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Dinner party for 16 on a budget?!

(35 Posts)
baiyu Thu 25-Sep-08 16:47:16

DP's birthday on Sat, I've said I'll do a big meal for about 16 people. I'm thinking of doing a kind of buffet-style meal as our table is too small to all sit around. We're both really skint and lots of our friends are vegetarian.
Any genius ideas? Thanks very much!

SmugColditz Thu 25-Sep-08 16:49:14

A vegetarian chilli with rice and big bowls of salted tortilla chips with melted cheese as a starter, with blackberry (free so get picking) sponge and custard for pudding.

Majeika Thu 25-Sep-08 16:50:17

Keep it simple.

I would do a poached salmon and a cooked chicken and then

pasta salad
couscous salad
green salad
potato salad

lots of garlic bread

ask friends to bring wine and beer.

Easy cheap meringues with fresh fruit

Fruit salad

chocolate gateau

Overmydeadbody Thu 25-Sep-08 16:53:00

Don't do buffet style with lots of different thnigs, just do one big pot of something delicious like chillie or moroccan tagine etc, with rice or couscous and bread. People can serve themselves and eat it on their laps.

Majeika I wouldn't say that is on a budget!!!

Majeika Thu 25-Sep-08 16:54:01

I disagree!

chicken and salmon are inexpensive-ish

pasta, potatoes and couscous are cheap

meringue is only egg white!

Overmydeadbody Thu 25-Sep-08 16:54:12

And make it all veggie, far simpler and cheaper.

Overmydeadbody Thu 25-Sep-08 16:55:59

chicken and salmon are not inexpensive!

All those different salads will require different addiitional ingredients, she'd end up spending a fortune of mayo, herbs, etc etc

And three puddings! Fruit salad does become quite expensive, especially if it's for 16 people!

I regularly feed ten people, I know how these things all add up.

Overmydeadbody Thu 25-Sep-08 16:56:31

and all the veg for all those salads will turn out quite costly too...

Majeika Thu 25-Sep-08 16:56:32

ok ok

beans and toast


an apple!!


TheProvincialLady Thu 25-Sep-08 16:59:33

No definitely don't do buffet style as you will have to cook more and there will be wastage.

Soup is a very cheap starter and you can fill people up before they tackle what might be a slightly more expensive main course.

Majeika Thu 25-Sep-08 17:00:06

ooh yes

soup for starters is a good idea

Overmydeadbody Thu 25-Sep-08 17:01:34

Just keep it simple. That's the best way to keep it at a reasonable budget.

Even spaghetti bolognese with lots of garlic bread and one salad will be fine.

Overmydeadbody Thu 25-Sep-08 17:03:41

Soup not too practical if the guests can't sit around the table though! grin

I'd scrap the starter tbh. Just give em hearty warming traditional food, with lots of starch to bulk them out, and a birthday cake for pudding.

Megglevache Thu 25-Sep-08 17:03:56

Starter: Soup with warm bread
cold meat /cheese on the side

Main:Tortillas/ more than one perhaps one with chillies and chorizo
Pudd: rumble crumble and cream/custard for pudd.

Overmydeadbody Thu 25-Sep-08 17:04:10

Vegetarian lasagne with a salad and garlic bread?

Megglevache Thu 25-Sep-08 17:04:55

Potatoes and eggs

themildmannneredjanitor Thu 25-Sep-08 17:05:08

go to the market and biuy tons and tons of veg. whatever is cheapest.

make a giant pan of veggie chilli and serve with rice.maybe a few loaves of garlic bread.

do you know anyone with a costco card? if so they do huge cakes that are lovely for a bout 7 quid.

ask everyone to bring a bottle.

Overmydeadbody Thu 25-Sep-08 17:05:57

No Soup people!! The guests can't sit around the table.

baiyu what is your budget? Because I think we are all working on our own ideas of what a budget dinner party would be lol (I'm thinking £20-£30, I'm probably way off the mark grin)

baiyu Thu 25-Sep-08 17:06:37

Fab ideas! I think you may be right about one big pot. I always try to go over the top to impress but these are my friends, it's really not neccessary (not that big pot things aren't impressive but you know what I mean). I'm still breastfeeding and my DS has been having bad reactions to chilli so maybe not a chilli. A tagine might be a good idea, know any good veggie tagine recipes?

majeika- that does sound fab too but maybe not too veggie friendly (also my kitchen is a shoe box so things get complicated). Meringue is a good idea for pudding, maybe a big eton mess or something similar?

Blackberries would be nice...but I live in the middle of a city at the moment and have no car to get out to the bushes!

Megglevache Thu 25-Sep-08 17:06:50

You don't need a table if you have a lovely big mug of soups and the other hand with bread. grin

Overmydeadbody Thu 25-Sep-08 17:08:04

here ya go

The best tagine recipe around (I'm a chefgrin).

Serve it with couscous and flat bread if you can get your hands of some (pita or naan will do)

Overmydeadbody Thu 25-Sep-08 17:08:30

true true megg, but what if they dripshock

Megglevache Thu 25-Sep-08 17:10:16

Curry/stew/hot pot/jus is just as likely to slop or drip from a pissed person's fork/spoon grin

Megglevache Thu 25-Sep-08 17:11:16


got any good slow cook recipes/cheapie meat cuts?

<Hijack Over>

baiyu Thu 25-Sep-08 17:12:28

overmydeadbody - budget is what I can spend without crying! Hehe. Maybe £20-30. I'll get 2 bottles of cheap cava, maybe add something to make it more exciting? I'm not really going to do booze though, people will bring a bottle.

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