by Angela Tyler
Has this ever happened to you? You’ve been invited to a party and realize you don’t have a meal to bring. Not only that, but the party starts in an hour. What should you do?
You have four options:
1. Don’t go, and miss out on a really fun time.
2. Show up empty-handed and explain red-faced that you forgot.
3. Grab an empty casserole dish and head to the deli. Order your food and have them put it right into your casserole dish. Yes, I’ve gone this. It’s expensive but it works. If you get asked for the recipe, just wink and say “It’s Grandma’s secret recipe”.
4. Whip up a big batch of pasta salad for only a few dollars, and have plenty left over to eat for lunch during the week. You will save money and look good showing up at the party with a great dish.
Pasta salad is truly one of the easiest meals to prepare. All you need are noodles and salad dressing. You can use pretty much any salad dressing on the market – the standards like Italian, Ranch, or, if you’re ambitious, your favorite homemade dressing.
Now for the fun part. Cook the noodles, following package directions and then drain. Pour the dressing on while the noodles are warm so they will absorb all that good oily flavor.
Look around your kitchen to see if you have any of the following ingredients:
Fresh veggies – carrots, broccoli, green onions
Frozen vegetables – frozen peas are wonderful in pasta salad
Cubed or shredded cheese
Garbanzo beans (also known as Chick Peas)
Toss in whatever you can find. It’s an ‘everything goes’ type of recipe. Bring more dressing with you in case you need to add it later, and voila! You’re done.
If you’re feeling fancy, you can bring some cherry tomatoes, parmesan cheese, bacon bits or sunflower seeds as toppings. It’s all good.
The next time you are invited to a party, don’t panic. Just grab these instructions and whip up a meal in minutes. Enjoy!
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by Angela Tyler
If you are planning a party, you already know that food can be one of your biggest expenses. However, you can take several steps to cut your party food costs. It is not necessary to purchase expensive appetizers and beverages to throw a great party. A little imagination and effort can make your party a memorable occasion.
Here are some ideas and suggestions to help you save money on food when throwing your next party:
Finger foods are fun
Small sandwiches, chips, dips, and vegetable trays are relatively inexpensive and you won’t need to bother with place settings and bringing out your best china. Simply supply napkins and small paper plates and allow your guests to serve themselves from an assortment of bite size goodies.
Have a potluck
A potluck is certainly cheaper than hiring a caterer and you will save a lot of time and money by having your guests prepare a dish to share with others. Potluck is fun and you will surely end up with an interesting assortment of foods. To make things simpler, include a suggestion as to what type of dish you would like your guests to bring such as a dessert, vegetable, or salad.
If your party will be a dinner party where fingers foods are not appropriate, you can try spaghetti with garlic bread and salad, or you could find a good deal on pizza that you can have delivered. You will save time and it is quite easy to find a bargain on different types of pizza.
Back to basics
Fruit and cheese are excellent choices for casual party foods that don’t require fancy place settings or dishes. Buy fresh fruit in season when you are likely to find certain varieties on sale and fill your table will a variety of cheeses, crackers, and perhaps olives and nuts.
Thrifty Thirst Quenchers
For party beverages, two-liter soft drinks and bottled water are inexpensive and very easy to serve. Provide ice and cups and allow your guests to serve themselves. Tea and coffee are cheap as is lemonade that you make fresh or from concentrate.
Your party does not have to cost a lot of money to be a huge success. Look for sales on the foods and beverages you choose and plan ahead so you will have time to shop around be fore you buy.
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