I enjoy entertaining. To me, nothing is better than sitting around with family and friends, enjoying each other and enjoying good food. Of course, me being me – I try to combine style and fun with low cost (yes, it is possible). Get together events do not have to cost a fortune.
When I talk about casual gatherings, what we usually have is a buffet style event. And most of the time, we have more than one variety of food. Always leftovers, which is a good thing! There are so many different kind of things you can serve that are both economical and delicious. As with most financial aspects of just about anything, the key is preparing in advance. Having a decently stocked freezer with some of these items purchased on sale will assure that you don’t go overboard financially. Even if you don’t have them on hand, the cost of these isn’t too bad.
A large baking dish of chicken drumsticks usually goes over really well. You can make three or four smaller pans of different flavors, or if you want – just put a bunch in one pan, and choose a marinade to bake them in. It’s very easy to just pour barbeque sauce over the top, bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes. Served with a big bowl of rice, this has always been a big hit at parties here.
(photo credit Instacart.com)
Early in your day, long before people are due to arrive, throw a bag or two of these meatballs into your crock pot. Set the crock on low with a jar or two (depending on the number of meatballs) of spaghetti sauce. When they are done, you can have a bowl of pasta on the side for these, or you can have rolls and shredded cheese and people can make meatball sandwiches.
(photo credit dollartree.com and walmart.com)
A very good and successful dish to serve is pasta with ground beef. It is very simple. Boil one box of pasta, and while that is cooking, brown one pound of ground beef (or ground…whatever you usually use). Drain the pasta, and then put it back into the pot it was cooked in. Add the browned ground meat, and pour in a jar of spaghetti sauce. Stir, and put in a serving bowl. Depending on the number of people you have coming, you can do two or more portions of this. Just follow this rule, one box of pasta (16 oz.), one pound of ground meat, and one jar of sauce. Simple.
(photo credit Target.com)
When it comes to reasonably priced meals, you can’t really beat tacos. Depending on the number of people you are having, fry up your ground meat and add one package of taco seasoning. They taste great, it is easy to do and people usually eat them right up. Quickly. You can have a package of soft shells and a box of hard ones. Put these with the usual taco toppings – shredded lettuce, salsa, hot sauce, chopped onions and of course sour cream.
Eat, drink, have fun. Enjoy!