How to Feed Houseguests on a Budget

budget meals for guests

Hosts who have invited houseguests for a party or gathering can feel quite daunted by the prospect of feeding multiple mouths all at once.

It can be hard enough of a task to feed the family during the week, let alone opening up the doors for dozens of friends, family members or neighbours as well.

Yet this is an occasion that should not require a significant investment.

Some will be happy to throw thousands at a local catering service, but by following some core principles and practices, this is an activity that can be pulled off without delving deep into the red.

Know Your Guest Numbers

The first step that any homeowner should take when feeding guests on a budget is having knowledge of the numbers. If there are latecomers or additional plus ones that blow out the original planning, that can force extra cooking and shopping endeavours that adds stress and dollars to the project. know the numbers upfront and then proceed.

Keep The Food Simple

Houseguests don’t need to be treated to extravagant meals when invited to a home. If that is their expectation, they are always welcome to go and dine at a high-end restaurant or a boutique bed and breakfast. From garlic breads and soups for winter conditions to light salads and skewers for warm summer weather, find items that are easy to curate and prepare. Leave the extravagance to the beverages if necessary.

Source The Ingredients Fresh

There might be some added time pressures involved with shopping for fresh food within 24 hours of feeding houseguests, but it is the best method of getting value for money. Whether you are preparing a plate of burritos, cheese platters, pizza or a mixed vegetable salad, the freshness of the ingredients will transform a basic offering to one that can be considered restaurant quality.

Pot and Wok Meals

Whilst quality might be considered an issue for homeowners operating on a limited budget, quantity is not. This is especially true for those consumers that embrace the pot and wok approach, investing in pasta, noodles and rice dishes that fill plenty of plates in quick time. The range of possibilities are seemingly endless when using the pot/wok foundation, including fried rice, spaghetti, curry, linguine or Chow Mein/Pad Thai. Once the ingredients have been prepared and the meal has been allowed to settle, large portions can be served and there is plenty of scope for seconds.


The BBQ remains one of the best cost effective cooking methods that can feed plenty of mouths without setting the budget deep into the red. All manner of meats (steak, pork, chicken, sausage), seafood, chips, onions and more can be allocated to the BBQ and complimented by an even spread of salt and extra virgin olive oil. The meal will have that rustic authentic taste and act as a signature item for the plate.

Filling Snacks

Whilst it is fresh and healthy to serve up plated snacks like beetroot dip or asparagus in prosciutto, guests can quickly run through their appetite when served filling snacks. This can include anything from chocolate cookies to blueberry muffins and baked brownies. These ingredients are not overly expensive to purchase from the local supermarket and will eliminate those hunger cravings.


While there will be hosts who can go all out with their cooking needs and spend thousands of dollars in the process, this is an exercise that can be well managed fiscally by following some smart steps. Anyone can enjoy restaurant dining if that is what they are seeking, but parties and gatherings at suburban homes are all about that warm and pleasant feel, qualities that should be reflected in the food.