Friday, November 12, 2010

Potluck Tips

Last week I had a MOPS meeting and it was my table's turn to bring refreshments for the group. I usually sign up to bring an egg dish since it's a morning meeting and eggs are cheap, but with the new baby and adjusting to getting out of the house on time I thought I'd better not add cooking/hot food to our morning.

Instead I signed up for a cheese tray because I had two kinds of cheese at home and cheese was on sale that week. Before the meeting, I was also able to find a second sale and in total I was able to prepare a cheese try with 4 kinds of cheese: yellow cheddar, colby jack, white cheddar and pepper jack. All the cheese was $2/lb or less, my price point for cheese, and I feel like I am taking something nice.

Here are my tips for an affordable potluck contribution:
  • If there's a sign-up, do so quickly! You'll be able have your choice of what to bring if you are among the first to make a selection.
  • If the potluck is in the near future, think about what you already have at home as you decide what to bring. You'll save a shopping trip and spend less.
  • If the potluck is further way, think about what is affordable to buy or what you know is on sale or likely to be on sale.
  • Shop for your contribution ahead of time and with an eye on sales.
  • Prepare the food yourself, and make sure you set that time aside. A last minute deli purchase of deviled eggs will cost you!

Here are some of my favorite things to bring to potlucks:

  • Breakfast/Brunch: hard-boiled eggs, egg/potato casserole, cheese tray, home-made breakfast bread.

  • Lunch/Dinner: Dessert! A cake or brownie mix with frosting is under $2 if you buy it on sale, mashed potatoes, fruit or veggie tray (in summer when these prices are low or I can pick from the garden), cheese tray, condiments, cheese/crackers, potato salad, coleslaw, deviled eggs.


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