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Party Food Planning: How Much Per Guest?

by Dollar Stretcher Contributors

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Party Food Planning: How Much Per Guest?

We're planning on having a big New Year's party. In the past when we've had big parties, we always seem to have too much food and drink or not enough. Are there any guidelines that we can follow that will help us get it right? We don't want to disappoint our guests, but we can't afford to waste money either.

Site That Will Help with Party Food Planning

This website gives pretty good information about estimating food for a party. You'll find it here. Hope it helps. I've used it and like it for party planning.

Plan on Leftovers You'll Eat

We host several big parties a year because we have a larger home and a full-size volleyball court, both of which are a rarity in our mountain community! Anyway, we can have the same crowd over on two different occasions and people will consume totally different amounts. You just never know.

The key is to serve things that you like and that freeze well. I typically buy a boneless sliced ham and turkey from Costco along with cheese and rolls for people to make little sandwiches.

Ask the Experts

Ina Garten of the Food Network plans five to six different hor d'oeuvres with 3 of each per person. says to plan on 12 per person.

Learn from Her Potluck Success

I organized a potluck for 20 people several years ago. I told everyone to bring eight to nine servings of whatever they were bringing to the potluck. This seemed like an appropriate number. The amount worked out beautifully! At the end of the night, there were a few leftovers, but the potluck came out about "even." I've used this several times and it has guided me well.

Shop party supplies and decorations at The Oriental Trading Company!

Host a Potluck

Why not have a potluck? Each person brings a dish of their own, and that way, you're not out a ton of money. You can spend it on plastic tableware, drinks, or some other items. Everyone contributes a little bit and it should end up saving you a lot of money.
Joshua C.

Always Make More Than Enough

You never want to run out of food! I would plan ahead and make dishes that any leftovers could be put into meal size containers to be frozen. I would then try to use a container or two as part of a meal at home. Make sure it is not sitting out more than two hours. If that can't be done, divide the dish into two parts and only put one out at a time, so nothing spoils. Be sure to watch when one dish is getting low. Then bring out the second one.
Dee Bee

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