Simple Food and Drink Ideas for a Great Party with a Small Wallet
People tend to munch nonstop while having a good time. Here are some easy and budget-conscious things to prepare that can stay fresh all night in a crock pot or refrigerator.
Basic Sample Shopping List ~ 10 People
Feel free to add or subtract based on your budget. Please drink responsibly.
Gravy Burgers and Hot Dogs
- 3lbs Ground beef (or ground chuck for less mess) $8
- 1 can/jar/packet of beef gravy $1-$2
- 2 packs of hot dogs, offbrand if needed <$4
- 2 packs of "slider" buns (tiny) plus 2 packs hot dog buns $4
Jello Shots and Bullfrogs
Can easily make it alcohol-free or BYOB - grab a couple 2-liters and skip the rest.
- 4 two-liters (2 Mountain Dew) $4
- 4 packets of Kool-Aid (2 different flavors) $1
- 4 small boxes of gelatin (assume 1 box fills ten 2oz containers) $4
- Jello shot containers (recommendation below) $3 for forty
- Vodka - 1.75L of 40% Svedka works nicely at just over $20
- 9 ears of corn $3
- 2 bags of chips or pretzels $4
Optional if desired
- Disposable plates/utensils/cups/napkins - pick a theme!
Main Course IdeasClick thumbnail to view full-size
Only Basic Recipes Included
The dishes shown are my own photos of simplified versions of recipes that you can easily find online. I never feel the need to garnish - basic seasonings taste amazing. Add your own twist to make them unique! I find that looking at 3-4 different recipes gives me a great idea of how to tweak it to make it best for me.
Side DishesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Drinking IdeasClick thumbnail to view full-size
Stackable Jello Shot Pyramid
These come in different quantities depending on how many people you're expecting. I usually make about 40 for 10 people (assuming a decently even mix of males and females with varying alcohol consumption habits).
- Vodka, Svedka or Skyy
- 2 Packets Kool-Aid, Orange, Tropical Punch, and Blue Raspberry Lemonade are good flavors (separately)
- 2-Liter Mountain Dew
Easiest Party Drink
- Empty a 2-liter of Mountain Dew down to the top of the label.
- Add 2 packets of your favorite Kool-Aid.
- Fill back up with vodka.
- Gently tilt to mix.
- Serve chilled or over ice. (Also works well in bulk in drink coolers/dispensers)