How to (cheaply) feed a crowd

How to (cheaply) feed a crowd

posted in: DIY Party, Party Food, Party Tips | 0

In last week’s blog post, I acknowledged that money can be a problem when party planning. Your party menu does not have to be a budget-buster, though! Save your dolla’ bills for decorations and games that will entertain your guests! Learning how to (cheaply) feed a crowd is a party skill that will translate to your everyday life, the children’s sports activities, and school events.


Okay okay, I know this is the obvious option. I am pretty sure every area has some type of budget pizza restaurant nearby! If not, it doesn’t hurt to call your local pizzeria and ask for a discount on a large order. An option that may be not so obvious, though, are ‘take and bake’ pizzas from the grocery store. These pizzas are fresh, preassembled, and bake up beautifully! Pair the pizza with a couple chip flavors, a veggie tray, and you’re good to go!

Plus it up: Provide several seasonings for guests to top their pizza slice. Oregano, basil, red pepper flake, and parmesan cheese are all good options. You probably have plenty of these already in your spice cabinet!

Hot dogs.

Hot dogs seem to be a love-it or hate-it sort of food, but if you offer a toppings bar, it can be fun for everyone! Some topping ideas are chili (have the leftovers for dinner that night!), diced onions, jalapenos, relish, ketchup, mustard, fried onions, diced bell peppers, bbq sauce, pineapple, and shredded cheese.

Plus it up: Create cards with several different topping combinations to give your guests some ideas. If you’re really creative, you can name each combination something themed to your party!


What is more delicious than a big pot of homemade chili with all the fixins? (Can you tell I love a good toppings bar?!) For the chili toppings, include shredded cheese, jalapenos, green onion, cornbread, sour cream, and hot sauce. If you usually make your chili spicy, dial it back and provide hot sauce for guests to season their bowl as they like.

Plus it up: Offer a vegetarian chili for anyone who does not eat meat. You can easily alter your existing recipe using veggie stock!


This can be a messy one, so it may not be the best option for younger kids. For older kids or an adult party, this is probably the cheapest option for feeding a crowd. Noodles, sauce, garlic bread, and a simple tossed salad is enough for this tasty menu!

Plus it up: Offer three different pasta sauces: Marinara, alfredo, and pesto.



Offer a couple different options of bread, lunch meat, cheese, and spreads to offer a simple party menu. Your guests can make their sandwich as simple or complicated as they like! Pair the sandwhiches with potato salad for a cool meal on a hot summer day!

Plus it up: Include artisanal bread and spread options to up your sandwich game! Grocery stores are offering more and more variety of these types of fancy foods, so you still shouldn’t spend too much to upgrade your choices a bit!


Hopefully, these ideas get you thinking about what to feed your crowd without emptying your bank account. Need a place to keep all your party planning ideas? Download my one-page party planner fo’ free!


How to cheaply feed a crowd | Sweet Olivia Celebrations

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