Cheap Lunch Ideas to Feed 10 People

Updated on August 12, 2009
J.B. asks from York, PA
7 answers

I am in need of ideas. A family member has graciously opened the doors to her home and is allowing us to come to her house for once a week swim dates. The group (including myself and my daughter) is 4 adults and 6 kids. So far this summer, we have all been taking a turn and rotating weeks to supply lunch for the whole gang. For myself, this is difficult. I am used to only worrying about myself and my daughter, who doesnt eat much.

I have taken a turn once so far and its back to me again and I am just out of ideas. I have already done wraps. We have also had mini pizzas, bbq sandwhiches, hot dogs and burgers. I need something easy to transport and relatively inexpensive. I had asked about everyone just packing their own sandwich a while back, just to keep it simple... and less time in the kitchen... more time swimming. But no one was really into that.

So here it is, my turn again. I worry about my budget b/c I normally only plan for myself and my daughter, who barely eats. But now I have to plan on 8 others with healthy appetites. They don't like Jelly, so peanut butter and jelly sandwiches is out. And now I'm stumped. If anyone can think of ideas for an easy to prepare and fairly inexpensive meals, I would love to hear it. Our swim date is tomorrow. Thanks so much.

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So What Happened?

thanks. i was in a rut and not feeling very creative. i ended up making mini sandwiches. i made pbutter and jelly, turkey and cheese, lettuce and tomato, bologna, and a few others, different breads and cheeses and i sliced them all up into bite sizes and used tooth picks to keep them together. i also threw together a quick pasta salad with some ingredients i already had at home and grabbed some chips from the store. for dessert, i was going to buy a pound cake or angel food cake at the store, but none of them seemed large enough to feed us all. i ended up just getting a dollar french vanilla cake mix and making that in a 13 by 9 pan the night before, which was plenty. then i had strawberries in glaze and cool whip that i put on top of the cake just before serving. it was a nice treat later by the pool. it all worked out! thanks to everyone for the suggestions.

More Answers



answers from Pittsburgh on

I like the idea of meatball sandwiches. Most people like that. easy and cheap.



answers from Pittsburgh on

How about meatball sandwiches? Get a bag of frozen meatballs, some kind of sauce (spaghetti, marinara,etc) and some hoagie rolls. Put the meatballs and sauce in a crockpot and let it warm through the morning. We prefer the Cellones rolls, but any hoagie roll will do. Those big bags of frozen meatballs really hold a lot. Take a bag of shredded mozzarella cheese and maybe a fruit salad. They sell that frozen as well so you won't have to try to make enough for everybody.

Have fun tomorrow.



answers from Philadelphia on

Why not just order a couple of pizzas? With a coupon, it can be rather inexpensive. For a small crowd, I often order a Sicilian style pizza (big square pizza) which feeds more. You can even ask them ahead of time to cut the slices smaller for the kids.

Or...make a pasta salad (cheap) and a platter of turkey and cheese finger sandwiches.

Sounds like a pretty good plan/system for the summer! Everyone benefits! Enjoy :)



answers from Philadelphia on

When I have kids over, I find they would rather snack the entire time and not really stop to eat lunch so try having a couple of different little inexpensive things out for them to snack on. Try Ritz crackers with cheese and your choice of lunch meat in the middle. These are quick and very easy for the kids to grab and go. Put peanut butter on small pieces of cut up celery sticks. Bowl of mixed goodies of your choices (raisins, yogurt, peanuts, etc). Good Luck A.



answers from Philadelphia on

What about chicken, egg or tuna salad? Or you could by some lunch meat and make your own hoagies. You can do nice small slices and put them on a tray. Tomato pie is also delicious and pretty inexpensive. Good luck :)



answers from Allentown on

baked zita? Mac n cheese

repeat some of the ideas hotdogs



answers from Pittsburgh on

You could do brunch for lunch and make french toast cassarole and egg and meat cassarole ahead of time. I think there are also crock pot recipes for both of these.

Or get a small ham and warm it in the crockpot all morning. Serve with rolls, cheese, mustard, and chips and/or raw veggies.

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