This is something I do a lot. It can drive DH nuts how much I plan, and the kiddos have teased me about it here and there. Planning ahead is something I enjoy, and it often ends up saving us a few dollars.
Right now I’m looking ahead to DD1’s graduation open house. Our family isn’t likely to have too many representatives at the open house, so they aren’t my big consideration in making plans. Our church family, however, makes graduation open houses quite a round of social events. Thus, mainly for parking purposes, we’ve reserved the Fellowship Hall at our church.
An advantage other than parking, is that our church owns chaffing pan set ups, punch bowls, etc, which keeps our costs down. Buying a few sterno burners is no big deal. DD1 was instructed to keep her eyes open last year and decided she’d like a pasta bar. I was so relieved! It’s low cost, filling, and versatile. We’ll offer tomato sauce, alfredo sauce, and meatballs. This way each person can customize. Our local grocery chain had pasta sauce on sale this week for the lowest price I’ve seen in a long time so I picked up several jars.
You have to be willing to gather and store items to get the best overall deals on events like this.
Pasta will be purchased when it goes on sale for $1 per one pound box. (Roughly once a month) Parmesan prices will be watched for that purchase.
She wants s’mores dip with graham crackers. Fortunately I found a huge amount of Christmas Hershey Kisses marked down to $1.19 per bag. My son asked why I couldn’t just use the candy bars. Ah, youth! They have no clue what things cost and how savings can add up.
My daughter also requested a snack mix of Goldfish, Cheeze-It, and Whales. One large box of Goldfish went into the cart. I want two, but only got a sale price today, and would like to get the next box with both a sale and a coupon.
We’re also going to stack Oreo’s to look like a tiered cake, so I’m keeping my eye on their price. I told DD that we’d use the cardboard from frozen pizzas for the base of each layer and she shot me quite a look of revulsion until I assured her that the cardboard would be cleared of food, then covered in foil. I could purchase cardboard bases in the cake decorating supplies, but we’re trying to be frugal here.
I will probably make rolls ahead and freeze them, but haven’t decided if I have the time to spare. Other foods have yet to be determined.
DD agreed to offering punch and water to drink. That will keep it simple. She knows she’ll be helping to get things prepared.
Basically, I will be watching for good sales on any of the ingredients which can be purchased ahead of time between now and June. I want DD’s open house to be enjoyable firstly for her, and secondly for our guests. I don’t, however, wish to end up broke. College starts next fall, and another open house awaits us in June 2018. We really didn’t think about the spacing between our kids carefully enough.