If a roast isn't in your budget, buy stew beef and stretch it with carrots, potatoes and mushrooms to create a beef stew. To stretch your dollar even further, cook the stew in your slow cooker all day before the party. The long cooking time makes meat more tender so you can get by with a less expensive cut. Accompany it with crusty bread and a green salad, and you have the perfect meal to share with friends.
To get more for your money, avoid buying packaged or processed foods. You spend more for these items, and even if you're not much of a kitchen wiz, you'll still make out better if you choose a few simple recipes you can prepare yourself. Trim your costs and impress your guests with homemade buttermilk biscuits or chocolate mousse, for example. Both are surprisingly easy and inexpensive to make on your own.
Prepare a few pounds of different pasta shapes (linguine, rotini and farfalle are a few good choices) and offer an assortment of sauces, salad and breadsticks for a fun and filling meal that works especially well in a group.
Breakfast foods are relatively inexpensive, and who doesn't love breakfast for dinner? Serve breakfast or brunch favorites like waffles, pancakes, quiche, bacon or sausage, fruit salad, coffee cake, muffins and a bread basket accompanied by butter and jam.
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