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  • FIRST POST
    • smiler34
    • By smiler34 2nd Dec 07, 10:51 AM
    • 430Posts
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    smiler34
    Cheap xmas get-together
    • #1
    • 2nd Dec 07, 10:51 AM
    Cheap xmas get-together 2nd Dec 07 at 10:51 AM
    Hi all, just looking for a bit of advice for over the xmas period. I am having a get together with some friends doing food and drink for them at my house. There will be 9 people including me and partner and I am looking for cheapest buffet food to do and cheapest drinks? I don't really want to but these packets of buffet food from supermarkets as they seem to come out tasting really naff, also don't want the food and drink to look obviously cheap. I am willing to cook from scratch and have room in freezer. Not a lot to ask lol but I know some of you guys can perform miracle recipes on a budget so please help. My budget is £40 including drinks. Thanks xx

    Ps also having in-laws for a meal over xmas so any cheap main and dessert xmassy meals you can think of would also be greatly appreciated.
Page 1
    • thriftmonster
    • By thriftmonster 2nd Dec 07, 11:03 AM
    • 1,631 Posts
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    thriftmonster
    • #2
    • 2nd Dec 07, 11:03 AM
    • #2
    • 2nd Dec 07, 11:03 AM
    We have a party each year for dh's students and colleagues. The menu was set years ago when we had no money - I do a big pan of chilli (and a smaller one of veggie chilli) and serve with chunks of French bread. It can be eaten out of bowls standing up with a fork or spoon - and I think if we changed it now after 12 years there would be a riot.

    One or two hot dishes can work out a lot cheaper than cold party snacky things.

    HTH
    “the princess jumped from the tower & she learned that she could fly all along. she never needed those wings.”
    Amanda Lovelace, The Princess Saves Herself in this One
    • frogga
    • By frogga 2nd Dec 07, 11:26 AM
    • 2,109 Posts
    • 19,130 Thanks
    frogga
    • #3
    • 2nd Dec 07, 11:26 AM
    • #3
    • 2nd Dec 07, 11:26 AM
    Hi Smiler,

    I had all my work collegues over for lunch in the summer. There were 20 of us and I did a massive pan of veggie chilli that I left on the stove and served with jacket pots. The guests came over in relay as we had to do it in shifts while some stayed at work to cover. I cooked it in the morning and left it warming on the hob. Same with the jackets, just kept them warm in the oven. The chilli went down VERY well and everyone exept 1 had seconds!

    AS for the drink, is it rude to ask people to bring a bottle? I guess that's the bit that would bump up the cost. I just had a non alcholic fruit punch and cups of tea and coffee. It was lunch time and everyone had to go back to work so they didn't want "drink". As a tea totaler I would have no idea what booze to buy anyway.

    Hope it goes well, let us know xxx
    Say it once, say it loud ~ I'm an Atheist, Anti-Royalist, Socialist, Tea-Total Veggie Frog and PROUD!

    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 2nd Dec 07, 11:34 AM
    • 64,939 Posts
    • 381,178 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    • #4
    • 2nd Dec 07, 11:34 AM
    • #4
    • 2nd Dec 07, 11:34 AM
    Ask them to bring a bottle and a plate of nibbles with them.

    Nobody minds. And at least that way they get to bring their favourite thing.

    Often people have something that they never buy themselves because they're the only one that eats it, so they're glad of the good excuse!

    Also a lot of people LOVE the excuse to make a favourite thing they love cooking and never get chance to normally again because nobody but them in their household would eat it.

    It also breaks the ice as everybody's asking "ooh that's nice, where did you get that?" or "mmmmm can I have the recipe?". Less awkward silences.
  • LashyLashla
    • #5
    • 2nd Dec 07, 11:36 AM
    • #5
    • 2nd Dec 07, 11:36 AM
    I agree that asking people to bring a bottle and plate is a good idea.

    Then you can use some of your budget to make a mulled wine and provide some nibbles without having to spend all of it
    • CRANKY40
    • By CRANKY40 2nd Dec 07, 1:26 PM
    • 2,946 Posts
    • 31,966 Thanks
    CRANKY40
    • #6
    • 2nd Dec 07, 1:26 PM
    • #6
    • 2nd Dec 07, 1:26 PM
    Pan of chilli, and a pan of hot pot in case anyone doesn't like spicy food, or maybe a pasta bake that would be cheap enough, and some french bread - goes with anything.

    Will the in-laws be looking for a break from roast dinners? Braising steak feeds plenty of people and pretty much cooks itself once it's on?
    Weight loss 2018 17 lbs

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    • sandy2
    • By sandy2 2nd Dec 07, 1:48 PM
    • 1,927 Posts
    • 2,781 Thanks
    sandy2
    • #7
    • 2nd Dec 07, 1:48 PM
    • #7
    • 2nd Dec 07, 1:48 PM
    Turkey curry.......................
  • daisyroots
    • #8
    • 2nd Dec 07, 5:52 PM
    • #8
    • 2nd Dec 07, 5:52 PM
    If you happen to be near a market, how about Roasted Veg ? This could include: courgettes, sweet potatoes, peppers, squash, carrots, parsnips, tomatoes, aubergine, red onions - any root veg going cheap down the market. Roast in the oven with olive oil, add some garlic in there, bay leaf, etc. You can do this a day or two in advance, and serve it hot or cold, looks gorgeous and more expensive than it is.
    All Art is the transfiguration of the commonplace
    Member #6 SKI-ers Club
  • Jake'sGran
    • #9
    • 2nd Dec 07, 6:26 PM
    • #9
    • 2nd Dec 07, 6:26 PM
    I could just eat some chilli! One thing that always goes down well is trifle. I used to use jam rolls sliced as the base but I don't think there is much difference in price now between them and trifle sponges. If you have a bit of sherry, sprinkle that on or any other sweet drink you might have in the cupboard. Cheap mandarin pieces (all the supermarkets sell them) come next. Then thick custard, cream and I grate chocolate and any nuts I can find over the top. A couple of these on the table will fill a lot of space. Oh, just remembered, there is a quick and easy cheese slice that will disappear in seconds. Buy flaky pastry, roll it out, cover it with chopped, cooked onion, then grated cheese (cheap cheddar will do), season if you wish then turn it over and over into a long sausage shape - don't forget to seal the long edge - and then slice it into thin pieces with a sharp knife. Bake at about 400deg. It's quick and easy. Some people like cold baked beans so have a bowl of those, hard boiled eggs, sweetcorn, tuna and white beans mixed. Sliced melon fills a gap too.

    None of these will use up much of your budget.
  • Gingham Ribbon
    How about mini pizzas, garlic/herb pittas cut into strips, carrot, cucumber and courgette cut into batons with hummous and another dip, sandwiches, couscous salad, tomato based cold pasta salad...and ask people to bring a bottle. It's a lot to expect you to provide drinks for so many people.
    May all your dots fall silently to the ground.
    • vanoonoo
    • By vanoonoo 2nd Dec 07, 7:55 PM
    • 1,860 Posts
    • 7,742 Thanks
    vanoonoo
    a bottle of cava mixed with a litre of orange and some ice in a big jug makes a really nice bucks fizz style drink and isnt too pricey - should get a wine glass full each out of that for about £6 - its a nice drink for when people arrive.

    but I agree with getting people to bring a bottle for the rest of the event!

    hth

    Noo
    Blah
    • smiler34
    • By smiler34 3rd Dec 07, 3:16 PM
    • 430 Posts
    • 910 Thanks
    smiler34
    Hi all, thanks for the advice. Decided I will do a chilli and then do a few of the nibbles you suggested on the side. Really liked the bucks fizz idea but will defnitely ask people to bring some drink of their own.
    Thanks again xx
    Mummy to two beautiful girls and one gorgeous boy.
    • Skint_Catt
    • By Skint_Catt 3rd Dec 07, 3:59 PM
    • 11,431 Posts
    • 23,689 Thanks
    Skint_Catt
    Turkey curry.......................
    Originally posted by sandy2
    noooo that's for most weeks in January! It's too early!!!
  • GreenNinja
    Don't wish to hijack this thread in any way but I am also looking for inspiration for something similar, around 12 people for low cost nibbles.
    The hot buffet idea wouldn't be suitable as lack of space to sit down etc,
    so needs to be a finger buffet...
    Any ideas gratefully received...
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 3rd Dec 07, 5:24 PM
    • 64,939 Posts
    • 381,178 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    Ritz biscuits - topped with squeezey cheese, which comes in several flavours these days
    Devilled eggs - hard boil eggs, cut in half, spoon out the yolks and mix them with mayonnaise (or salad cream) and curry powder, spoon it back into the holes left by the yolks (or pipe if you're posh)
    Cheese straws - copy recipe above but fold it over, flatten it, cut it into strips and twist each one (rather than turning it into a sausage shape)
    pineapple/cheese on sticks
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 3rd Dec 07, 5:27 PM
    • 64,939 Posts
    • 381,178 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    Potato wedges - no need for flavourings, just keep it simple - then for the dips for those, just look at the bottles of sauce in the supermarket. Perhaps a sweet chilli sauce and a tomato/chilli sauce. No need to get pricey jars of dips.
  • Jake'sGran
    Hi all, thanks for the advice. Decided I will do a chilli and then do a few of the nibbles you suggested on the side. Really liked the bucks fizz idea but will defnitely ask people to bring some drink of their own.
    Thanks again xx
    Originally posted by smiler34
    Smiler, I forgot to say (if you do the cheesy things) that the onions must be thoroughly drained after cooking. Pat dry with kitchen paper. And, if you do trifles, the juice from the orange pieces can be poured over the sponges as it soaks in.
    • shell2001
    • By shell2001 4th Dec 07, 10:59 AM
    • 1,795 Posts
    • 17,992 Thanks
    shell2001
    We have in-laws coming over on Boxing day. This year I am determined not to spend a fortune so I shall be dishing up:-

    Gammon ham in Coke (will have this for tea xmas eve so rest carved for boxing day)
    Sliced turkey (again left over from xmas day)
    Coronation turkey (mayo, curry powder and chopped turkey)
    Egg Mayo and/or Tuna mayo

    So thats all stuff i have in anyway, just rolls for them to go in.

    Will make sausage rolls, mini pizzas, cheese & pineapple (littles like this), sausages on sticks (got some in freezer DH does not like so gets rid of them - hehe). Pickled onions, pickle, crisps etc that we will have in anyway.

    I will also make profitteroles, lemon cheesecake and maybe a fruit salad. Again will have to just buy cream for these as will have rest of stuff in. Will also have a supply of HM mince pies and biccies, shortbread.

    Previous years I have done baked spuds and salad and they have just left it so not gonna bother this year, stick of throwing stuff away.

    This will be for 6 adults and 2 kids.

    HTH
  • champys
    here is another easy one: take a pack (or more) of (value) chicken drumsticks, sprinkle them with chicken seasoning and bake in roasting tin or on baking sheet in oven. this can be done the day before. arrange them on a plate, a bowl of some sauce or chutney on the side (optional) and serve cold as finger food. it may sound a very unexciting treat, but whenever i put these on a buffet table, they always gets eaten till the very last one!
  • Frags
    Another on eis cheap cocktail sausages and you can baist them with things you have in the cupboard, olive oil, honey and a bit of worcester sauce works well, or something along those lines. Makes them taste really nice and sausages are usually cheap!
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