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Inexpensive food and drink ideas for a daytime party

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

We moved into a new house in January, and several of my homeschool mom friends helped out with boxes and loading the PODS.  I'd like to invite them and several other homeschool moms for a little get-together for tea and coffee, etc.. with some snacks.  I don't have much money though.  What are some good, inexpensive ideas?

 

 

post #2 of 13

Cheese straws.  Basically homemade cheese crackers.

For something savory, chicken salad finger sandwiches or served in a bowl with crackers.  I have a friend that does a macaroni salad with tuna that everyone loves. 

Cheese balls.  There are lots, both savory (eat with crackers) or sweet (with gingersnaps)

for the kids, especially, but I've found moms eat them, pb&honey or jelly cut into shapes with a cookie cutter

 

fruit.  This time of year, I've seen lots of specials on strawberries, but whatever is cheapest

homemade baked goods tend to be pretty cost effective.  Chocolate meringue pie is my cheapest go-to dessert.  Mini tart shells make it really fancy.  Brownies are also cheap (I do cocoa ones). 

 

Iced tea (herbal, plain, punch), lemonade, and water, in pitchers.  For some reason, pitchers always get everywhere all excited, even if the drinks are cheap.

 

And, I've just basically laid out my general shower or tea menu.  LOL

post #3 of 13

I agree, iced tea and lemonade in pitchers.

 

Ice water - bonus if you cut up a lemon or a cucumber and put the slices in there.  Looks fancy.  ;-)

 

Whatever fruit is on sale: grapes and watermelon are usual cheap for a crowd.

 

Bowl of carrot sticks with hummus or other dip.

 

Cookies or brownies.

post #4 of 13

ice tea or flavored water.  Add some mint or fruit to the water to make it fancy. If you are not a kool aid hater that is a nice treat for the kids and dirt cheap.  If you do not have anything to serve it from try goodwill, borrow from friends or neighbors, or check walmart.  You can usually them up for $2.  

.

food:

whatever fruit is cheapest (watermelon is cheap here right now).  Don't overlook bananas.  They pair well with strawberries and are cheap.  I usually cut them in half or thirds and line either side of a platter with them and put berries in the middle.

carrots/celery and dip

crackers and cheese or hummus

cookies, brownies, cake...whatever you like to make.  they need not look fancy.

Banana bread (or whatever quick bread you like to make)

 

 

For something really fun my friend made fruit nachos once.  She just put some tortillas in the oven (cut them in 6ths first ) until they were toasty.  Put some strawberries on top and then drizzeled honey and powdered sugar on top.  She used maybe 1/2 a pint of strawberries for the whole group of us.  

 

post #5 of 13

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post #6 of 13

Banana bread is a fabulous idea!  Also, muffins.  Blueberry muffins with frozen blueberries are easy and inexpensive.

post #7 of 13

Right now the stores by me have tons of soda on sale. (if you do soda), otherwise water, tea, lemonade

snacks: popcorn is really cheap, nachos with bean dip,salsa, cheese dip, make your own popsicles (its hot where I am)

 

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

Woo hoo!  thumbsup.gif  Y'all are awesome!  The party will be from 11am-1pm, so I definitely think I need to have something savory in addition to the sweet stuff.  BetsyS, would you mind sharing your cocoa brownie recipe?  I've altered mine so many times (and now it's puffy and cake-like) that I don't remember what it was initially! 

 

Pitchers are a great idea.  They will fancy up inexpensive drinks.  

 

I'm totally using some of these ideas!  Thank you! 

post #9 of 13

I always do Falafel for parties. I buy a real Lebanese mix (NOT a hippy one or a bulk barn one). The ingredients are just what you'd use if you made it yourself and they don't fall apart like my homemade ones. You just soak the mix in water then shallow fry. I serve it with a tahini dip (taratour)

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by redvlagrl View Post

I always do Falafel for parties. I buy a real Lebanese mix (NOT a hippy one or a bulk barn one). The ingredients are just what you'd use if you made it yourself and they don't fall apart like my homemade ones. You just soak the mix in water then shallow fry. I serve it with a tahini dip (taratour)



Ooh, this sounds yummy and fancy!  Where can I get the ingredients?

 

post #11 of 13

Taco Dip is always a hit, and fairly inexpensive. Roasted Chickpeas have been a favorite snack around here lately. Foccacia - if you make your own, it's very easy. A sliced tomato on top and people love it!

post #12 of 13
Some savory ideas:

Homemade pasta or potato salad (I'm thinking the oil & vinegar kind, not the mayo ones)
Chips & salsa or guacamole
Rice & beans
Chili or other simple soup
Carrot raisin salad
post #13 of 13

If you're going to be serving the adults an alcoholic beverage, Sangria is a good way to stretch just a single bottle of wine.

 

Bean salads are inexpensive and tasty.  If you cook your beans from dried, even cheaper.

 

You could do a soup and serve it in coffee mugs.  Split pea soup is very economical.

 

Think ethnic.  Indian food relies on in-season vegetables and uses spices to round out the flavors with little or no meat added.  Middle Eastern food is based heavily on legumes that are inexpensive.

 

Make mini-muffin appetizers using bread as the shell.  These can actually be quite elegant and inexpensive.  Simple canapés can also be quite creative and inexpensive.  A bar of cream cheese, a few vegetables, some crackers, inexpensive salami and some garnishes can be joined into all sorts of interesting combinations.

 

Something I mentioned in another thread is that you can stretch your food by making the portions ahead of time and making them smaller.  For example, with the soup... if you put out large bowls, people will likely eat the whole bowl.  But you can make many more portions and make them smaller, and people will not likely go back for seconds.  When serving drinks, provide *small* cups.  With big cups, people will often fill them up and not finish them, but with small cups they have to purposely refill to have more.  When cutting up your fruit, cut it smaller and they'll probably eat less.  Cut your meat portions in half.  Etc., etc.  Good luck with your housewarming!

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