Ways to Save on Food for Parties
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Ways to Save on Food for Parties

Posted on Friday, January 10th, 2014 at 7:00 am
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What food will you be serving at your next party?  Here are some tips for keeping the cost of food and drink within your budget.What will you serve at the next party you host? Your guests will be expecting food and drinks. Providing it doesn’t have to cost a fortune, though. There are many ways to feed your guests without going into debt. Try some of these ideas at your next party.

Frugal Ways to Feed Your Guests

Focus on Finger Foods
Casual get-togethers call for simple, easy to eat, foods. Cut up a bunch of fresh vegetables instead of paying for a “party tray”. Cut blocks of cheese into cubes, and open a package of crackers to go with it. Mini hot dogs, baked in barbeque sauce, are a crowd pleaser. Your local grocery store will have plenty of frozen snacks that you can heat and serve.

Make it a Potluck
This is a great idea for parties that mostly involve family members. Things like family reunions, birthday parties that celebrate a milestone age, or anniversary celebrations are perfect for potlucks. Ask your relatives to bring a dish to share (or a beverage). Organize ahead of time so that you end up with enough main courses, sides, desserts, and drinks. Potlucks help spread the cost of the party out among everyone who attends.

Get Out the Grill
You can’t go wrong with a backyard barbeque when the weather is nice and warm. Most people are comfortable with foods like hamburgers, hot dogs, vegetable burgers, and grilled vegetables.

Grill up a few different types of sausage, cut them into bite sized pieces, and hand them out for appetizers. You can find coupons for the meat and buns that you will be serving. Choose in season vegetables and bring the cost down a little bit more.

Use Coupons
Chain restaurants sometimes offer coupons that help new customers save money on catering. Call ahead and do some price-checking on a few of the restaurants (or fast food places) in your area. Some places to start with include: Boston Market, Subway, and Panda Express.

Skip the Alcohol
One way to lower the cost of your party is to skip the alcohol. It tends to be more expensive than a 2-liter of soda or a pitcher of freshly made lemonade. Another option is to make your party B.Y.O.B. (which stands for “bring your own bottle). This will help spread the cost of the party among the guests (in the same way that a potluck does).

Order Some Pizza
Many pizza places will give you a discount if you order multiple pizzas at the same time. It is advisable to call ahead and place your order a few days before your party. Pizza parties are great for college students, teens, and children.

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.