Scrimp And Feast: Budget-Savvy End-Of-Year Catering Strategies

Everyone wants that big bash end-of-year fun. Between the food, drinks, staffing, decor, and more, hosting a holiday event often comes with a hefty price tag.

But what happens when your ideas are BOLD but the budget is super tight? Like cheeseburger & fries and wishing you won the sundae kind of tight? Read on to get my insider tips for budget-friendly catering this holiday season.

Savvy Cost-Cutting Tips

When working with a tight catering budget, it’s time to get creative with ways to cut costs. With these savvy tips from years of experience, you can cut expenses without compromising on a delicious menu and exceptional dining experience.

Let’s delve into these cost-cutting catering hacks:

Be Upfront

My best advice is to be upfront. Most experienced caterers are happy to customise services to fit different budget ranges. Give your caterer something to work with, be realistic, and be open to options. Let them know your ideal per-head spend from the start so they can tailor packages accordingly. Ask which aspects may have wiggle room or where they can suggest cost-effective substitutions.

caterer at work

Decide On a Food Service Style

After being upfront with your caterer, decide your food service style and preferred date. So, feasting table or stand up circulated and see what can be done. Multiple courses and tableside service are the most expensive. Combinations of heavier carbs and proteins can really cut the food bill for Stand-Up circulation.

Think fries, sliders, tacos, arancini balls, or other interactive food displays that guests can freely approach. Also, Instead of multiple food service staff walking food around, choose a set point or food station where food can be delivered and that people can easily access.

Sweets can be one huge cake cut after a speech or literally an iced esky full of magnums.

Choose Simplicity

Sometimes, the best option can be the simplest; we created our delicious range of Drop Boxes primarily during COVID-19. However, we found that it can also provide a perfect, fuss-free, unstaffed party that keeps the budget.

From canape boxes, filled baby buns, delicious salads, and platter boxes, sweets to finish, all that needs to happen is you supply your space, drinks, and the crowd!

Make-Ahead Roast Chicken Stuffing

Chicken roast stuffing

Everyone loves a roast, and a simple roast chicken is the most economical traditional Christmas Day feast. Below is a make-ahead stuffing to pull out of the freezer for Christmas Day lunch!


1. Whizz up half a loaf of day-old crustless sourdough bread in a food processor. Throw in 1 onion, 4 garlic cloves, zest, 1 lemon, then a handful of herbs (Parsley, thyme, tarragon, rosemary and sage do the trick) you like. Pulse till all is chopped.

2. Pull out the chopping blade, then spoon mix in some cracked black pepper. If you like that Christmas spice aroma, throw in a good pinch of allspice and some orange zest.

3. Put in a zippy bag and freeze till stuffing day!

With clever planning and savvy cost-cutting hacks, you can throw a sensational event that respects your bottom line. Get creative with the menu, simplify your service style, and communicate openly with your caterer. Remember, the people and experience make a party magical, not the extravagance.

Contact Char Baby today to start planning your budget-friendly end-of-year/Christmas event! Our team enjoys the challenge of crafting an incredible catering experience tailored precisely to your financial needs and priorities. Let us make this a holiday season to cherish, not one to put you in debt. We can’t wait to scrimp and feast with you!

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