Money Matters

Cheap meals for 8-10 people?

DH's cousin and her family are coming to visit next weekend. They are arriving late Friday night (I assume after dinner, then) and leaving Monday morning. They are 2 adults and 2 kids (10-13 years old I think).

What should we plan to eat all weekend? I don't expect we'll be going out much, if at all - we are trying to cut back and they are not high income so I doubt they are interested in blowing a bunch of money out either.

IDK what the weather will be like but I hope to do some grilling. They will also be fishing so hopefully we can serve fish on Sunday for dinner... I'm stumped for the rest of the weekend though.

BIL and his girlfriend will likely be there at least some of the time too. I'm hoping they offer to host a meal at their house but I don't know yet. I don't want to spend a fortune but I want it to be a fun weekend.

Help?

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Re: Cheap meals for 8-10 people?

  • Italian-style.  Spaghetti with meatballs and a salad.  You could also do a taco bar, cook up the meat and let everyone garnish their own tacos.
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  • Pasta salad goes well with burgers and dogs!
  • I think casseroles are the easiest and cheapest thing.
  • Chicken fried rice
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  • We have dinner parties for 8 ppl on occasion . . . I make a combo of spinach manicotti and meat manicotti and serve with salad and bread.  Its always a hit, and bonus is you can prepare the day before and just do the baking on the day of.  Same goes with lasagna.

    I also like enchiladas, served with rice and usually a salad.  This honey-lime chicken enchilada recipe is awesome and pretty easy to make: http://www.thesisterscafe.com/2008/02/honey-lime-chicken-enchiladas.html.  It can also be prepared in advance.

  • Pasta.

    You can make a pasta salad in advance and have it ready for whenever.

    Grilling like you said.  Right now the stores have all the grillables on sale.

     

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  • When you have guests I thnk it's good to stick to things you can make in advance.  Labor intensive meals mean less face time with your guests.

    Baked pasta dishes go far and you can make it in advance.  I think lasagna is always good and it can be done on the cheaper end.  I would serve it with a basic salad and garlic bread.

    For breakfast I would make a casserole or quiche type of dish (bread and eggs are cheap), bacon, and fruit.  Breakfast casseroles can sit overnight and be cooked the morning of, bacon can also be made in advance and reheated, and fruit salad can be made early and refrigerated.

    For grilling I would probably serve pasta salad and grilled sweet corn.

    image
  • Lasagna, pot of chili, pot roast in a crock pot, italian beef sandwiches in the crock pot.
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  • I have to say that I think some of the suggestions sound way too heavy if it's going to be hot.

    I'd go with grilling for sure; even if it's raining, we still grill sometimes. Make packets of veggies to go with the meat. Grilled pineapple is great too.

    Lighter pastas would be good, but I wouldn't do something like lasagna.

    I'm guessing from your location that you are meat & potato eaters, but what about a baked potato bar for a lunch. It's filling and you can still have meat options for those that insist a meal isn't a meal without meat.

    For breakfasts, I'd probably do a make ahead casserole for at least one of the days and scrambled eggs for another.

  • I like hamburgers when it is hot. Costco has good deals on good beef. I like to serve Cesar salad, pasta or potato salad and watermelon or fruit salad with them.
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  • image sept508:

    I have to say that I think some of the suggestions sound way too heavy if it's going to be hot.

    I'd go with grilling for sure; even if it's raining, we still grill sometimes. Make packets of veggies to go with the meat. Grilled pineapple is great too.

    Lighter pastas would be good, but I wouldn't do something like lasagna.

    I'm guessing from your location that you are meat & potato eaters, but what about a baked potato bar for a lunch. It's filling and you can still have meat options for those that insist a meal isn't a meal without meat.

    For breakfasts, I'd probably do a make ahead casserole for at least one of the days and scrambled eggs for another.

    Big Smile This made me smile.

    This is definitely a meat and potatos type of family. Our cousins are coming from northern Wisconsin too so also meat and potatoes.

    These are a lot of great ideas. Thanks guys!

    On another note, Sept, I can't believe how far along you are!!!

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  • I also like to do Gumbo. Its better when made in advance and reheated.
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