Sunday, July 2, 2017

Feeding 10 people on vacation

We're about to start the extended portion of our family vacation (adding my parents, plus my sister, her boyfriend & my two nephews), & I'm looking forward to our family time. It's not cheap to feed 10 people, even with menu planning, Especially when four of the "attendees" are growing boys (10, 11, 12, & 15). :-)

If we lived locally, I'd feel comfortable asking everyone to chip in & divide the grocery list in thirds. However, my parents just returned from taking our kids to Disneyland, and have them for another two weeks this summer, and my sister hosts all of the parties & is extremely generous with her hostessing. So, I like to buy all of the main ingredients for this trip, and the other two families bring smaller things.

I was curious to understand the per meal breakout of our trip. And, we are definitely not trying to make this the most minimal budget. As you can see. ;-) We're having things like crab cakes (local crab!), smoked salmon, grilled burgers & corn, and we start every meal with a huge happy hour/appetizer spread. (Note: this only includes food, but not the alcohol).

We'll be hosting a total of 12 meals (four days), for 10 people, so a total of 120 individual meals. Our costs were $350 (approximately), and our family has been eating all of our meals at home for the past three days as well.

Total meals:

  • 36 - our family, pre big family celebration. (3 days x 4 people x 3 meals a day)
  • 120 - extended family party (4 days x 10 people x 3 meals a day)
156 total meals prepared

Total cost is just under $2.25/meal. Some meals (breakfast) is obviously cheaper than other meals (crab cakes). I've never tracked our hosting quite like this, but may start & this will give us a good benchmark. As I noted, the four boys eat quite a bit. My kids, in particular, eat around 10 servings a day of fruit & vegetables (I wish I could say the same), which drives up the cost quite a bit, but is a cost we're happy to pay.

I'll also track if we leave anything behind (freezer) &/or take anything back with us. 

As for the beach, the tiny speck in the back is my eldest son, trying to control his kite on a breezy day at the beach. The boys are in love with kite flying, and we've been to the beach every day. 

What about you? Do you track your cost per meal when hosting guests? Do you have a goal in mind? 


  1. Honestly, when it is at my house, in my place I have a few go to meals for each season and I try and track all the spending. But when youre in a place with all that fresh food, it's kind of like me going back to the eastern shore. You gotta have some of that food. In my younger days I was an "I can sleep anywhere as long as I can eat goood food and go in the water" kind of traveler.

    1. The fresh seafood was fabulous, & totally worth it! We ended up covering 16 more individual meals (I forgot that we would be there through lunch today), so the price is slightly lower.

  2. I think a person must eat well on vacation, you are eating in not out so worth spending the extra money. I like hosting fall/winter get togethers where a turkey or a big ham bought on sale can feed lots of people for little money. For summer get togethers potato salad, watermelon and burgers is a very budget meal.

    1. We didn't eat anything out (save for a beer at the airport today), so I'll consider it a win!

  3. I think if you are n the 2.25 per meal area you have done a fantastic job with your money and food planning. And how can you be on a coast and not take advantage of the local seafood!

    1. The crab cakes were absolutely fabulous. So happy we had a few splurges to go with our other choices.