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How can I feed an office of 17 lunch on a $40 budget?

I buy lunch for my office mates every Friday. I have a $40 budget and I'm running out of ideas. I've done sandwiches, KFC (not enough food), and Costco pizza. Anyone have any cheap and easy ideas I can use?

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A giant TACO SALAD
3-4 heads of lettuce, chopped
People add the following to their bowl as they choose:
1. Cooked taco seasoned hamburger 3-4 lbs
2. Pinto beans canned and drained 3 cans
3. Whole kernel corn canned and drained 3 cans
4. Chopped tomatoes 4-6 large
5. Chopped yellow onion I medium
6. Shredded cheese (shred yourself to save money) 3-4 cups
7. And offer Catalina and Ranch Dressing 2 bottles each
Provide bowls or plates and have items set up (or just mixed them all together yourself but you may have vegetarians so mix all together yourself except meat. DONT MIX UNTIL it's time to be served. MIX in a large bowl.
Have them use the dressing of their choice but the recipe calls to add Catalina Dressing ONLY to the whole thing that has been mixed together.

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Some people add more things such as sliced black olives, but these ingredients above mixed together with the lettuce willl all bind nicely and it's delicious!!
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What a good idea.
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I'm hungry now...
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Yummy!!! Great idea!!:-).
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Thank you Witt !
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Many people add a bag of Fritos (Fritoes?) to this because it adds crunch and flavor.
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You may look out for a cheap hotel where you can buy them food and drinks. For instance, you can go to McDonalds, where you can purchase French fries at good prices. You may also question the people what they would wish to take, which will be an easier way to buy them food that they desire.

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Bring/make "homemade" sub sandwiches. It works for birthday parties also. (like bring containers of sliced pickle, tomatoes, onion, lettuce, olive, avocado, etc. Bring hoagie bread and packets of mayo/mustard/salt/pepper)

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Subway

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Tell everyone to chip in. You probably cant even feed 10 mouths with only 40 let a lone 17 lol.

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If you want to put a little effort in you can make chili. I make a big crock pot full and take it into my husband's office with a bag of shredded cheese, some chopped onions and a box of crackers.

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Ginormous salad. Homemade chili. & store bought cake

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You can probably do so with pizza. Also, get soda from dollar store. Maybe hot dogs and burgers if you make them. I like the chili idea though.

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McDonald dollar menu lol

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Hotdogs, chips, fruit, and soda. Easy and simple. You might even have money left over.

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This is a good idea.
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Go to KFC you can get the best deal.

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tried KFC one, went over budget by $7 and still didn't have enough food. But thanks :)
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Hope y'all like McDonalds, haha.

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Stouffer's makes a frozen lasagna in family size that will run you about $10 each. If you have an oven at your work or somewhere to cook it, this will work. They have a vegetable one for vegetarians. Walmart sells gallons of ice tea for $3 something each. The lasagnas are pretty tasty, fit your budget, can easily feed 17 people and are something different from what you have been serving. Love Sincerity's Taco Salad idea.

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I'm not really answering your question but going with a homemade meal on a $40 dollar budget would be amazing, you could include so much more than if you bought it from a restaurant. And if your a good chef you can show off your skills and if your not, find recipes and follow them to the T and you should be good.

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build your own tortillas!! pick one or all of the following breakfast burrito/snack burritos/chicken-cheese burritos. for breakfast-scramble eggs, make your own hashbrowns, chop tomatoes, peppers, onions, mushrooms, purchase a few bags of small flour tortillas, shredded cheese and chow! for snack ones, use sliced apples and shredded cheese-micro til warm and add some jello w/fruit and a salad. chicken and cheese..is.just that!!
Bake a whole bag of potatoes and make a potato bar...add toppings like onions, bacon, tomatoes, brocolli, cheese, etc. and then add huge tub of cheaper ice cream with various toppings and you've got a meal!!

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Just wanted to let you know the "build you own breakfast burritos" was a hit, they loved it! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
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little ceasars pizza. ten bucks for a large pizza, you should be fine.

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Hot and Ready Little Caesars for $5.50.
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go to McDonald and buy dollar burgers

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if you got a crock pot you can never go wrong with chili served with rice or cornbread. Ordering out is way too expensive anymore. I have recipes for several cost effective and DELICIOUS crock pot meals and a cornbread recipe so good it will make you want to smack your mamma! holler at me if you are interested!

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SarcasticAndSweet
Well, I'm interested in any recipes for crock pot meals!
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Hawaiian Chili
2 lbs browned ground beef or turkey
1 each green and yellow bell pepper cut in chunky pieces
1 good sized vidalia onion ( I use 2 cause I love em!)
2 cans stewed tomatoes (juice and all) cut up in chunks
2 cans CONTRADINA tomato paste (do not substitute, there is a difference)
1 can chunk pineapples juice and all
1t ea chili powder, cummin, Ms Dash, black pepper, salt
1T ea MSG, crushed or minced garlic

Simmer above all day on Low and serve over JASMINE rice It is the bomb!

Chicken Paprikash:
4 -6 boneless chicken breasts &/or thighs sauted. (I saute in peanut oil)
One med to large Vidalia Onion (sauted)
2t HUNGARIAN or SPANISH Paprika
2 crushed galic cloves
1T Garlic powder
salt to taste
32 0z of Chicken broth
1 pt sour cream

Saute the chicken and onion and add to pot with the rest of ingredients. hold off on adding the sour cream. Slow cook for about 2 hrs add sourcream and serve over Halushki dumplings

Halushki dumplings:
2 1/2 c all purpouse flour
healthy pinch of salt
2 eggs
water.
combine ingredients in bowl andding water until the dough is like play-dough. transfer dough to plate and using a teaspoon, cut of 1/2 tsp portions of dough in boiiling water DO NOT STOP FOR ANYTHING ONCE YOU START OR THEY WILL NOT COOK EVENLY! Stir frequently to make the dumplings float. one all is spoon ed i stirr for a minute or two to make sure that they are all cooked and not sticking together and then dump off into a strainer rinsing them first with cold water than hot. Serve with the paprikash, gravy (as a side dish) or velveeta Queso and sharp cheddar cheese sauce (the kids love tht one!)

ENJOY!


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The first recipe is my own creation (variation on a theme) the second is an old Slovak favorite! ENJOY!
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SarcasticAndSweet
Thank you so, so much!! You took a lot of time to share those and I appreciate it!
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I thank you, as well! Will try one or all of these at home first (I'm not a cook, lol) and then see how we do. Thanks again, you are a rockstar for taking the time to share these recipes
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Get a partner.
Stop.
If you do this every Friday, what have you done in the past?

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Could not agree more!!!!
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I've done Costco pizza, KFC (not enough food), deli sandwich's, hot dogs with potato and macaroni salads, with chips (4th of July theme), last week I did chicken soft tacos w/chips and guacamole and that's it, I recently started this job and was told the previous secretary did mostly pizza and sandwiches.
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If the budget is limited to that extent, why bother.
If you want the office to really enjoy the lunch,ask them to chip in.

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$40.00 won't get you too far if you need to set aside a small budget for special need meals; i.e., diabetic, no sugar/salt, vegetarians, etc. If that is not the case, I do like the salad and chili idea.

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what you could do is go to a chinese restaurant at closing time and buy what is left over from the days work.they will give you a real good deal on good food

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simply buy a case of water and mcdonalds

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make it yhurself

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Go to a $1 store Nd get cup noodles or make something out of produce

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27 hamburgers (incase people want extras off the Dollar Menu at McDonald's and 2 large fries and a BUNCH of waters

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Simple make it at home :)

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A meat ball sub. Make your own Meatballs in the crock pot, spaghetti sauce, sub rolls, maybe some grated cheese, a bag, or two of chips, and a case of water, or a gallon of ice tea. Get your ingredients when on sale, and you can do the work ahead of time. Figure at least 4-5 meatballs per person, depending on their size. If you are not willing to make the meatballs, go to BJ's or Costco, or even Target has them. You can find them if with the frozen food. Be sure to dish them out yourself, some people will naturally be piggies.
Borrow a crock pot or two for the meatballs, canned spaghetti sauce, doctor it up with oregano and basil, if you wish. You should come out very well! And everyone will be full and impressed.

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Awesome idea, thanks!!
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Easy, baked potato bar. 20 lb bag of Idaho. Some shredded cheese, salsa, guacamole, bacon bits, sour cream. Every one can cook their potato themselves in a microwave. Takes about 3 minutes. Make a salad to go with. Sun tea. Some cookies from the dollar store, viola!

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Spaghetti is the way to go. I make it for my office sometimes and they absolutely love it. Boil 3 boxes of pasta. Brown a 1 1/2 of hamburger with chopped onions and peppers, salt, and lots of black pepper, then add 1 jar of Ragu veg. medley and 2 jars of sweet basil. Easy and delicious. 2 bottles of cheap soda and 2 loaves of italian bread.

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I should have said 2 jars of sweet basil tomato sauce not 2 jars of basil
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taco salad

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get a huge sub from wal-mart or subway....those 5 or 6 footers, should do the trick! or do a homemade soup, salad and breadsticks. can get the breadsticks cheap at the deli or freezer section.

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Any fast food dollar menu. Or, you could get a couple of the $5 pizzas from little ceasers and a thing or two of soda.

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ok looka here! get yourself some pork shoulder have it slider or chopped by your butcher @ $9 or less get some boneless chicken thighs ...cook separately til meat is real tender with seasoning separate pots...so the have 2 choices of meat. Chop up 2 heads of lettuce and 5 tomatos some cheese and paper plates and bbq sauce on side with hamburger buns on side you can easily do this for under 40...I cater so I know

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Mc. Donolds

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Just try to get a platter with assorted food.This will be good for vegetarians and for other people as well.

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bakery's have sandwiches in triangle slices get them assorted kinds its cheap and good

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just get 2 large pizzas at dominoes.

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I am sorry but when I read your questioned I was shocked! The question comes to mind. Everyone involved in this makes the same money? It seems unfair as some people of course have different budget than others. Also they have different food tastes. I prefer to prepare wonderful dinners for my family than to cook for co-workers. I for example would never have "walmart pizza" or the dollar menu at McDonald's or any other processed foods.
You also do not say how many people are involved.
I would "feed" these people for the last time and then ask to kindly be excluded.
My idea is to make minestrone. Purchase a chunk of meat and cube it. Boil. Once cooked Add carrots potatoes and onion also cubed add a can of tomato sauce seasonings. Once that's cooked as well add peas and small pasta (this is your filler so the nore you add the more people you feed)
This is the craziest thing I heard buying lunch for the office on Fridays!

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Ok, I think you misunderstand, I am the secretary, it is part of my job to bring lunch for everyone on Friday's, the money does not come out of my pocket, the company pays for it and I believe I did mention in my question that there are 17 people in the office which I need to feed on a budget for $40. Thanks for answering and great idea about making minestrone.
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Little Ceasars has $5 pizzas! And then you could go to walmart and get some drinks?

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just go to mcdonalds

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Peanut butter jelly sandwich
salad
macaroni and cheese with fruit
spagettii

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buy some bigtime awesome pizza other than that idk

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hola

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Make Chicken or Beef Enchiladas with bean & rice

You can buy a bag of chicken thighs from Costco for about $10
Costco also sells shredded cheese for under $10
Old El Paso Enchilada sauce is pretty good, 3 can are about $5
4 dozen corn tortillas $4
Small bag of rice & a couple cans of tomato sauce
Pinto beans


ALSO.... Spaghetti or Hot Dogs are pretty cheap quick & easy meals

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you could also do Lasagna (2 trays for under $40 or 3 trays for under $50)

The following makes 1 tray (6 to 9 servings):

1 box - Lasagna noodles
1 container - Ricotta Cheese
1 block or 4 cups - shredded Mozzarella
1 lb - Ground Beef
1 jar - Pasta Sauce

pre heat oven to 350. brown ground beef. Pour enough sauce to just cover the bottom of lasagna dish take 4 noodles spread ricotta cheese on all of them and place in bottom of dish. spoon in 1/2 of the browned meat. then spoon in some sauce over the meat. then sprinkle some mozzarella cheese.
Repeat. lastly take 4 more noodles place on the top spread the remaining sauce all over the top. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese. Cover with foil, place in over for 45 to 50 mins. then remove foil bake for 5 to 10 mins more until cheese is totally melted (you can no long see individual strands of cheese).
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mcdonalds

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GirlOfDestiny13

Peanut Butter Jelly Time!

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top ramen

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