Thursday, May 23, 2019

Party Food On A Budget

We had a barbecue for my daughter's graduation party and we did it Thrifty Mom style because that is pretty much how we roll.  This year has been fraught with lots of expenses.  Most were expected and some were not.  So it was really important I pull this one off and stay within my budget.

I incorporated items into my regular grocery shopping as much as I could

I had $50 outside of our regular grocery budget to work which meant that as much as I could squeeze into our regular grocery shopping the better.  I began early, before Christmas even, "collecting" items for the party.  Foil pans, paper plates, cups, utensils and napkins were picked up here and there, on sale and with coupons or at the dollar store.

This set was less than $8 and we had more than enough

I picked up non perishable food items as well.  Baked beans from Dollar Tree, condiments at Walmart, rootbeer, punch and lemonade in 2 liter bottles wherever I found it priced at a $1 or less.  I picked up a case of bottled water on sale for $1.49 at Albertsons last month.

Frozen 1/4 pound burger patties, veggie patties, smoked sausages, polish sausages and wieners were purchased on sale and tucked into the freezer each month this year until we had enough.  I also stockpile ice cubes in gallon bags to make sure we had plenty to keep the drinks chilled.

We baked desserts using all items I already had in our pantry so there was no extra expense there.  We had a really nice assortment of cookies as well as some cupcakes I made using a cake mix and homemade frosting.

The salads were all made from scratch as well and I kept it fairly basic and simple.  I cooked the pasta, eggs and potatoes all ahead of time and then assembled them all the night before the party.  I prefer to make macaroni and potato salads a day ahead so all the flavor have a chance to mingle.  I think it makes for a much better salad.  The fruit salad was a simple one made with two boxes of orange gelatin and a large can of crushed pineapple.  I made that one the day before as well.

The morning of the party we hit up the Franz outlet bakery to get all the hamburger and hotdog buns we needed.  They were plenty fresh and cost a fraction of what we would've spent at the grocery store so well worth the trip.  On the way home we stopped at Wal-Mart, as it was literally on the way. for a few fresh produce items and that was the end of the shopping.

Our "new" grill worked out perfectly as did the grilling station

Once home all that remained to be done was to assemble a quick veggie tray, set out food and condiments in the serving dishes and put the drinks and all the ice I'd stockpiled into the cooler.  We lit the briquettes in the grill about 15 minutes before the party started and we were ready to get grilling and eating!


  1. Great job!! The grill and grilling station look great!!

  2. I love that you set a budget and that no matter what the goals are, you hit them! An inspiration to your daughters-no better lesson to begin an adult life than this. congrats to your daughter AND to you Mom!


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