Butterfly Birthday Party?

We are on a tight budget and planning my 3 year olds Butterfly Birthday party. We have a large family (approximately 50 will be attending), so we had to rent the biggest cheapest pavilion (it has no electricity). I have about everything planned out - making our own decorations and pinata. We'll have grab bags made for the kids. I have games planned. I copied butterfly pictures out of coloring books and cut out butterflies for a butterfly hunt and the elephfun game (It spits butterflies out and you catch it).


So everything is pretty much figured out, the only thing I need help with is what should I make for everyone to eat. I can't get away with just having cake, since when the family gets together, it usually lasts for a few hours. We can't take our gas grill with us (no space, too far away for 2 trips). We do have a camping grill - but we don't want to spend all day cooking for everyone.

I am thinking about baked beans (I can cook them earlier in the day and they should keep warm for awhile), bow-tie pasta salad (to simulate butterflies) and fruit salad. Does anyone have any ideas on what I else could make? We are on a limited budget - only have about $50 left for food. We are making koolaid and iced tea to drink (already have it). Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

Jen from PA

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July 27, 20060 found this helpful

If you find someone with a sterno type warmer, you could always make beef bbq. You could get a lot out of few pounds of hamburger. It wouldn't require electricity. You can also purchase cheap ones at a party store or a Big Lots if you have one in your area. We have used these many times, when we wanted to keep food warm without electricity. This would also enable you to make something like a baked ziti - pasta is cheap! And, I don't know if you've thought about your cake, or if you are making your own, but you can make a quick butterfly, by cutting a round cake in half, and then butting the rounds up against one another, leaving the straight edges facing out. If you made several rounds, you could decorate each one differently, and lay them out on the table. Have fun!

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By Debbi (Guest Post)
July 27, 20060 found this helpful

I was going to suggest the sterno burner combo as well. I get mine for $5 or so at Big Lots, and they hold alot of food. Something else economical would be fried chicken.


It's just as good at room temperature, and we all know how cheap chicken leg quarters are. You could fix it the day before so you could enjoy the party with your family! Great theme by the way.

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By Janet45101 (Guest Post)
July 27, 20060 found this helpful

I hope this may help: has a
"chicken like the colonel's" spice mixture that has
gotten rave reviews. It's easy to put together,
and complete directions are included. Chicken is
reasonably priced, and could be prepared ahead of
time. Good luck!

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July 27, 20060 found this helpful

for parties i serve zucchini flan can be eaten hot or cold,you can make it in muffin tins or in a pie dish,it can be frozen and reheated ideal for anything really,imake it for lunches,my kids use to take it to school and sell it to their mates,here is the recipe:ingred's:1 medium onion,diced;1 large zucchini;1 large carrot;4 eggs,beaten;1/3cupvegetable oil;1 cup selfraisingflour;1/4cup grated parmesan cheese;1 cup grated cheddar cheese. Method: finely grate zucchini and carrot together,combine these with diced onion,eggs,oil.sift flour then fold into egg mixture.mix in the grated parmesan and cheddar cheese.season to taste.pour mixture into greased flan dish.bake at 180c for 40 mins or until golden brown.ENJOY. hope this helps out,hope you have a great time

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By Peg (Guest Post)
July 27, 20060 found this helpful

Have you ever had those cocktail meatballs at a party? Yum! They are easy to make. Just a big jar of grape jelly and a bottle of cocktail sauce. You could use hotdog pieces instead of meatballs.


This is an easy dish to make and can be reheated/kept warm onsite by occasionally resting the hot metal dish on a running car engine. They can be served on a plate or on a hotdog roll.

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July 27, 20060 found this helpful
This is a recipe from the kraft food and family website. Soooo good. And cheap. You should take a look around the site, great recipes.
Or do some make ahead casseroles. Casseroles are cheap. You can do two or three as easily as one and freeze them till you want to cook them. Or some crockpot recipes. THis is one of my favorites and could easily be adjusted for more people. Also could be made into a casserole, just cook in oven.
It sounds like hashbrown casserole to me...

I make mine in the oven, but I am sure that it can be
done in the crockpot as well.

Here is mine:

1 bag frozen hashbrowns, (I use the ones with the


onions & peppers)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 small container sour cream
2 cups shredded chedder cheese, (I usually add a bit
more, my family like it cheesey)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Diced ham, optional (I add ham for my family)

For the oven, I mix it all together and cook at 375
for about 25-30 minutes. I also top with more cheese
and cook for a bit longer to brown.

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By cindy. (Guest Post)
July 27, 20060 found this helpful

what about bagels with egg salad, tuna, cream cheese etc...

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July 27, 20060 found this helpful

Here are a couple of things here at ThriftyFun:
Butterfly decorations: (these were for Valentine's Day but could be adapted for a party)

Butterfly Birthday Cake:

Caterpillar Sandwiches (before they are butterflies they are caterpillars)


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By madeline (Guest Post)
July 28, 20060 found this helpful

Since you said you are makeing baked beans and bow tie pasta --- why not hot dogs? -these are cheep kids love them and adults alike . if you have large thermos you can pack the hot dogs down in the thermos and pour boiling water in the thermos . by the time you get to the party site the dogs will be done and they will stay hot. i have done this many times . you can see if friends have thermo,s you can borrow . you maybe able to take an clean milk jug gallon size fill with hot dogs --- pour boiling water over them put cap on and then when you get to the party ---and ready to serve pour out the water and cut top off milk jug . this will serve as a serveing bowl . when done just toss in trash !

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By LRP (Guest Post)
July 28, 20060 found this helpful

for another little sweet treat i thought you could use cotton candy.
first you get a bare tree branch. place it with dirt in a large pot.
with string hang cotton candy shaped like cocoons.

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By (Guest Post)
July 28, 20060 found this helpful

How about sandwiches-a platter of ready made (make at home) or cold cuts and everyone maked=s their own. Pre-made at home will cost less, tho.

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July 30, 20060 found this helpful

Here are two salads that are perfect for picnics, as no salad dressing to worry about out of the frig.
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can cut corn, drained
1/2 chopped red pepper
some chopped red onion
Dressing: mix together and pour over veg mixture.
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 TBLS olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tsp sugar
1 clove garlic, chopped.

GREEK SALAD (Multiply to accomadate crowd)
1 cucumber chopped (can use English cucumber)
1 zucchini, chopped
1 red onion,chopped
cherry tomatoes, cut in half
4 oz, feta cheese, diced, or could use crumbled.
Seedless Calamari or black olices.
For dressing--drizzle with olive oil and some lemon juice. sprinkle with some oregano

Here is a cheap, large brownie recipe.
1 pkg cheap choc cake mix (no pudding)
1 pkg instant choc pudding
1-2 cups choc chips.
Make up the pudding with 2 cups milk. (Just wisk for a few minutes) and dump in the cake mix. Mix that up and add the chips. Put in jelly roll pan (about 11X17), sprayed with non stick spray. Bake 350 degrees for 30-35 mins. Frost if desired.
If you use lemon cake mix, use white chips and sprinkle top with powdered sugar. Use any combination you want of pudding, cake mix and chips.

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By Becki in Indiana (Guest Post)
August 2, 20060 found this helpful

what about cupcakes, arranged in a line along the table to form a caterpiller? Each cupcake representing a segment of the body -- the "head" could have decorations for eyes, etc.

I like the idea of sandwiches of some sort -- if you could find (or make) a butterfly-shaped cookie cutter, you could use it to cut the sandwiches in that shape.

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By iolany bo.les (Guest Post)
August 1, 20070 found this helpful

you can make nice tuna sandwiches or wraps quick recipe which you can prepare hours before or right there.
all it is.. 1 cup Tuna canned in water drain it and flake it, 3/4 shredded carrots, 1/4 cup mayo, 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper, 4 buns or 4 wraps or mix and match. This serves 4 but you can multiply by 10 and add onions, parsley. cheese, etc. and this could feed 45-55 people and its easy to make and refrigerate the mixture and put together right when served or have it self served. Oh by they way this is a recipe from the book called "COOKING HEALTHY WITH THE KIDS IN MIND". hope this helps

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