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The Sunday Spread

I love to hostess. Mostly because I love to feed people and see them happy! From early fall straight into the winter is such a great time to be indoors and cozy up with some friends... and what better time for a relaxing afternoon of great food and laughter than on a Sunday. You've got football on the television for the men, cool afternoons for the kids to play in the backyard, and subsequently, some quiet for the women to sit back and chat.

The only trick is what to feed all of these great friends on what could be a "cozy" budget. I recently hosted one such occasion and had to share what could be very close to a perfect menu. And what exactly is "perfect"? Well, start with something to please everyone, easy preparations, and all with a price tag under $100 (for about 25 people). And don't forget all the yummy leftovers you're going to have!

It all starts with a trip to your local Sam's Club. (I'm sure Cosco will have similar options.) Here's a simple shopping list that will get you in and out fast. Many of these items you can substitute for other items of same variety based on your likes and budget.

Paper plates - a must
8# of wings
BBQ sauce
One bag each of:
broccoli florets
baby carrots
bell peppers
edamame
Ranch dressing
One package each of red and green grapes
Melon and strawberries or other "in season" fruit
2 bags of tortilla chips
salsa
2 types of cheeses (I chose a brie wheel and a wedge of Fontina)
box of crackers
2 flats of cocktail croissants
strawberry jam, or other

The guys are going to love the wings, chips, and hopefully toss in some fruits and veggies for good luck. The kids are going to have a ball with the croissants, wings and other fruits and veggies (what kid doesn't love to dip??). And the moms can nosh on cheese and crackers, croissants, and fruits and veggies too... or venture into the world of wings!

It's so easy to let your friends help out by having them bring drinks and desserts - quick and simple! And your prep is absolutely minimal because you're using finger foods and cooking those wings in a crock pot (just drop them in with a bottle of BBQ sauce and TA-DA!).

What are your favorite low cost or low prep party ideas that suit the whole family? Please share! Happy Partying!

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