How to Feed 50 People on a Budget

by RhiannaJ ; Updated September 28, 2017

Feeding an army of people has never been cheap, and grocery prices are higher than ever these days, but if you’re smart about it, it can be done. If you’re planning a social event or reunion, save some money by shopping the sales, using coupons, and doing the cooking yourself.


Plan your menu around your weekly grocery circulars. Each store will have deep discounts on certain items. These are called loss leaders. These sale items are designed to get you in the store with the hope that you will purchase the other items on your list at regular price, resulting in a net profit for the store. You can circumvent this strategy, however, by shopping at multiple stores. It will take more time, but you’ll save some serious cash.

Search for manufacturer and store coupons for the items on your menu. You can visit coupon sites like and use their coupon databases to locate the current coupons available including those in newspaper inserts as well as their printable counterparts.

Do a bit of research on the coupon policies of the grocery stores in your area. While most stores accept coupons, some of them double on some or all days of the week. Being aware of this information will help you maximize your coupon savings.

Organize your coupons by store; that is, put the coupons you plan to use at each store in a separate envelope labeled with the store name. You may also want to include a list of any sale items you wish to purchase at each store that you may not have coupons for.

Visit the stores to purchase the items you need. You may want to devote an entire day to this or split up the trips over several days depending on how many stores you need to go to.

Cook the food yourself rather than hiring a caterer. Some foods can be cooked ahead of time and frozen until the day of the event. Keep this in mind when planning your cooking schedule.