PDA

View Full Version : Budget busting menu....help!


tyniknate
01-27-2012, 02:51 PM
Party food ideas?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So I'm catering/hosting a party for my son and I need some help with my menu. Hoping someone on here can help me fill in the holes. Most of this stuff needs to be prepared/cooked ahead so I can enjoy my time with him during the ceremony. I'm looking for hearty appetizers (ceremony at 4 p.m.) and then a large dessert table. What am I missing? The reception will be for approx 100 people.

Bacon wrapped shrimp (these are a must.....they are his favorite)
Little smokies/pigs in a blanket
Some kind of meatballs (either pre-made tomato sauce sliders or swedish style meatballs)
(I need some kind of chicken recipe)
and maybe some kind of cold wraps? Does anyone have a good recipe for wraps? I don't eat any kind of mayonnaise or salad dressing, but I'm not opposed to making them without trying them.....if someone has a good recipe to share
Also, veggie trays with dip.
My son is requesting perogies (would you think these are weird to have?)
Do I need to have some cold items? If so, what?

Then I'm having a huge cupcake tower (tower made at home) with the following:
Chocolate/peanut butter
vanilla/buttercream
red velvet
carrot
and maybe one other kind of homemade cupcake.

I'm also making mini-cheesecakes and homemade gourmet brownies.

It feels like I'm missing something important, but what. Any suggestions? Have any appetizer recipes you would like to share? Any ideas for cutting this budget buster down for me? I don't want to skimp, as this will be an evening "meal" for most everyone. Am I overdoing it?
Thanks for looking!

mama2ella
01-27-2012, 02:55 PM
a couple of ?'s

--what is the event and what are the ages of the guests? I ask b/c if it is young kids/teenagers they are happy with anything :)

I always have some sort of cheese and cracker platter with grapes in the middle. Easy to do ahead of time and everyone likes it.

You could also do like turkey/cheese and roast beef/cheese roll ups ahead of time.

of2dbeach
01-27-2012, 02:56 PM
what about a fruit basket and I dont see any drinks listed either? istd of chicken which will be $$ what about doing baked ziti? that would keep the cost down and it feeds alot of people.

tyniknate
01-27-2012, 02:58 PM
a couple of ?'s

--what is the event and what are the ages of the guests? I ask b/c if it is young kids/teenagers they are happy with anything :)

I always have some sort of cheese and cracker platter with grapes in the middle. Easy to do ahead of time and everyone likes it.

You could also do like turkey/cheese and roast beef/cheese roll ups ahead of time.

The event is for all ages....probably 5 yrs to 85 yrs. That's where I'm having a problem. I need to make sure there's something that the little kids will eat, but also something that the adults will enjoy. It's really killing the budget that I set. I'm making everything from home so I can try to keep expenses down, but it's just not working. Can't imagine I'm gonna get out of this for less than $200. UUUUGGGGHHHHH!!!!

mama2ella
01-27-2012, 03:01 PM
hmmm...is there seating for everyone or does it need to truly be finger foods?

I like the ziti option if there is seating but not if people will just be standing around.

Sorry to say it but I don't see how you can feed 100 people for $200 unless you scale back your plans

tyniknate
01-27-2012, 03:01 PM
what about a fruit basket and I dont see any drinks listed either? istd of chicken which will be $$ what about doing baked ziti? that would keep the cost down and it feeds alot of people.

Will baked ziti be OK with the other foods I've listed? I'm such a worrier....I guess people with either eat, or they won't. Ziti is a great idea!

Drinks are being provided by someone else, so at least I don't have to worry about that.

tyniknate
01-27-2012, 03:06 PM
hmmm...is there seating for everyone or does it need to truly be finger foods?

I like the ziti option if there is seating but not if people will just be standing around.

Sorry to say it but I don't see how you can feed 100 people for $200 unless you scale back your plans


Yes, there will be seating. I realize a meal would probably be cheaper than all appetizers, but it's what he is requesting.

I'm a pretty good bargain shopper, but I don't know if even I can pull this off. Any ideas for some more budget friendly type appetizers? I'm still setting the menu, so ideas can be changed.

Suz D
01-27-2012, 03:09 PM
I don't want to be negative, but I honestly don't think you can feed 100 people hearty appetizers for $200.00. But that's not what you asked so here are a few suggestions.

Meatballs- google the grape jelly/chili sauce recipe. They are delish
I second the cheese plate
If you want to have some type of sandwiches, get the small dinner roll sized buns at somewhere like Sam's or Costco and shaved meats.

Instead of little smokies, I often get packages of hot dogs when they are on sale, cut them into about 3/4 inch pieces and put in a crock pot with BBQ sauce.

What about a queso dip with tortilla chips. Get a big can of nacho cheese sauce again from Sam's or Costco, add a large jar of Salsa and keep warm in a crockpot.

Hummus and Pita chips?

Fun pickle/olive tray? You could get the pickles in the giganto jar again S's or Costco.

I'll keep thinking.

MomToOne
01-27-2012, 03:11 PM
If you are trying to feed that many people on that tight a budget, I'd be thinking carbs, carbs, carbs (I know it's not the healthiest but it's one party).

How about a pasta salad? You don't need to worry about a way to keep it warm, like ziti, and it's easy enough to eat from little plates standing up (but I'd be game for the ziti even in that case).

One thing I've also done in the past is to get a turkey and/or ham, cook it ahead, slice it up in small slices, and then put it out with mini rolls and condiments for everyone to make their own "finger" sandwiches. Everyone really likes it, and you can feed a lot of people off of a single sliced up turkey/ham. It's also a lot cheaper than buying deli-style meats.

Suz D
01-27-2012, 03:19 PM
If you are trying to feed that many people on that tight a budget, I'd be thinking carbs, carbs, carbs (I know it's not the healthiest but it's one party).

How about a pasta salad?

The pasta salad is a great idea! You could put meat and cheese chunks in it as well so it would be very hearty but you wouldn't need a lot of meat to make it work. I know it's less "appetizery" which is not in complete accordance with your son's wishes, but as a filler it would be great (although you'd have the additional expense of forks etc.)

krcit
01-27-2012, 03:36 PM
Not trying to be a Negative Nellie but that does not seem like enough food for 100 people. If it's after 4, I think people will be expecting more substantial food. What about some 6 foot heroes? Pasta, macaroni and potato salad are cheap and filling. How about pigs in a blanket? Maybe some chili dip?

NotUrsula
01-27-2012, 04:44 PM
Here is a handy chart showing quantities for appetizers for 100 people. Note that the quantities shown here are for 6-8 selections of pre-dinner apps. You should triple these quantities if apps are the only things being served: what that boils down to is quantities such as 60 lbs. of raw veggies and 36 lbs. of little smokies. Each guest can be expected to consume about 2 lbs. in terms of raw ingredient weight (it will come out to more like 12 oz. in finished weight, accounting for things like meat shrinkage, plus vegetable and shrimp peels.)

http://www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/appetizer.html

You should assume that most adults will eat about 12 small appetizers if they have eaten a decent lunch. At 4 pm, older folks and young children should be expected to eat enough to count as a meal, but the kids will go for the sweets right away. Teen boys can be expected to eat more than their share simply because they are teen boys and always hungry.

Essentially, just the shrimp item will cost you approximately $75 if each guest only eats 2 pieces ($6/lb x 8 lbs for the shrimp, $4/lb x 6 lbs for the bacon; and that is being VERY conservative.)

With the sort of menu you are planning, I would budget $600, not $200. If you have an army of helpers lined up it will keep prices down because you can farm out some of the cut and prep; otherwise you will never get it all done yourself without buying things like pre-cut veggies, which cost a lot more than whole. Buying the veggies at a market stand and the meats at a wholesale club will also help your budget.

BTW, one idea that I haven't noticed being mentioned yet is smooth soup, which is a great idea for a winter party. You serve it in a tureen as if it were punch, and let people drink it from plastic coffee cups rather than bowls. A package of 100 plastic coffee cups will cost about $40, but 6 oz. of cream soup is a very filling thing. Personally I'd go with something like a chicken-corn bisque; most people would like that.

mks18412
01-27-2012, 04:52 PM
Check out Pinterest.com. You will find everything and more. But be careful it is VERY addicting. If your not already a member I can send you an invite. Not sure how fast you would get it.

Tink9295
01-27-2012, 04:58 PM
We did pizza sliced into small triangles for my DS's eagle ceremony. Get sweet pizza or any other kind of sheet pizza. Cut them into squares and then into triangles. Kids of all ages will eat it.

I also do sausage, peppers and onions with small rolls. Pulled pork is super easy. Cook and keep warm in a crockpot. Serve with small rolls.

kayrosek
01-27-2012, 05:12 PM
I think the pasta salad is a good idea. I make one with Rotini, Italian dressing, grape tomato's, green onions, olives and cheese cubes. No meat and it's good and filling. Sometimes I add red or green pepper slices, cucumbers or marinated artichoke hearts, but I would probably go as basic as possible to save money in this case. A vegetable tray is a good idea or I've done stuffed celery sticks (celery with flavored cream cheese, pineapple cream cheese is good) that were a surprising hit. Perhaps deviled eggs as they can be done pretty inexpensively and again can be filling. We've done tortilla pinwheels with flavored cream cheese, ham and red pepper slices. Roll and cut. One tortilla makes a several. I like the pulled pork idea if you can find pork for a good price. That would be easy to put on little rolls or you could do chicken salad on little rolls.

mjkacmom
01-27-2012, 05:17 PM
I think it can be less expensive to serve meal food vs. heavy apps. Have a few hot apps, a few cold (the veggie and cheese platters fit in here), cold cuts and rolls, pasta salad, potato salad, green salad (I usually do Greek, dressed, and it goes quickly), and maybe baked ziti. Make your own pigs in a blanket with cut up hot dogs (great for the little kids), and deviled eggs always go quick, and are inexpensive.

Meals1007
01-27-2012, 06:09 PM
Any party I have or attend there is always a cheese plate and a veggie platter. Chips and dip are always good too. Our standard party food (main meal) is 6 foot hero, baked ziti or penne vodka, meatballs, pulled pork, chicken parm, and sausage and peppers (with red sauce). We have added homemade mac and cheese for the kids as well. Throw some bread (rolls or loaves) and a big salad salad and there is usually something that everyone can eat.

cornflake
01-27-2012, 07:05 PM
Seconding the large cheese platter and very large veggie and fruit trays.

Everything but the veggie tray that you mentioned is meat-based and many of the apps are not friendly for all meat eaters.

With 100 people, I guarantee you vegetarians, vegans and likely some other things. Like seafood averse, muslim, hindu or jewish basic (the shrimp WITH bacon double dipping could put off even the most relaxed food standards jew! :lmao:)

Not that you have to have stuff for each possibility, but have stuff that nearly everyone can eat - hence the veggie, fruit and cheese platters (please do not layer meat in between these things).

Also good finger foods that you can make a variety of each thing - gougeres, quesadillas, mini quiches, mini blinis or latkes with a dollop of creme and green onion or other toppings, grilled skirt or pancetta or proscuitto-wrapped asparagus spears, bruschetta with tapenade or tomato coulis, small salad bites like nicoise in endive leaves...

NotUrsula
01-27-2012, 07:16 PM
OP, if you really want to cut costs, either eliminate the shrimp or only use it to make dip.

How about making the shrimp/bacon app as a treat for him to be served at home later in the evening, rather than having to serve it to a huge crowd of people. I've been through this with my own DS -- many of his favorite foods are either super-pricey or unusual enough that they are not popular with other kids his age, so we have always nixed serving them at parties for his peers. If he wants those favorites, we have them at a family meal, not as part of a party menu.

leebee
01-27-2012, 09:33 PM
If you are short on time/help, buy the veggie trays at Sam's. They are LARGE and are only $10. Baby carrots, celery, mini peppers, or pea pods, grape tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, and dip. I really don't think you could but this many veggies for $10, and then there's all the prep work. Heck, 2 lbs of baby carrots would cost me $4 and a bunch of celery is $2, around here.

I agree with PPs who say there's no way to do this for 100 people on $200. If it's important enough that you want to be at the ceremony AND serve his favorite shrimp dish, it's important enough to spend the necessary cash to feed everyone.

HeatherC
01-28-2012, 10:27 PM
How about some sort of rice dish? That would feed a lot. Zatarains Jambalaya is really good and can be served room temp. I follow the directions and then just add some sliced kielbasa to it. I also add chicken but if you want to keep the budget down, kielbasa would be good.

MickeyP
01-29-2012, 12:31 PM
Maybe I missed something here, but what KIND of party is this? I thought I read ceremony going on somewhere, therefore, it does make a difference to what kind of food you are serving.

I would serve a certain kind of food for a 1st Communion, and a completely different kind of food for an Eagle Scout ceremony.

cornflake
01-29-2012, 01:33 PM
Maybe I missed something here, but what KIND of party is this? I thought I read ceremony going on somewhere, therefore, it does make a difference to what kind of food you are serving.

I would serve a certain kind of food for a 1st Communion, and a completely different kind of food for an Eagle Scout ceremony.

I... what?

You would? What would be the difference? I'm kind of fascinated now.

MickeyP
01-29-2012, 02:27 PM
You wouldn't???

I would think a 1st Communion is more formal (more beautiful).

An Eagle Scout ceremony would be more like Superbowl food-casual.

Both decent food, but different types, and different presentation. No??

Eastern
01-29-2012, 04:19 PM
I realize he has favorite foods, but I would save those for a special dinner for your immediate family only. For the big kids party, with 100 people, you need to be more conservative than bacon-wrapped shrimp.

I wouldn't make all apps for that many people. You can have an apps table at the beginning: taco dip, chips, pretzels, veg tray, deviled eggs, etc, then serve a meal after that with trays of ziti, wraps, etc.

Making a zillion apps is hard! They have to keep coming out of the oven and it is tiring to have to run those things out as they are done cooking.

Some trays of ziti, teriyaki chicken skewers with pepper and onion that you make beforehand and throw on the grill or do in the oven, pierogies, meatballs, pasta salad, green salad, etc is cheaper and easier. Do it all in trays and put on sternos or keep in the fridge until it's ready to go out.

mrsklamc
01-29-2012, 04:41 PM
I agree that the type of party is relevant.

clh2
01-29-2012, 05:19 PM
I agree with the others - you need to "up" the food selection to include an entree. Baked ziti is my "go-to" dish for this. It is easy to make (you can make one with meat in it, and another one without to accomodate those that prefer to not eat meat.) Ziti is also something that can be made the day before, and then heated up the day of. Do you have a Nesco roaster by any chance? That would certainly make things easier. (Speaking from a mom who has done 2-pasta parties for 50+ girls on a cross country team)

I am seconding the PP that mentioned a pulled pork. You can get teeny tiny rolls- so this one would cross the brdge from appetizer to meal. And - from what I've heard, you can make this in advance and freeze it, and once it thaws, it heats up beautifully in a crock pot - making it super easy on the "day of". (I'm starting to look in to things like this for DD's graduation party.)

Congrats to your son! Is he earning his eagle award? That is a great accomplishment!

lizabu
01-29-2012, 05:40 PM
The only way you're going to get this meal under $200 is to simplify it. You have was too many options and will have to buy way too many ingredients and will be over budget by at least double. My advice is pasta for the main dish. Something like lasagna or as others have mentioned baked ziti. Make 9 or 10 for a group of 100 people unless you're lucky enough to have pans larger than the usual 9x12. You can usually get 12 servings out of a 9x12 lasagna. Beside that have some nice buns. At this point we're already at about $100. Salad is nice beside this. Let people add their own dressing. And then desserts. Cupcakes are nice as you mentioned. Scratch will cost you more to make than out of the box. If you make the same icing for all of them that will save you a little. You can tint the icing different colors for the different cupcake flavours. Cheaper is to buy a couple large slab cakes at Costco.

If you have your heart set on having many different kinds of foods you should plan foods that have the same ingredients in them so you can save by buying bulk of the things that you need. For example meatballs, lasagna and chili all have many of the same ingredients.

cornflake
01-29-2012, 10:28 PM
You wouldn't???

I would think a 1st Communion is more formal (more beautiful).

An Eagle Scout ceremony would be more like Superbowl food-casual.

Both decent food, but different types, and different presentation. No??

I admit I've never been near an eagle scout ceremony but... no? The type of event it was celebrating wouldn't matter at all to the food or presentation to me.

I'd do a formal party if I wanted a formal party or a casual party if I wanted a casual party. Has nothing to do with what's being celebrated.

I mean a graduation is a graduation, it can be formal or casual, be a catered affair for 200 or be ziti and beer for 50 - dinner at Nobu for the whole family or dinner at the local chinese place, whatever someone wants. It'd depend what we wanted to do, has nothing to do with whether it's a first communion or graduation or celebration because someone won teen Jeopardy or whatever. Any of those can go whichever way.

I mean... you can have a wedding in the backyard in a tent with food catered by Robuchon or you can have a wedding in the backyard with aluminum tins of barbeque and plastic tubs of cole slaw. Depends on the wedding, but they're both weddings!

MickeyP
01-29-2012, 10:33 PM
Well, to each his own. It would definitely matter to me. I was just wondering why the type of event was not being revealed.

emma'smom
01-29-2012, 10:44 PM
The pizza is a good idea and you can get sheet pizzas at WalMart (and probably Sam's Club) that you can cut up smaller....

My DH is doing a 40th birthday party for me at the end of the month and I've volunteered to handle the refreshments (yes..I know..for my own party---but he's handling the cleaning, decorations, cake, invites, etc....)

I plan to do most of it ahead so that I'm not scrambling after church, and for such big crowd, I didn't focus on "gourmet" but more on easy stuff that everyone likes. So, I'll save my fig and goat cheese wraps for a smaller gathering.

Anway...here's what I am thinking for about 50-60 people including kids for a Sunday afternoon open house (so not a main meal...but gives you an idea):

buffalo chicken dip (make ahead)
hot spinach artichoke dip (make ahead)

pigs in a blanket
meatballs/dill sauce (frozen meatballs)
pizza rolls (the frozen ones that kids seem to gobble up)

taco dip/chips/salsa
veggies/dip and some potato chips nearby that can be dipped too
cheese & crackers
fruit platter (buy at Sam's Club)
hummus/pita


Dessert: Birthday cake!

Beverages: Trader Joe's wine....lemonade....ice tea....ice water....coffee/tea


We did pizza sliced into small triangles for my DS's eagle ceremony. Get sweet pizza or any other kind of sheet pizza. Cut them into squares and then into triangles. Kids of all ages will eat it.

I also do sausage, peppers and onions with small rolls. Pulled pork is super easy. Cook and keep warm in a crockpot. Serve with small rolls.

cornflake
01-29-2012, 11:13 PM
The pizza is a good idea and you can get sheet pizzas at WalMart (and probably Sam's Club) that you can cut up smaller....

My DH is doing a 40th birthday party for me at the end of the month and I've volunteered to handle the refreshments (yes..I know..for my own party---but he's handling the cleaning, decorations, cake, invites, etc....)

I plan to do most of it ahead so that I'm not scrambling after church, and for such big crowd, I didn't focus on "gourmet" but more on easy stuff that everyone likes. So, I'll save my fig and goat cheese wraps for a smaller gathering.

Anway...here's what I am thinking for about 50-60 people including kids for a Sunday afternoon open house (so not a main meal...but gives you an idea):

buffalo chicken dip (make ahead)
hot spinach artichoke dip (make ahead)

pigs in a blanket
meatballs/dill sauce (frozen meatballs)
pizza rolls (the frozen ones that kids seem to gobble up)

taco dip/chips/salsa
veggies/dip and some potato chips nearby that can be dipped too
cheese & crackers
fruit platter (buy at Sam's Club)
hummus/pita


Dessert: Birthday cake!

Beverages: Trader Joe's wine....lemonade....ice tea....ice water....coffee/tea
I know you totally didn't ask for comments on your menu, so I hope I'm not offending (don't mean to, just trying to help, done a few parties that size!), just saying...

That doesn't sound like a lot, unless there's a ton of the dips and chips and veggies and fruit and such.

As someone posted earlier, you should assume like 10 apps per person for a general meal type thing, but yours is dip/chip type heavy so it's harder to guage but... I'd plan on 500 servings of stuff, because even if it's not a mealtime thing, people snarf chips and dips like nobodys business - way more than they snarf tray-passed hors d'oeuvres.

I once did cheese fondue as one of like ... I want to say I had out at least 10 different things (and plenty of them) at a cocktail/dessert party for like 40 or so. I had planned a big pot of fondue, had lots of cheese and all for backup (though I'd only grated some beforehand, so that was fun), baguettes ready to go... I spent ALL NIGHT running back and forth making fondue. All night. Making fondue by the giant potful, running out fresh, hot, like quart at a time, with a baguette at a time and by the time I was checking on anything else 'is there more fondue?' I ran out of Kirsch is how much fondue I made. Give people something to dip, they'll stand there like motorized dipping robots.

I'm just saying. Make vats. Troughs. Do you have an unused kiddie pool?

cornflake
01-29-2012, 11:23 PM
Well, to each his own. It would definitely matter to me. I was just wondering why the type of event was not being revealed.

I dunno why the OP didn't mention; it didn't occur to me it'd have mattered, as above.

It's interesting that you'd do it differently - that's what's fun about the Dis, learn something new and see how other people think every day! :hug:

tyniknate
01-30-2012, 09:41 AM
I didn't reveal what type of party this was because on another thread I posted about advice on another matter in my planning and it turned into a big nasty debate and I had to ask to have the thread closed. Somehow my asking a simple question turned into a debate over the morals of Boy Scouting. I have to say that it really hurt to have so many people question something that our family has been so dedicated to. And boy were they nasty! That's why I didn't think it was necessary to reveal that this is for my son's Eagle ceremony. I hope this thread doesn't go in that direction.

Should have mentioned that I have been shopping sales and using coupons for quite some time for this. Most of the items I have found buy one get one free, at least for the bulk of the appetizers.

Shrimp are already purchased. They had them on sale buy one get one free several weeks ago and I bought so that I have 12 lbs of shrimp. I also got the bacon from the grocery store when they were running a buy one get one free sale, so it ended up being 2 lbs for $4. Was thinking I was going to have to change from wrapped little smokies and meatballs because of the cost, but then yesterday our local grocery had both on buy one get one free :cool1::cool1::cool1: So I bought 4 packs of little smokies and got 4 free. Meatballs came in 3 lb bags for $9.99, so I bought 3 bags and got 3 free.

We have a tiny little general store right by our house and I will be getting the supplies for the meat and cheese tray from there. They suggested 4 lbs of smoked turkey, roast beef, and honey roasted ham. They also suggested 3 lbs of white american cheese and 2 lbs of swiss. They gave me a price of $60.00 for all of it. All I have to do is roll it up and put it on a tray. We buy all of our provisions for hoagie sales there, so they are very good to us.

Crescent rolls were purchased at $1.19/can minus the coupon for $1.00 off 3 cans so that made them $11.25 for 12 cans.

I'm using my homemade pasta sauce for the meatballs, so there's no additional expense there.

Slider-sized sandwich rolls we are getting from our local "budget bakery". The plant that makes Sunbeam bread is in the town about 13 miles from our house. They have a bakery where they bring all the stuff that is left over after the days deliveries have been made - (NOT day old stuff - just what they have made too much of). They always have rolls. I was in there on Saturday morning and talked with the staff and they said they would put back for me whatever I needed on that Friday. Rolls will be $.85 per package of 16.

Shrimp - 12 lbs..................$30.00
Bacon - 6 lbs...................$12.00
Little Smokies - 8 lbs...........$20.00
Meatballs - 18 lbs...............$30.00
Meat/cheese trays..............$60.00
Crescent rolls - 12 pks.........$11.25
Sandwich rolls - 12 doz........$10.20
Veggie trays - ?????............$?????
Pasta Salad.......................$20.00 ???


We have decided not to do pierogies and will instead make pasta salad. Fantastic idea and I love pasta salad!

My husbands grandmother is making a homemade fruit salad and donating all the ingredients. LOVE fresh fruit!

I also have someone who is making (donating) a big pot of buffalo chicken dip with chips.

All the baking supplies are things I have on hand. I do a lot of baking so I'm always very well stocked. I didn't include the cupcakes in the cost estimate of $200.00. I've decided not to do the mini cheesecakes and brownies. My sister and I will just be doing the cupcake tower with 6 kinds of cupcakes.....if they can't find a kind they like from this list - they are just too picky! :lmao:
Orange creamsicle
Smores
choc/PB
Oreo Cookie
Vanilla Buttercream
Neapolitan

We will also have chips/pretzels.

I think based on the totals above, I can maybe budget $300.00 for everything. Am I overlooking something, or do you think I will be OK? I've watched closely at the last couple ceremonies we have been to, and this is way more food than has been served at the rest. They always end up with extras, so I think I will be ok. :confused3

This isn't the first large gathering I've done. For the past three years I've catered our Blue and Gold dinner for 200 people and done it for less than $3 per person and that menu is: Carved ham, roast beef, roasted red potatoes, green beans almondine, mac and cheese, applesauce, dinner rolls and coffee, iced tea and punch. You just have to be a really smart shopper and buy in bulk when things are on sale.

Paper products are donated by the troop and I have all the chafing dishes and buffet servers from previous events. My DH made a cupcake tower to hold 100 cupcakes......cost $2.00. He made it from wood that we already had at home. The overflow of cupcake will just go on small plates on the dessert table.

So.....let me know what you honestly think. What should I add?

tyniknate
01-30-2012, 09:43 AM
If you are short on time/help, buy the veggie trays at Sam's. They are LARGE and are only $10. Baby carrots, celery, mini peppers, or pea pods, grape tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, and dip. I really don't think you could but this many veggies for $10, and then there's all the prep work. Heck, 2 lbs of baby carrots would cost me $4 and a bunch of celery is $2, around here.

I agree with PPs who say there's no way to do this for 100 people on $200. If it's important enough that you want to be at the ceremony AND serve his favorite shrimp dish, it's important enough to spend the necessary cash to feed everyone.

I will be going to sam's club. Any guess on how many veggie trays I would need?

pixiewings71
01-30-2012, 01:05 PM
OMG, I want some of your cupcakes!! So, from your last post he's an Eagle Scout now? That's AWESOME!! Something you should all be proud of! Congrats to him! I like your menu ideas, sounds like you've found some great deals, I did want to say, if you did do the wraps use cream cheese mixed with pesto for the spread, it's sooooo good!! And it's not mayo or standard ranch dressing, the pesto sort of "dresses" the wrap up and it's very tasty. :) I've done with very simply with the pesto spread, turkey, ham, provolone, lettuce and they've always been devoured. :) Another fun thing for people is a nacho bar, have melted cheese in a crock pot and put toppings out, people make them like they like them. Usually a popular item at our parties. :)

Have fun!!

tyniknate
01-30-2012, 03:08 PM
Thanks. He worked really hard and I am so proud of him. Want to give him a nice reception for all the hard work he did.

I love the idea of pesto spread instead of mayonnaise or ranch dressing. Going to have to try those for lunch sometime this week! Sounds like a great way to dress them up for his ceremony!

I need to decide if I make them up ahead on a tray with the cold meats I have ordered, or do I put the ingredients out and let everyone build their own sandwiches using either the wraps or small rolls. Not sure which way to go with this.

I had thought about nachos, but my DS doesn't eat them and they were served at the last eagle scout ceremony. Trying to do something different so they don't think I'm copying them :rotfl2: I do love nachos, though.

princessmom29
01-30-2012, 03:20 PM
I didn't reveal what type of party this was because on another thread I posted about advice on another matter in my planning and it turned into a big nasty debate and I had to ask to have the thread closed. Somehow my asking a simple question turned into a debate over the morals of Boy Scouting. I have to say that it really hurt to have so many people question something that our family has been so dedicated to. And boy were they nasty! That's why I didn't think it was necessary to reveal that this is for my son's Eagle ceremony. I hope this thread doesn't go in that direction.

Should have mentioned that I have been shopping sales and using coupons for quite some time for this. Most of the items I have found buy one get one free, at least for the bulk of the appetizers.

Shrimp are already purchased. They had them on sale buy one get one free several weeks ago and I bought so that I have 12 lbs of shrimp. I also got the bacon from the grocery store when they were running a buy one get one free sale, so it ended up being 2 lbs for $4. Was thinking I was going to have to change from wrapped little smokies and meatballs because of the cost, but then yesterday our local grocery had both on buy one get one free :cool1::cool1::cool1: So I bought 4 packs of little smokies and got 4 free. Meatballs came in 3 lb bags for $9.99, so I bought 3 bags and got 3 free.

We have a tiny little general store right by our house and I will be getting the supplies for the meat and cheese tray from there. They suggested 4 lbs of smoked turkey, roast beef, and honey roasted ham. They also suggested 3 lbs of white american cheese and 2 lbs of swiss. They gave me a price of $60.00 for all of it. All I have to do is roll it up and put it on a tray. We buy all of our provisions for hoagie sales there, so they are very good to us.

Crescent rolls were purchased at $1.19/can minus the coupon for $1.00 off 3 cans so that made them $11.25 for 12 cans.

I'm using my homemade pasta sauce for the meatballs, so there's no additional expense there.

Slider-sized sandwich rolls we are getting from our local "budget bakery". The plant that makes Sunbeam bread is in the town about 13 miles from our house. They have a bakery where they bring all the stuff that is left over after the days deliveries have been made - (NOT day old stuff - just what they have made too much of). They always have rolls. I was in there on Saturday morning and talked with the staff and they said they would put back for me whatever I needed on that Friday. Rolls will be $.85 per package of 16.

Shrimp - 12 lbs..................$30.00
Bacon - 6 lbs...................$12.00
Little Smokies - 8 lbs...........$20.00
Meatballs - 18 lbs...............$30.00
Meat/cheese trays..............$60.00
Crescent rolls - 12 pks.........$11.25
Sandwich rolls - 12 doz........$10.20
Veggie trays - ?????............$?????
Pasta Salad.......................$20.00 ???


We have decided not to do pierogies and will instead make pasta salad. Fantastic idea and I love pasta salad!

My husbands grandmother is making a homemade fruit salad and donating all the ingredients. LOVE fresh fruit!

I also have someone who is making (donating) a big pot of buffalo chicken dip with chips.

All the baking supplies are things I have on hand. I do a lot of baking so I'm always very well stocked. I didn't include the cupcakes in the cost estimate of $200.00. I've decided not to do the mini cheesecakes and brownies. My sister and I will just be doing the cupcake tower with 6 kinds of cupcakes.....if they can't find a kind they like from this list - they are just too picky! :lmao:
Orange creamsicle
Smores
choc/PB
Oreo Cookie
Vanilla Buttercream
Neapolitan

We will also have chips/pretzels.

I think based on the totals above, I can maybe budget $300.00 for everything. Am I overlooking something, or do you think I will be OK? I've watched closely at the last couple ceremonies we have been to, and this is way more food than has been served at the rest. They always end up with extras, so I think I will be ok. :confused3

This isn't the first large gathering I've done. For the past three years I've catered our Blue and Gold dinner for 200 people and done it for less than $3 per person and that menu is: Carved ham, roast beef, roasted red potatoes, green beans almondine, mac and cheese, applesauce, dinner rolls and coffee, iced tea and punch. You just have to be a really smart shopper and buy in bulk when things are on sale.

Paper products are donated by the troop and I have all the chafing dishes and buffet servers from previous events. My DH made a cupcake tower to hold 100 cupcakes......cost $2.00. He made it from wood that we already had at home. The overflow of cupcake will just go on small plates on the dessert table.

So.....let me know what you honestly think. What should I add?

I serve shrimp all the time to large numbers of people. 12 lbs is NOT enough for 100 people. I would double that. If you are bacon wrapping them I cannot imagine there being more than 12-15 per lb, so you only have about 140-160 shrimp there. Most poeple will take at least 2, and those who really enjoy them will take more.

I think you are allright between the meatballs and little smokies on non-seafood meats.

Your 12 packs of crescent rolls and sandwich rolls arent going to be enough either. If there are 12 in a pack, that is only 144. I would have at LEAST 2-3 total breads per person. Everyone is not going to eat than many, but some will.

What is going in the sandwich rolls, the meatballs?? If not, and you are buying pre-made meat and cheese trays to build sandwiches, I think you have too many meatballs and aren't going to have enough cold cuts. 4 lbs of meat is not enough for 100. It would seem to be, but people tend to use more than 1/4 lb on average.

I would also have more than one cupcake per person. Teen boys are NOT going to take just one.


Most things like this that I host feed 40-50 and run about what you are bugeting for 100, even with smart shopping.

cornflake
01-30-2012, 03:44 PM
Let people make their own sandwiches.

For the deli platter - PLEASE put the cheese on one side or one plate and the meat on the other. Don't intersperse meat/cheese like one piece of beef one piece of swiss. If someone doesn't eat meat, then they likely can't have just cheese, whereas if it's just cheese together on one area of the platter they likely will.

SunnieRN
01-30-2012, 04:58 PM
Just wanted to say congratulations to your son and your family!!:cool1::thumbsup2:goodvibes What a wonderful accomplishment!!

Have a wonderful celebration and I am sure people will be impressed with your menu! I do second the idea of having more bread products, as teenage boys, love them some rolls!! I would also put out butter/margerine, in case someone wants a roll without meat.

Eastern
01-30-2012, 05:01 PM
.. I'd plan on 500 servings of stuff, because even if it's not a mealtime thing, people snarf chips and dips like nobodys business - way more than they snarf tray-passed hors d'oeuvres.

I once did cheese fondue as one of like ... I want to say I had out at least 10 different things (and plenty of them) at a cocktail/dessert party for like 40 or so. I had planned a big pot of fondue, had lots of cheese and all for backup (though I'd only grated some beforehand, so that was fun), baguettes ready to go... I spent ALL NIGHT running back and forth making fondue. All night. Making fondue by the giant potful, running out fresh, hot, like quart at a time, with a baguette at a time and by the time I was checking on anything else 'is there more fondue?' I ran out of Kirsch is how much fondue I made. Give people something to dip, they'll stand there like motorized dipping robots.

I'm just saying. Make vats. Troughs. Do you have an unused kiddie pool?

This post made me laugh so much. Once I made a big plate of bacon for a brunch. I put it out, and when I turned around, my cheapskate BIL had put most of it on half a loaf of italian bread. Some foods just make people go crazy :lmao:

punkin
01-30-2012, 05:02 PM
I didn't reveal what type of party this was because on another thread I posted about advice on another matter in my planning and it turned into a big nasty debate and I had to ask to have the thread closed. Somehow my asking a simple question turned into a debate over the morals of Boy Scouting. I have to say that it really hurt to have so many people question something that our family has been so dedicated to. And boy were they nasty! That's why I didn't think it was necessary to reveal that this is for my son's Eagle ceremony. I hope this thread doesn't go in that direction.

Should have mentioned that I have been shopping sales and using coupons for quite some time for this. Most of the items I have found buy one get one free, at least for the bulk of the appetizers.

Shrimp are already purchased. They had them on sale buy one get one free several weeks ago and I bought so that I have 12 lbs of shrimp. I also got the bacon from the grocery store when they were running a buy one get one free sale, so it ended up being 2 lbs for $4. Was thinking I was going to have to change from wrapped little smokies and meatballs because of the cost, but then yesterday our local grocery had both on buy one get one free :cool1::cool1::cool1: So I bought 4 packs of little smokies and got 4 free. Meatballs came in 3 lb bags for $9.99, so I bought 3 bags and got 3 free.

We have a tiny little general store right by our house and I will be getting the supplies for the meat and cheese tray from there. They suggested 4 lbs of smoked turkey, roast beef, and honey roasted ham. They also suggested 3 lbs of white american cheese and 2 lbs of swiss. They gave me a price of $60.00 for all of it. All I have to do is roll it up and put it on a tray. We buy all of our provisions for hoagie sales there, so they are very good to us.

Crescent rolls were purchased at $1.19/can minus the coupon for $1.00 off 3 cans so that made them $11.25 for 12 cans.

I'm using my homemade pasta sauce for the meatballs, so there's no additional expense there.

Slider-sized sandwich rolls we are getting from our local "budget bakery". The plant that makes Sunbeam bread is in the town about 13 miles from our house. They have a bakery where they bring all the stuff that is left over after the days deliveries have been made - (NOT day old stuff - just what they have made too much of). They always have rolls. I was in there on Saturday morning and talked with the staff and they said they would put back for me whatever I needed on that Friday. Rolls will be $.85 per package of 16.

Shrimp - 12 lbs..................$30.00
Bacon - 6 lbs...................$12.00
Little Smokies - 8 lbs...........$20.00
Meatballs - 18 lbs...............$30.00
Meat/cheese trays..............$60.00
Crescent rolls - 12 pks.........$11.25
Sandwich rolls - 12 doz........$10.20
Veggie trays - ?????............$?????
Pasta Salad.......................$20.00 ???


We have decided not to do pierogies and will instead make pasta salad. Fantastic idea and I love pasta salad!

My husbands grandmother is making a homemade fruit salad and donating all the ingredients. LOVE fresh fruit!

I also have someone who is making (donating) a big pot of buffalo chicken dip with chips.

All the baking supplies are things I have on hand. I do a lot of baking so I'm always very well stocked. I didn't include the cupcakes in the cost estimate of $200.00. I've decided not to do the mini cheesecakes and brownies. My sister and I will just be doing the cupcake tower with 6 kinds of cupcakes.....if they can't find a kind they like from this list - they are just too picky! :lmao:
Orange creamsicle
Smores
choc/PB
Oreo Cookie
Vanilla Buttercream
Neapolitan

We will also have chips/pretzels.

I think based on the totals above, I can maybe budget $300.00 for everything. Am I overlooking something, or do you think I will be OK? I've watched closely at the last couple ceremonies we have been to, and this is way more food than has been served at the rest. They always end up with extras, so I think I will be ok. :confused3

This isn't the first large gathering I've done. For the past three years I've catered our Blue and Gold dinner for 200 people and done it for less than $3 per person and that menu is: Carved ham, roast beef, roasted red potatoes, green beans almondine, mac and cheese, applesauce, dinner rolls and coffee, iced tea and punch. You just have to be a really smart shopper and buy in bulk when things are on sale.

Paper products are donated by the troop and I have all the chafing dishes and buffet servers from previous events. My DH made a cupcake tower to hold 100 cupcakes......cost $2.00. He made it from wood that we already had at home. The overflow of cupcake will just go on small plates on the dessert table.

So.....let me know what you honestly think. What should I add?

I think your amounts are very low for 100 people. There will not be enough food. Also, did you budget for drinks at all? $300 will be better, but I really think I would need $500 at a minimum with the types of food you are suggesting.

Eastern
01-30-2012, 05:37 PM
I don't understand 12 lbs of shrimp for $30 :confused3

That other poster is right about the shrimp: people will load them on their plate and you will run out. A friend of ours got 30 lbs of shrimp for a picnic where he also served hot dogs, hamburgers, pasta, and apps. There were about 80-100 people there and the shrimp ran out before some people had them.

Maybe you could have someone serving them. 12 lbs of shrimp is nothing for 100 people.

pixiewings71
01-30-2012, 06:18 PM
Thanks. He worked really hard and I am so proud of him. Want to give him a nice reception for all the hard work he did.

I love the idea of pesto spread instead of mayonnaise or ranch dressing. Going to have to try those for lunch sometime this week! Sounds like a great way to dress them up for his ceremony!

I need to decide if I make them up ahead on a tray with the cold meats I have ordered, or do I put the ingredients out and let everyone build their own sandwiches using either the wraps or small rolls. Not sure which way to go with this.

I had thought about nachos, but my DS doesn't eat them and they were served at the last eagle scout ceremony. Trying to do something different so they don't think I'm copying them :rotfl2: I do love nachos, though.

I would put the tortillas out with the other breads and let people make their own. The pesto spread is reaaaaaallllly good, you will enjoy it if you like cream cheese and pesto. :) My DD12 loves it! :)
ETA~I use small fajita size tortillas when I do this and I cut them in half, it helps them go farther. :)

mom4graceandlogan
01-30-2012, 06:54 PM
tyniknate, sounds Great! and I am also very impressed with your shopping skills! Great Buys! Never be afraid to share the accomplishments of your Eagle Scout! You deserve to celebrate the day. I would be very proud! You asked if you should make the slider sandwiches or leave meat on the platter. I know people are voting for for leave it on the platter, but I would make the sandwiches. You probably will need another pack or two rolls but it will stretch your meat purchase. My Aunt did a shower for me(granted not as many people) but she just did turkey and swiss, toasted in the oven so cheese melted with a little mustard sauce on them and everyone went crazy. It will really stretch your budget. You could do ham, turkey and cheese, and whatever else and really stretch the meat and cheese platter. If my 8 year old saw the meat platter she may be tempted to grab 5-6 pieces if no one was looking which would be too much. I get the vegatarian comments, as my daughter is vegatarian, but she would be happy as long as there is a veggie tray option and some cheese. You could leave some extra cheese and rolls out but overall, I think you can really stretch things making your own sliders. As far as the shrimp goes, I would not stress out about having enough for everybody . Maybe get a little more, but honestly in my family of 5, I am the only one that would try it and honestly if it was gone by the time I got there I would not mind, you have plenty of great choices. My wedding reception was for 120. We had stations pasta, prime rib, shrimp, chicken,etc. We had more than enough allocated of prime rib per person, but guess what got wiped out first. The prime rib, alot of people returning for 3rds before others even got there. Nothing I could do about it at that point and there were lots of other great choices.

Cupcake tower sounds amazing! So impressive! I would probably do 140 for 100 people. Everyone won't be going for seconds. Sounds great! I love to entertain and always over buy and I think you will do fine.

Kellydelly
01-30-2012, 07:10 PM
I'm a couple days late to this thread but if money was a concern, as well as ease of prep I would have done ziti (mostaciolli), a nice green salad and some great fresh bread. Would have been very doable under your budget, even with some munchies on the side or another vegetable.

Laurawill
01-30-2012, 07:23 PM
What is cracking me up is all the people saying it isn't enough food without even knowing how much of each food you are making. :lmao: (I know you have since outlined how much of each thing you are making, I just read from the beginning)

While there has to be a certain amount of food to get people full, the fact of the matter is the greater the variety of foods you serve the more people will eat. It isn't as simple as for a party of 100 you need 30 lbs of lunch meat. If you have only one type of meat you will need less overall than if you have 3 different kinds. Does that make sense?

That being said with everything but the shrimp I would guess you are fine.

PS -- I am jealous of the price you can get the crescent rolls for (are you making pigs in a blanket?). Not to mention the awesome deals on the shrimp, meatballs, and bacon!!

Tink9295
01-30-2012, 07:31 PM
As a parent of an Eagle Scout all I can say is CONGRATULATIONS!!!! to both your son and your family. I know what an accomplishment that is. It requires years of hard work and dedication from the scout as well as the family.

You must be so proud!

Having been to multiple ceremonies I can tell you that they all vary. But you know that. We had over 180 guests and scouts at my DS's. We have a large troop and a large family. After seeing many, from just appetizers to sit down meals we decided to keep it simple. We served cheese and crackers, veggie dip, chips, 2 Subway 6-foot subs, about three large sheet pizzas, a very large garden salad, cole slaw, potato salad, punch, water, coffee, tea and a full sheet cake along with any desserts scout parents contributed. I'm sure there is probably something I forgot. But you get the idea. Everything was prepared ahead of time which was awesome. Scout parents actually got to watch the ceremony and not the oven.:lmao: All they had to do was arrange the food on the buffet tables. If a parent asked if they could contribute. I said yes. I have always helped other families. I had more offers than I needed. Sometimes payback is a good thing.

Congrats again and take the time to enjoy the ceremony. You and your eagle scout deserve it.

mom2maggie
01-30-2012, 07:40 PM
When I worked at a grocery deli making meat & cheese trays, we usually advised customers they needed .25lbs of meat per guest. The estimate you have for 12lbs of meat for 100 people is quite low. I would do MINIMUM 16lbs, maybe 20.

Lady SnowElla
01-30-2012, 07:49 PM
Congratulations to your son & your family! The menu sounds wonderful I especially love the cupcake varieties--how clever. My suggestion is when a dish empties & there are no refills, just take it off the table & rearrange the display. They may regret that they didn't get to taste your delicious shrimp but they'll find something else to enjoy! Keep a few extra back in the kitchen for your son. I agree if someone offers to bring something for the reception graciously say yes & tell them you will return the favor sometime--I'll bet most may be returning you a favor already extended! The most important thing is for you to take time to enjoy the ceremony & spending time with your family!

tyniknate
01-31-2012, 09:18 AM
Most of my family do not eat any type of seafood, so right there is 25 or more who won't touch the shrimp. I have 260 pieces. I guess I could pickup another bag to make 300 pieces, but I really don't want to have tons of leftovers. Guess I will pick one up just to be on the safe side.

We will be making a total of 180 cupcakes. The tower holds 100 and the cake plates I bought will hold the extras. Sorry if I didn't make that clear in my earlier post. 6 kinds times 30 of each.

My mom called last night and said she is adding trays of deviled eggs and pickles to the menu. They are a family favorite and always a hit.

I will be doing the cheese trays and meat trays on separate platters. Thanks for the reminder. I need to check and see if I have enough trays or if I need to go shopping.

Thanks to everyone for your suggestions. I really appreciate that you have taken the time to answer my questions. :hug:

tyniknate
01-31-2012, 09:30 AM
What is cracking me up is all the people saying it isn't enough food without even knowing how much of each food you are making. :lmao: (I know you have since outlined how much of each thing you are making, I just read from the beginning)

While there has to be a certain amount of food to get people full, the fact of the matter is the greater the variety of foods you serve the more people will eat. It isn't as simple as for a party of 100 you need 30 lbs of lunch meat. If you have only one type of meat you will need less overall than if you have 3 different kinds. Does that make sense?

That being said with everything but the shrimp I would guess you are fine.

PS -- I am jealous of the price you can get the crescent rolls for (are you making pigs in a blanket?). Not to mention the awesome deals on the shrimp, meatballs, and bacon!!


Yep, pigs in a blanket. I have been lucky with my shopping. I knew that right after the Christmas holiday things would start to really go on sale, so we decided to wait until that time to have his ceremony. That part has done wonders for our budget!

I gave the general store the menu we were preparing and they came up with the amounts of meat and cheese. I think I will order an extra pound of each just to make sure I have enough. I also talked with someone who does catering last night and she suggested I not roll the meats. She said people take more when the meats are rolled because it seems like less meat than if you just stagger it out nicely on a meat tray. She said people will take 2 or 3 pieces of the same meat (and of each kind) if it is rolled as compared to 1 or 2 pieces when it isn't rolled because the pieces look so much bigger. Makes perfect sense to me.....So, staggering it is!

Here's the menu as it stands:

bacon wrapped shrimp
crescent wrapped little smokies
meatball sliders
meat and cheese trays with rolls/wraps
veggie and dip platters
pasta salad
deviled egg and pickle trays
buffalo chicken dip and tortilla chips
chips and pretzels
fresh fruit salad
cupcake tower
coffee, iced tea, bottled waters and soft drinks

punkin
01-31-2012, 02:12 PM
Sounds lovely. Congratulations to your son. It's quite an accomplishment.

thebeesknees
01-31-2012, 02:41 PM
Sounds delicious, OP! I think you will be fine food-wise. You have really thought things through by the sounds of it, and having been to other ceremonies, I am sure you have a pretty good idea of how much you will need. Congratulations to your son for his amazing accomplishment!

pixiewings71
01-31-2012, 02:53 PM
Sounds perfect to me! Wish I could come! LOL :)

emma'smom
01-31-2012, 11:45 PM
I can always throw a few more dips on....I'm known for bringing all the appetizers to our supper club--that's my thing and some of my supper club friends have already offered to bring stuff--so I'll take them up on it!

We had a party for about 40 during the same time period (Sunday afternoon) before Christmas and we had so much food left it was crazy---but let's face it...buffalo chicken dip leftovers aren't a bad thing, right?

We did fondue at supper club one night and it does go fast....it's good stuff! I think I spent a lot of time melting cheese that night----so not a good "party" food for me if I want to come up for air! =)

I know you totally didn't ask for comments on your menu, so I hope I'm not offending (don't mean to, just trying to help, done a few parties that size!), just saying...

That doesn't sound like a lot, unless there's a ton of the dips and chips and veggies and fruit and such.

As someone posted earlier, you should assume like 10 apps per person for a general meal type thing, but yours is dip/chip type heavy so it's harder to guage but... I'd plan on 500 servings of stuff, because even if it's not a mealtime thing, people snarf chips and dips like nobodys business - way more than they snarf tray-passed hors d'oeuvres.

I once did cheese fondue as one of like ... I want to say I had out at least 10 different things (and plenty of them) at a cocktail/dessert party for like 40 or so. I had planned a big pot of fondue, had lots of cheese and all for backup (though I'd only grated some beforehand, so that was fun), baguettes ready to go... I spent ALL NIGHT running back and forth making fondue. All night. Making fondue by the giant potful, running out fresh, hot, like quart at a time, with a baguette at a time and by the time I was checking on anything else 'is there more fondue?' I ran out of Kirsch is how much fondue I made. Give people something to dip, they'll stand there like motorized dipping robots.

I'm just saying. Make vats. Troughs. Do you have an unused kiddie pool?