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So, apparently we are now hosting a New Years Eve bash that originally hubby's family was supposed to pitch in for, but now he hasn't asked anyone and to be uncomfortable doing so. I need to feed 8 adults and 11 kids. Any cheap ideas that I could do? I was thinking nachos and chili beans, I will make a batch of brownies, a batch of banana nut bread, and some cookies(have all that stuff mostly on hand). Any other suggestions?
 

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If you feel up to it you can call/email folks with a reminder about the party tomorrow, and casually say "feel free to bring drinks or snacks". Most folks will get the hint.

Homemade iced tea and lemonade from drink mix packets are really cheap. You don't need to provide alcohol, but you may want to get one cheap bottle of champagne... just enough for the adults to have a sip and a toast at midnight.

Veggies and dip: see what's cheap where you are. Celery, carrots, bell pepper, nothing fancy.

Mini sandwiches: egg salad, cheese spread, chicken salad, cream cheese and jelly
 

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I suggest making a list of who could bring what and calling the other families involved and asking them to bring something. Or forget the list and tell them what you'll provide, and ask them what they'd be willing to bring. Add each person's contribution to the list so you can tell the next person what's on the menu already.

If you don't want to do that, make a couple big batches of flavored popcorn, one savory, one sweet.

Just about anything homemade will be your friend costwise.

Rice Krispies always go over well with kids and adults.

Is there a place where you can buy the giant economy sized bags of snacks?

Check grocery ads for some healthy items like celery and carrots so people who want to avoid the high-calorie stuff can still snack on something. Both of those are on sale here this week, so maybe they are where you are, too. If you're near a Walmart, they sell large jars of olives and pickles reasonably.

You don't have a lot of time, so don't do anything that takes a lot of time.

What about simple HM pizza? Or a pile of cheap pizzas from the store? Kids will eat anything.

Hot apple cider in a big Crock-Pot is good when it's cold. Maybe a punch bowl of non-alcoholic punch or fruit juice mixture that kids and adults can drink. If you're serving liquor or people will bring liquor, make the punch suitable for mixing so you don't have to buy as many mixes. If you want to serve mixes, check online for recipes to make your own which will be way cheaper than buying ready made mixes. Or pick one or two drinks you can make up in a large batch, such as hard lemonade. If you're using ice in a punch bowl, freeze whatever you're using in the punch into a ring, so as it melts it won't water down the punch. (Alcoholic mixtures will get slushy and not freeze hard enough, so leave out the alcohol if you freeze a ring for a punch bowl.)

Most importantly, don't stress! Relax and have fun!
 

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Someone already mentioned veggies and dip. Try some apples and dip as well. Or apples, chunks of cheese (like chedder, mozzerella, and/or brie), and chunks of french bread as well.

Homemade tea (iced or hot) go well for drinks. The mulled cider (and regular cider for the kids) also goes well.
 

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If you feel uncomfortable at this late date asking them to bring something, I'd throw together a large lasagna and hot dogs for the kids and a big green salad. A loaf of Italian bread. Done.
 

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I wouldn't hesitate to call and ask, can you bring a salad, can you bring a dessert, or whatever. Can't believe no one asked, What can I bring?

Are they just total freeloaders or what?
 

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Another option: baked potato bar. Cheap, filling and easy. Put out some sour cream, shredded cheese and bacon bits. You could even double up the nacho toppings for this.
 

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A few weeks ago my guy friends decided to invite themselves over for poker night (my house is the largest f all my friends) I did a quick and cheap taco night spread and it was a rave.
 

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Meatballs or weenies in the crockpot. Jello cake is easy & yummy! Dips & chips veggies cut up. Cheeses & crackers. Cucumber sandwiches are easy. Pasts salad. Breadsticks & marinara sauce.
 

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If you can tear yourselves away from the tv and don't mind not sipping champagne at the stroke of midnight, I once heard of a LOVELY (free) tradition, I forget where it was from... somewhere south of the border, but can't recall HOW south...

Just before midnight, everyone leaves the house carrying a suitcase (usually empty) and walks around the block, not returning home until after the stroke of midnight. They literally leave behind the old year and return to a new one. In some families, they discuss what they "brought with them" in their suitcases into the new year (again, it's metaphorical, nothing actually in the suitcases.)

So for example, I might say I am bringing my love for my children, my hope for a bright future, and the things I have learned from past experiences into my new year, but in my old year, I left behind any bad feelings.

As the hostess, be sure to announce before you go back in that you left behind the mess of the party and are "moving in" to a clean house, then act completely surprised and outraged that someone broke into your "new home" and messed it up ;D Also, whatever your s.o. announces he left behind, point to your suitcase and loudly announce that he'd forget his head if it wasn't screwed on, but it's ok, you packed it (his bad habits and other stuff he said he left behind) FOR him and it's right there in your suitcase :D (Example, if he says he left behind all that guilt he has from forgetting your birthday, that's ok, you packed it for him...) :D

Anyway, just an idea...
 
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