How Much Food Should I Buy?

Photo: Bucks County Taste
"How much food should I buy? is a question we are asked often. The answer will vary depending on what type of occasion or event, (a cocktail party would require less food than an outdoor picnic.) whether or not it is a brunch, dinner, sit down or appetizer reception, how long your event will be held, and in many cases, the ratio of children to adults at your gathering.

In addition, men generally eat more than women, and the richness of the food will also come into play when determining the proper amount of food to purchase.

One general rule of thumb is to always round your final food estimate up rather than down. It is way better to have more food than needed, than to run out before your party has ended.

Another "trick" is to fill in with rolls, breads and other "bulk foods" which require little or no additional preparation.

Good menu planning would include consideration of food colors, temperatures, textures & tastes, as well as the range of foods offered (You don't want to repeat ingredients). You ultimately want some variety without overdoing it. Keeping it as simple as possible makes your guests feel at ease and reduces your stress level as well.

We've compiled several Party Planning Guides for our readers, including lists for how much food to buy. These are for you to download, print out and keep handy for your next occasion.

Please feel free to post any other questions or comments below.

Happy Entertaining!

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