Hi! I'm Ashley and I pop in from time to time as my life allows to share snippets of my life as I use my hands to create printables, make my house a home, teach my preschooler at home, find my roots through family history and anything else that I can make time for.
I hope you'll follow me here and on Pinterest as I seek to make my hands His hands.

5 Tips to Feed a Large Group on a Budget- Part 1

5 Tips to Feed a Large Group on a Budget

1. Keep it customizable. Start with a good base, such as the potato bar below or my upcoming post of a Build Your Own Pasta bar. Guests can choose what they want and skip the rest. It's also easier to accommodate picky eaters and special diets when the menu isn't take-it or leave-it. Preparation is also easier as guests do all the "assembly" themselves!  
2. Shop ahead. Many things freeze well or have a long shelf life. Start planning and watching sales as soon as you know you have an upcoming event.
3. Think outside the supermarket. Do you have someone who gardens near you? Ask if they would like to sell you produce on the cheap. Stop at that potato stand on the side of the road (oh...you only see those if you're close to Idaho?!) Utilize the dollar store. (More details to come on the money that can be saved just by shopping at your local discount store). 
4. Use what you have. My cost breakdown for a potato bar with salad below takes into consideration the fact that you have some essentials (flower, salt, common seasonings). Have bulk beans? Use them! Have deer meat in your freezer but no hamburger? Use that! Tweak recipes to match what you know you have.
5. Enlist help. Sometimes friends have items you don't that they may want to get rid of. Friends and family can help watch sales, may have coupons or be able to help you prepare more from scratch.

Looking for an idea for your next party, gathering, family ? Looking for as little work as possible? You want something that everyone likes?
My solution:

A Potato Bar with Salad
We recently fed 75+ women of all ages, some with special diets and using a potato bar we pleased the whole crowd!
I did the cost break down for you...a simple potato bar and greens with all store-bought, no fuss prep will set you back about $1.17 per person.
Up the ante with some homemade broccoli cheese soup and chili and it will set you back about $1.96 per person.

Use the tips from this post and upcoming posts and you can save even more!
So...what do you need to feed 25 people a fully customizable, gluten free meal?

Shopping list for a potato bar:
About 20 pounds of potatoes
Aluminum foil- 2 rolls. Wrap and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour. Cut in half length wise just prior to serving.
Butter- 2 sticks softened
Sour Cream- 2 containers
Onions- 1 bunch green onions chopped
Cheese- 1 pound shredded
Chili- 1 large can. Heat in crockpot, add spices as needed.
Homemade chili and broccoli cheese topping are such a nice addition.
I found the following yummy recipes and by substituting the chili and cheese in the above list, you'll still come in under $2 per person!
Thick and Hearty Chili by Pioneer Woman
(this recipe is for a full meal, but I love that the chili is thick!)
(increase flour and butter to thicken *note, this is not gluten free, but could easily be altered)
Check back later (or better yet, follow me!) for more tips and a breakdown of cost and what you'll need for a Build Your Own Pasta bar!

Thanks for hosting!

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