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J2740LOU SparkPoints: (320,345)
Fitness Minutes: (300,267)
Posts: 3,775
7/3/13 10:29 P

Cowboy Caviar and Taco scoops.

ROXYCARIN SparkPoints: (95,965)
Fitness Minutes: (82,553)
Posts: 3,996
7/2/13 11:11 P

Sounds like a great idea emoticon

AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (74,443)
Posts: 3,293
7/2/13 11:03 P

I am Latin and can make a plate of beans and rice look positively fancy. Using a really nice platter will give most things a boost.

For a time, I was known as Tabbouli Julie. I *think* that this was a compliment. If you have tomatoes, onions and mint in your garden and a can of garbanzos on your shelf, you practically have tabbouli already.

Another thing that I have done for potlucks when times are tough is to make fresh bread. It's something that most people don't have the skill or energy to do, but flour and yeast are pretty inexpensive. How about something like an "artisan" focaccia with rosemary? Tastes great, looks fancy, requires only very basic baking skills.

JULIA1154 Posts: 1,783
7/2/13 7:34 P

This is certainly a timely topic!

JANIEWWJD SparkPoints: (576,234)
Fitness Minutes: (349,367)
Posts: 16,301
7/2/13 6:20 P

Cole slaw or potato salad is always good.

LOVE4KITTIES Posts: 4,690
7/2/13 6:15 P

Potato or macaroni salad are inexpensive and you can lighten them up by using fat free mayo. Egg salad sandwiches (you can make them fancy by cutting the crusts off the bread and making them into little triangles and arranging them artfully on a platter) and some chips are also inexpensive if it's a luncheon. Spaghetti (sauce from a jar with some browned hamburger meat in it), homemade chili or soup are also things I've taken to potlucks. Chips and salsa are often a hit at parties. I like your idea of shells with spaghetti sauce.

KWOOD1955 SparkPoints: (72,886)
Fitness Minutes: (41,438)
Posts: 17,102
7/2/13 5:15 P

Veggie tray. Low fat or fat free dip.

GEVANS7 SparkPoints: (300,554)
Fitness Minutes: (172,213)
Posts: 2,122
7/2/13 3:10 P

I see you made a good decision. My go to party food is pepperoni balls - always a grab and go hit.

3 loaves frozen bread dough
pack of pepperoni

Spray the frozen loaves with Pam and let thaw. Cut each loaf in half lengthwise and cut into bite size pieces. Flatten each piece with a slice of pepperoni and fold the dough around the pepperoni.

Lay on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes on each side until golden brown.

They are GONE in no time.

FENWAYGIRL18 Posts: 5,868
7/2/13 2:51 P

I think I'm going to make shells with spaghetti sauce with chopped green peppers and onions, I have all the ingredients already... I was looking in the cupboard and thought hmmm I could make this....
thanks for all the suggestions

EMMYERS76 SparkPoints: (10,444)
Fitness Minutes: (31,618)
Posts: 218
7/1/13 12:13 P

I like to make a fruit salad inside a watermelon. You cut the melon to look like a basket

Watermelons are pretty cheap right now, and you can pick any other fruit that is cheap

KNUCKLES145 Posts: 16,130
7/1/13 12:06 P

cucumber salad is always a hit

YOJULEZ SparkPoints: (15,981)
Fitness Minutes: (120)
Posts: 2,171
7/1/13 12:05 P

Thought of another one.... this pasta salad is very good, and zucchini and summer squash are in season right now and are often on sale for pretty cheap: The sun-dried tomatoes can be expensive but you could easily leave them out, or replace with cherry/grape tomatoes

EOWYN2424 Posts: 9,108
7/1/13 7:55 A

Mash potatoes and coleslaw!

ROXYCARIN SparkPoints: (95,965)
Fitness Minutes: (82,553)
Posts: 3,996
7/1/13 1:29 A

Pasta salad

ANARIE Posts: 13,192
7/1/13 1:27 A

Use dressing in a narrow-neck bottle instead of dip in a bowl. Then they'll have to pour a little on their plate instead of dipping.

FENWAYGIRL18 Posts: 5,868
7/1/13 12:49 A

I was thinking of making a veggie platter, but some of the people that are going eat like pigs and have no manners so that means double dippers, I've seen them in action before....

FENWAYGIRL18 Posts: 5,868
7/1/13 12:48 A

@ Anarie hahahaha I'd love to go to that supermarket your describing wow sounds like it's wicked cheap hahaha I wish I lived near you, thanks for the suggestions

SUNSET09 SparkPoints: (543,590)
Fitness Minutes: (167,222)
Posts: 135,689
7/1/13 12:09 A

My normal go-to food is a fruit and/or veggie tray. It adds color to the table, they can be used as ganishes and you'll alwasy have something healthy to snack on! If you do it yourself, it's pretty inexpensive! Enjoy your emoticon emoticon

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (250,265)
Fitness Minutes: (41,449)
Posts: 26,965
6/30/13 11:22 P

How about a coleslaw, just using cabbage, some grated carrot, a little spring onion and a jar of reduced fat/low calorie dressing so those who would prefer an undressed coleslaw can have it.

Sweet Potato cubed and microwaved, then dress it with a little wholegrain mustard and mayonnaise and finely chopped mint or parsley.

OR, torn lettuce with some thinly sliced red capsicum, cubed telegraph cucumber, thinly sliced red onion, cherry tomatoes, some crumbled Feta and a little balsamic dressing.

OR button mushrooms, sliced with some sliced spring onion and low calorie French Dressing.

OR you could take a fresh pineapple or watermelon and slice them into small serves on a platter.

They are all very quick, cheap, popular, healthy, and easy.


ANARIE Posts: 13,192
6/30/13 10:23 P

Check the grocery flyers to see what's on special. The supermarket I would go to if it weren't 300 miles away has cucumbers 7 for a dollar and onions 5 pounds for a dollar, which would make refrigerator pickles; watermelon is on special 10 cents a pound and you can find instructions on the internet to carve it in fancy shapes that will make everyone ooh and ahh; peaches and nectarines are 50 cents a pound, grapes are 99 cents a pound, eggs are $1.79 for a dozen and a half, and so on. Obviously you won't have the same specials where you are, but something's going to be on sale. For me, it's easier to see what things I can afford and choose my favorite option from among them, rather than make a list of what I'd like to have and then see what I can afford.

HHB4181 SparkPoints: (83,738)
Fitness Minutes: (38,083)
Posts: 3,203
6/30/13 9:47 P

quinoa salad. there's some recipes for it on

JEFFGIRL Posts: 11,255
6/30/13 9:41 P

Macaroni salad, tossed salad, deviled eggs, fruit salad is a little pricier. You could bring a watermelon cut in a fruit basket, but again a little pricier. We get some great pies (also cookies for my grandkids) for really good prices at B.J. Pumpkin pie (big) for $5, the cookies for a big platter about the same, apple pie $6 and I believe coconut custard the same.

ATHENA1966 Posts: 3,976
6/30/13 9:20 P

I don't know how healthy this is but a macaroni or potato salad are usually winners. You could also take rice pilaf(rice, celery, chicken broth), a fruit salad (canned pineapple, maraschino cherries, whipped cream, chopped nuts). A healthy salad with tomato's, cucumbers, peppers.).

YOJULEZ SparkPoints: (15,981)
Fitness Minutes: (120)
Posts: 2,171
6/30/13 9:17 P

This salsa recipe is very easy and cheap to make:

If you wanted to make it a more substantial side dish, take some fresh green beans and boil them for about 3 minutes, then mix with the salsa and a bit of olive oil.

FENWAYGIRL18 Posts: 5,868
6/30/13 9:16 P

thanks for the ideas can't call in sick it's her 80th birthday

JIACOLO SparkPoints: (552,794)
Fitness Minutes: (220,317)
Posts: 30,480
6/30/13 9:13 P

Check out the recipes on Spark! I made a corn salad from the recipes page. Easy, cheap, and good. It was a big hit! Canned veggies made it easy and inexpensive.

HAPPYJAY SparkPoints: (17,353)
Fitness Minutes: (15,546)
Posts: 307
6/30/13 9:08 P

call in sick

TOOMANYCATS75 SparkPoints: (324)
Fitness Minutes: (353)
Posts: 23
6/30/13 9:05 P

I suggest some jello with bananas in it. Very cheap, and easy to prepare!

JUDYAMK SparkPoints: (30,896)
Fitness Minutes: (9,921)
Posts: 2,248
6/30/13 8:58 P

1.jello, with a can of drained fruit cocktail added
2.frozen bread dough in freezer section in grocery store,a sliced bag of pepperoni ,after dough rises take small pieces roll in ball with a slice of pepperoni placed inside bake 350 for 25 min.or sometimes you can buy crescent rolls to use depending if on sale & how many at party.
3. 1 can of cream corn 1 can of whole corn ( drain) 1 /2 stick of melted butter 3 beaten eggs 2 cups of milk mix well bake at 350 for 1 & 1/2 hours

FENWAYGIRL18 Posts: 5,868
6/30/13 7:34 P

MIL's birthday party on the 4th of July, don't have a lot of money but want to make something to bring for food any suggestions?

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