Monday, April 27, 2009

Make It Yourself Monday - Party fruit & veggie trays

I love to cook and would much prefer to eat something homemade then made from a box. Homemade food tastes better to me and my family and a lot of the time the meals are healthier and less expensive than their store made, processed counterparts. Make It Yourself Monday gives me a chance to experiment with some recipes that I might not have tried before.

As we were planning my 1 yo's first birthday party, my husband suggested that we buy pre-made veggie and fruit trays from the local grocery store. In horror, I gasped, "I'll do it myself". I was positive I could do it for far less money, but I had never analyzed it before.

With one phone call to the grocery store for some pricing information, I knew I could save a lot of money making the trays myself. We were having about 30 relatives for the party, mostly adults who nosh on anything and everything.

Medium veggie tray - $19.99, feeds 14-16 people
Large veggie tray - $26.99, feed 20-25 people
Medium fruit tray - $29.99, feeds 16-20 people
Large fruit tray - $35.99, 20-28 people

I shopped at this same store and bought cucumber, red pepper, celery, carrots, grape tomatoes, cantaloupe, grapes, strawberries, and a pineapple. My bill for all of this was about $16. I used ranch dressing that was in my fridge and I made some hummus for dip for the veggies. I didn't bother with dip for the fruit, because instead of putting the fruit on a tray, I mixed it all together and made one big fruit salad.

It all turned out delicious and I saved at least $34, depending on what size pre-made tray I would have bought. I also think my selection of produce was better than what is included in the pre-made trays. I am not a big fan of honey dew and cauliflower.

Some might think that it would be worth the price to not have to chop all of that produce, but honestly I find chopping to be therapeutic. Ever since I invested in good knives many years ago, I like to chop!

If you read last week's post about the strawberry cupcakes that I made for the party, you know that I also saved money on those as well. That makes my total savings on this party at least $71.50 over other parties we have had. I have learned my lesson, I can do it just as well and for far less money.

Other Make It Yourself Monday posts you might enjoy:
There are many more, look for the "Make It Yourself Monday" label on the right side of the blog.

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