake at 425 15-20 minutes

For Desserts and Goodies:
Sugar cookies made from scratch are cheap.
A lot of cakes made from scratch are cheap.
Apples are usually on sale this time of year, so apple crisp or cobbler would be cheap.

Inexpensive Beverages:
Homemade iced tea (100 bags are $1-2)
Homemade hot black tea
Homemade lemonade (bottles of lemon juice are cheap)
Mix 50/50 dry milk reconstituted with fresh milk and serve ice cold.

I hope this helps in time.

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