How Do I Feed 16 People on a Budget at a Remote Location?

Updated on April 17, 2009
K.V. asks from Fenton, MI
22 answers

Hi Everyone, I just know that someone will have a great idea out there for me. My son made the baseball team at school and the powers that be decided that since they play double headers, to ease the burden on all the parents at all the games, each parent would provide a meal for the team and coaching staff for between the 2 games. So, what do I do? Some suggestions by the organizer was subway $5 subs ($50), plus cookies and I am not sure about drinks but that's easy with a big cooler. Obviously, that's a lot of money. If I can't come up with any other options, then I will do it, since it really isn't unreasonable considering that I am not providing a meal for my son for all of the games, but I could balogna if I was jsut providing for him.

Obviously, I could still do peanut butter or bologna for my day, but I don't want to be the only one who cheaps out. (Is that what I am doing?) I thought about sloppy joes, but don't have anyplace to plug a crock pot in to keep it warm. I thought about taking a grill and cooking hotdogs on the spot. I will make some brownies or cookies or something to go with it, that's a no brainer. It's the main dish that has me stumped.

Any ideas would be terrific!!!

1 mom found this helpful

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E.F.

answers from Detroit on

I wonder why this is the situation at all with all of the dietary restrictions and tastes that vary amongst the group. Why can't each child bring his own brown bag dinner to each game? Perhaps the parents should meet and decide themselves. I wouldn't want the hassle of this, and I think to let everyone go on their own is better. Each child will get what he wants, a parent can spend what they can afford, and everyone should be happy. My vote is to reconvene with the parents and vote on this. You cannot be the only one concerned with the expense of this. If that does not work, I say hotdogs and chips. If people cannot eat this or do not like it, they can bring their own. You aren't a short order cook.

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G.G.

answers from Detroit on

This may be corny, but, my kids love blueberry pancakes. I always make them up ahead of time, and take them in a Ziploc bag wherever we go. You can buy the pre-boxed kind, all you have to do is add water - at Meijer. They're yummmyyyy! Anyway, you could take a pre-filled icing decorator, and make the pancakes look like baseballs with red frosting!

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J.M.

answers from Lansing on

I have done several "tournament" meals. If the sloppy joes are hot when you leave your house or you have an invertor in your car, they will stay warm for several hours. The only problem is if it is sub zero outside. Wrap the crock in towels and transport. We have also done cheesy potatoes and ham, casseroles (lasagna, spaghetti, stew) all in crock pots without plugging them in. We have also done "walking" tacos. Take mini bags of Doritos and have taco meat and the fixins available for them to make within the bag and a fork to eat with. With boys you'll want 2-3 a piece for planning. The kids get tired of sandwiches each time. Since you are outside remember to have a way to wash their hands and trash bags for afterwards as they are not always available. I keep an old laundry soap container with soapy water in it and paper towels for hand washing. Have fun with it.

1 mom found this helpful
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S.H.

answers from Detroit on

I think your hotdog idea is FABULOUS!!!! It is - afterall - baseball ;) They don't want anything to big anyway if they are playing another game...who wants to be the kid throwing up between second and third base anyway? LOL

As for "cheaping out"...NO WAY!!! We can all afford what we can afford and the whole keeping up with the Jones' is so in the past...especially in this economy. I would bet you are not the only team parent thinking this.

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G.B.

answers from Detroit on

Not everyone likes bologna (I never have!) or can eat peanut butter (same for that!) so I think the hot dogs are great. I love the sloppy joe idea but warming them would be troublesome and they are a mess at any rate. Is there something you can heat before you come and keep in an insulated bag? The hot dogs maybe would work for this. I'd wrap each one in its bun and a piece of foil so they're ready to go and have the condiments set up in a box. Also fruit would be good with them or individual bags of chips. You might try beef hot dogs.

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C.B.

answers from Detroit on

I like the $5 pizza idea and I bet there is a place that you can still get them warm (maybe even delivered) for the game. Also, I thought of $1 burgers. Don't McDonalds or Wendys - KFC??? Still have some sort of $1 menu? That along with chips and homemade cookies could be good too.

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S.M.

answers from Saginaw on

Hello K., If you have a slow cooker do chilli or something like that. If not, make a cassorole or mac and cheese, then insolate the pan with layers of tin foil and paper bags. Good luck and have fun.

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B.B.

answers from Detroit on

since the orginizers suggested subway there will probibly be a few subway meals... lol
I also thought about the adapter... lol

I like the idea about hotdogs... That would be easy to do.
Or you could do make your own subs with buns and meat that is sliced by the deli (ask your deli people if you buy a chub of meat would they slice it free for you)
Pizza would run about the same as the subs probibly (think of little cesars $5.- anytime deal)
Is there any way to scout out the area before hand? I would think that they would have SOME outlets somewhere...
What about a steno set up?
Otherwise, for feeding lots of people on a budget I would suggest spagetti or tacos... If you can figure out how to keep it warm that is...

Good luck!

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A.J.

answers from Lansing on

Hi K.! I'm surprised that they are having 1 parent at a time take care of the meals for the games. When my boys played (only been a couple of years since they graduated), there was always a sign up sheet for food. Granted, there was a core group of Mom's that handled it but never one parent trying to figure it out. Team dinners were another thing but usually there was a Mom that offered to help with dessert and there were many team dinners over the years that we had to bring a dish to pass. When we did the Subways - the boys had to bring $5 to the game.

I saw that some people suggested talking to other Mom's and I would suggest that if a bunch of you got together, you could all work together to come up with a meal instead of it being dumped on one family. There aren't that many double headers in a season. I would think it would be easier to work as a team when it came to feeding a team - both on the family budget and on the group as a whole (work and family demands). Good luck!

T.M.

answers from Lansing on

Okay sounds crazy, but I've done it. Do you have an adapter for your car charger that allows you to plug electronic things in? If so, you can plug your crock pot in it and keep sloppy joes, meatballs, spaghetti, etc. warm in it. The tricky part is just making sure it doesn't tip over while you're driving.

Good luck!

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V.G.

answers from Grand Rapids on

First, I would contact the parents and see if there are any dietary restrictions, or ask the organizer to do this. If you are thinking you could bring a grill then besides hot dogs, you could also do hamburgers or sausages, or a combination of two or three. I know that are family typically doesn't eat hot dogs, and when we do they have to either be 100% beef or Kosher. It's not a religious thing, it's that we know what is those type whereas you never know what by products they use for regular hot dogs. You could also bring potatoe salad to go with it.

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D.S.

answers from Grand Rapids on

K.; i think your idea of hotdogs is great, also you need to consider your time you have between games, to feed them, most guys are for simply things, hotdogs and buns, and chips and pop are great, they will be hungry after the one game but dont need to be loaded down for next game if i heard you correctly, either way i say keep it simple, if you are good at grilling hot dogs go for it, its not cheaping out, it will still cost, either way have fun, and enjoy ,is it about feeding the troops or impressing everyone ? this is why they shared the expense. keep it simple, for yourself and clean up and for the guys they all will appreciate just something simple, or you could always do old fashioned cold cuts, and have each make their sandwhich then focus on cheeses, condiments, and you can still do chips and pop, you still are buying bread, etc, i say keep it simple, have a good day , and enjoy life and each other and dont stress over food, D. s

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C.K.

answers from Grand Rapids on

I do this weekly and its about 15 to 20 a week.

First meal was Spaghetti and Meatballs ( a crowd Favorite) Speghetti is on sale at Spartan 10 for 10 its about 4 - 6 packages, Sauce ( Hello canned Prego 10 for 10 ) and Meatballs ( one bag cut into 4ths after cooked or if you get 36 balls 3 balls per person, Parmesan cheese and then garlic bread that is 1.00 a loaf and 3 loafs were plenty

Next meal Mac and Cheese with Chicken Nuggets ( cheap nuggets an instant hit and Mac and Cheese ( velvetta and Shells home made rather than thru the package ) with Apples

Next meal a crowd favorite Subs Home made rather than subway
Lettuce tomatoes, pickles, olives and banana peppers on side 3 types of lunch meat ( I get it from Costco cheap and plenty for 4 subs ) Cheese provolone from Costco and the big sub breads from Costco top with mustard and mayo on the side and bag of chips from Aldi's which are 5 dollars for 24 bags.

HOpe this helps. One thing that might help too is parents would have to buy food anyways why not do it to where dinner is $2.00 a week which makes your out of pocket cost less and I know parents would pay $2 for dinner for their meals

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M.W.

answers from Kalamazoo on

You could do a taco salad, or potato salad to go with your hot dog idea. You could make your own subs. Buy several large french breads, and load up with toppings then cut into 4 inch sections, that's pretty cheap if you do it yourself. A large bag of Doritos or potato chips put into a bowl and several 2 liter drinks and you're covered. Good luck, cooking cheap can be tough when you have others to think about - and no electricity - but I'm sure you'll get great ideas and find something good!

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J.L.

answers from Detroit on

They have some nice subs at Walmart you could cut them to size and they do make nice sandwiches... Also you could do pita wraps which are nice... Drinks you could do water or juice stay away from pop if you can thats to much..
Hope this helps

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P.R.

answers from Detroit on

Hot dogs are the best way to go..they taste even better when bbq'd...My dil did that for between one of her sons games, brought the grill, hot dogs, if the budget allows maybe some brats, then a pasta salad, desert and drinks....easy to make, easy to clean up, you can buy bulk also at Sams or Costco.

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R.W.

answers from Jackson on

I would do homemade cookies/brownies. A couple loaves of high quality bread, a couple (3?) pounds of turkey, ham, and cheese, mayo mustard a bag of chips (or individual serving bags) and a case of water.

anything left over you can take home to feed your family

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M.D.

answers from Detroit on

What about Little Ceasar's $5. pizzas? A $5. pizza would feed a lot more than a $5. sub. Also, they have really inexpensive but filling crazy bread..
If the team has a large cooler you could just make Hi-C or gatorade mix with water. You can also rent these or maybe somebody on the team has one at home. Just provide plastic cups (can buy at dollar store).
Otherwise, I feel that peanut butter and jelly is just fine, who doesn't love that? If the other parents outshine you in the cool food department.. then good for them. Some people's self esteem depends upon it. So now you've also provided community service with your PB&J.

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T.A.

answers from Grand Rapids on

K.,

My mom and aunts do catering and one thing they have done in the past was to make individually wrapped sandwiches. Ham and cheese on a bun, or turkey and cheese on a bun. They usually get large packages of lunchmeat at Gordons Food service, or get a large boneless ham on sale and ask the meat dept at the grocery store to slice it for them (usually it is a free service if you buy it there). They put the meat and cheese on the buns and wrap each in saran wrap. Suprisingly once you get an assembly line system going it really doesn't take that long to make them in volume.

You could round out the meal with some salads like potato, or macaroni, or even baked beans ( I have an awesome homemade recipe that are excellent cold, if you want it I would be happy to share it with you), chips, pickles, condiments, you could do 2 liters of pop, or even kool-aid made in advance in milk jugs. Cupcakes, or cookies for dessert. Good luck.

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L.J.

answers from Detroit on

little ceasers $5 pizza can't go wrong with that plus you can eat it cold

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D.J.

answers from Detroit on

i think your suggestion of grilling hot dogs chips and a dessert is great and it gives the kids a break from subway the will love the different meals also check your fast foods and pizza places the give donations of free item or reduced cost or little ceasers or make some salads or tuna chicken and egg salad sandwiches

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T.N.

answers from Detroit on

Nothing wrong with Little Caesars Hot and Ready pizzas... $5 each and you don't have to buy each kid their own pizza.. It would be a lot cheaper than buying each kid their own sub.. I think 5 pizzas would be plenty and half the money that you would spend at Subway... I don't know a kid who doesn't like pizza... Good Luck!!

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