Need easy and inexpensive meal ideas for feeding 18+ people for five days
Posted 19 January 2008 - 10:18 AM
So tell me:
breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas
Quick, easy, cheap.
Posted 19 January 2008 - 10:27 AM
Eggs and tortillas --get a big package of shredded cheese.
Breakfast tacos! don't forget the salsa. Of course, I noticed tortillas are a lot cheaper down here in TX than they were in NY, lol.
paper plates and extra dollar store cups are a godsend. get permanent markers to label names on cups.
Chicken: get a lot of chicken, dice it up. We did chicken fajitas, diced chicken tossed in pasta/rice, and chicken salad sandwiches.
Tuna-- tuna salad and tuna pasta.
lasagna --a couple trays of lasagna is pretty cheap for 20 people.
pancakes/ waffles/ homemade muffins
bananas and apples. At least bananas :-)
oatmeal --jazzed up w/ cinnamon or other yummy flavors.
mac and cheese
and yes --hot dogs! you can wrap dogs in crescent roll dough or cut them up and toss in beanie weenie.
make up a menu to see how much you need.
that's all i remember for now-- there's probably a website detailing cheap meals for lotsa people now that i think of it, lol.
Posted 19 January 2008 - 10:39 AM
I would keep breakfast simple - cereal and fruit
Posted 19 January 2008 - 10:39 AM
Could you bake a turkey and have a mini Thanksgiving dinner? Bake two and have lots of leftovers for turkey sandwiches!
We get a box of burgers, which sounds disgusting, but they are cheaper than just buying the beef and they are already formed into patties. Grill those and some hot dogs and mix up some potato salad. I've got a GREAT recipe. Oooh - bake some baked beans in the oven to go with it!
Posted 19 January 2008 - 10:44 AM
A great website is Dayle's Growlies for Groups, and here's the link for their recipes for 50. There's a recipe converter on the page.
Also, Ellen's Kitchen has a ton of recipes and serving ideas. Here's her Big Pots web page.
Peek has a ton of great ideas above. The only things I might add are to have breakfasts be "serve yourself". Get a lot of cheap boxed cereal at Aldi or Sam's Club. Buy premade pancakes at Walmart (they are not very expensive, and easy to just pop in the microwave.)
For lunch, I'd keep it super simple and again, do-it-yourself. Sandwiches, mac & cheese, homemade soup are all easy things.
For dinners, to add to Peek's list above, you might consider making sloppy joes, taco salad, and spaghetti. Buy 6 large loaves of french bread at Walmart and have a "build your own sub sandwich" night. Most of this you can make ahead a day or so, if that helps. Borrow large electric roasters to make serving easy.
'Hope these tips help. Enjoy your family!
Posted 19 January 2008 - 10:46 AM
Posted 19 January 2008 - 10:54 AM
Posted 19 January 2008 - 11:04 AM
Spaghetti (sauce made and frozen in advance), salad, and bread.
Chili (made in advance and frozen)
Grilled hamburgers & hot dogs (on the summer visit)
Lunch is mostly leftovers. Breakfast is mostly cereal, bagels, and English muffins with juice and coffee.
Editing to add that taco salads made with beans instead of meat could be an easy option, if you cut vegetables in advance. I use a recipe based on one from Set for Life that begins layering with brown rice (I use broth and cummin in the rice steamer), then lettuce & veggies, beans, corn (which I wouldn't have considered, but it's very good!), cheese, crumbled chips on top, salsa and sour cream. (They call it Taco Sundae with the chips being the topping instead of the base.)
Posted 19 January 2008 - 11:31 AM
1 can cheddar cheese soup
2 cans cream of chicken soup
As much boneless, skinless chicken breast as you can squeeze in the crock
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Cook on low 8-10 hours, shred and serve over rice or noodles.
Posted 19 January 2008 - 01:11 PM
You could also cook breakfast items ahead and freeze--like pancakes, muffins etc.
Homemade chili with dried beans is cheap.
The potato bar is a good idea.
Have fun and enjoy the togetherness. The more you do ahead the less stressful it will be!
Posted 19 January 2008 - 01:23 PM
Keep a "station" on your kitchen counter with paper plates, napkins, plastic forks, cups, etc. Keep a permanent marker near the cups for kids/teens to write their names on, so only one cup per person per day is used. This will save you about a thousand cups!
Make meals in large quantities ahead of time and freeze. My guests were all Pakistani (dh's relatives) so I made a lot of curry-type stuff, but you could do soups, stews, chili, pasta sauces, pizza crusts, etc.
For breakfast we just kept a variety of cereals, breads, and butter/cream cheese/jelly as well as tea/coffee.
Posted 19 January 2008 - 08:13 PM