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How to feed 30 people with less than $200

In The Kitchen

August 21, 2019

Last year for ottos birthday party we invited all of our family and friends over to celebrate his first year of life. It had been a beautiful yet tumultuous year and we were thrilled to celebrate Otto but also those who held us close during those hard days. That party ended up being over 75 people in attendance and was quite the back yard celebration. Thank goodness we had a beautiful night for it! This year we opted for something smaller and kept it to just family and that still had us at 30 people.

Fresh Produce Shopping

This year though, I wanted to spend more time actually enjoying the party. I have a tendency to go overboard which usually keeps me in the kitchen rather than actually spending time with my guests. We live in an area so rich in amazing local businesses that I let them do the work for me. I headed to my local Gordon Food Service Store and picked up fresh and local supplies that I didn’t have to slave all day making. Click here for a $5 off coupon to help your shopping.

selecting the perfect menu for your party

When I checked out I couldn’t believe that my total was under $200! I was feeding 30 people! I double checked my items and quantities and estimations and it was right. I thought what a great idea to share what I served to feed all 30 people with that price. I wrote out a detailed list of the quantities I purchased for 24 adults and 6 kids. Sometimes I feel like figuring out the amounts is the most difficult part aside from deciding what to serve.

When serving dinner I like to have one protein main and since this was a large group and we just got a new smoker I bought a 16lb brisket. I gave it a good seasoning of rub and let Joe be in charge of the rest. I did not want to be responsible for guarding the meat as well as getting all the party decor and food in place. Joe took his responsibility seriously and made one of the best briskets I’ve ever had! Even otto walked up to the table and grabbed a slice to munch on.

Along with the protein I like two sides (at least one salad) and of course with any summer outdoor party I have to have chips and dip. I also picked up a big container of guacamole and tortilla chips. They do have a fresh guacamole bar but since my party was the next day I thought it would be best to by something sealed. The fresh deli case at Gordon’s was packed full of delicious sides that you can purchase by the pound.  I like being able to purchase by the pound so I get just what I need for Joe and I or enough for a large party. I chose to go with the macaroni salad and another of their homemade potato salad. I figured one big scoop for everybody since we had such a big protein main and that equaled out to about four pounds of salad and it was exactly enough with maybe a scoop or two to spare (which was my lunch the next day).

Fresh Produce Shopping

Below is my shopping list and a breakdown of quantity and prices from shopping at my new Gordon Food Service Store on Michigan St. Click here for coupon!

The best part? I was able to pick up everything I needed for my large party and smaller quantities for Joe, Otto and I for dinner that night. They have the best deli case with all sorts of dinner options available. My favorite thing to take home are the salmon burgers. They just taste like summer to me. Anyway, grocery list below.

A fun non food  thing I purchased were the squeeze bottles that I put the ketchup (my family puts ketchup on EVERYTHING) and BBQ sauces in. I canned a lot of BBQ sauce earlier this summer and I used that for dipping sauce for the brisket. Having the squeeze bottles allowed a no spill way for everyone to try the sauces.

How to feed 30 people with $200 in grand rapids michigan produce shopping in Grand Rapids Michigan

produce shopping Picking out the best produce at Gordon Food Service

My biggest tip pre party is the morning of get all of your serving dishes ready. That way when the guests arrive all you have to do is plate it up and serve. I lay everything out on the counter and put a post it note on each dish so I know exactly where each item goes. Also, if someone jumps in to help you in the kitchen they know what your plan is for saving food and you are not scrambling around at the last minute to find a spare bowl.

Hostess tips and tricks for parties

Mickey Mouse Birthday Party

The perfect brisket on the traeger grill

Mickey Mouse Birthday Party

Mickey Mouse Birthday Party

We were lucky enough to get a beautiful day again for Otto’s birthday. The kids swam in the pool while the guys “watched the brisket”. It was so nice to catch up and enjoy family time outside in the summer. With a big family it can be difficult to get everyone together so we soak up every moment we can. I am still in disbelief that my baby is now two years old but we had the absolute best time celebrating him and his year of health.
It’s crazy to think that last year at this time he was so adverse to food that he was completely tube fed. This year he walked right up to the table and started eating a slab of brisket. It’s been an amazing year and I cannot wait to watch him continue to grow and develop even more of a personality. Two so far has definitely been terrific.

The perfect brisket on the traeger grill

How to feed 30 people for under $200 with Gordon Food Service Stores

How to feed 30 people for under $200 with Gordon Food Service Stores

* This post is sponsored by Gordon Food Service Store. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


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Abigail Albers       Author

Abby is a wife and mother, antique shopper, entrepreneur, gardener, sheep lady, sequin enthusiast and your Midwest Martha Stewart Wannabe.. Follow her on instagram @adventuresinabbyland.

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