This is going to be one complicated week when it comes to budgeting. First of all, our Halloween Party (which involved feeding dinner to 90 people) was of course not included in our weekly grocery budget of $125. Let’s just say we spent even more than that on just the one evening of food for everyone! And we ended up with some leftovers after the party, which we’ve of course been eating (and didn’t technically “pay” for out of our grocery budget). The second complication is the arrival of our first set of extended houseguests since starting our budget. You obviously need extra food for extra people and I don’t know about you, but when the houseguests are my parents they inevitably end up buying some groceries of their own (more on that later)!
Back to the party. I thought it would be a little easier to just serve one big dinner as opposed to making a bunch of separate little dishes or appetizers. So everyone knew to expect some grub and in exchange they each brought an “adult beverage” to share with the crowd. And, oh a crowd it was! Part of our invitation went like this:
“We’ll serve whole foods for all, local and organic
No candy corns or tortilla chips, please don’t panic”
With that being said we didn’t offer one single piece of candy at the party and ended up serving as much local and organic food as possible. I got more than half of the ingredients at the farmer’s market that morning. Here is what we served (which is also pictured, but you can’t really see it very well thanks to our spooky Halloween lighting!)…
- Grateful Grower’s (local farm) pulled pork BBQ
- Great Harvest honey whole-wheat rolls
- Side of sautéed sweet potatoes and apples
- Salad made with bibb lettuce, sungold cherry tomatoes, goat cheese, and glazed pecans
- Honey dew melon, red grape, and pineapple fruit salad
- Triscuits, whole-wheat pretzels, and white cheddar cheese cubes
- Cute little white ghost cupcakes made with plenty of sugar!
- Party favors for the kids which were plastic hands filled with organic popcorn
Our friends of course know all about our real food adventures so the cupcake thing really threw everyone off. So many people came up to us with their cupcake and said “do these have sugar in them?” or “are they organic?” I just had to laugh. Breaking “the rules” is certainly okay in moderation, and there is no better time to do it than Halloween!! Not to mention that our dear friend with a cupcake business made them from scratch for us so I know she didn’t use any funky ingredients. We did get a lot of nice compliments about the dinner though and one neighbor even told me that she woke up feeling so great the next day because she wasn’t sitting around eating junk all night like people normally do at parties. It was fun, but I am not committing to serving dinner to 90 people again anytime soon (if ever!) LOL. I included some extra pics of the non-food part of the party since we worked so hard on all of the décor!
Halloween weekend was capped off with a fun evening of trick or treating. As previously mentioned our plan was to let our girls each eat 5 pieces of their choice and then we would “buy” the rest from them (they could save their 5 pieces or eat it all at once…it was up to them!). My oldest daughter ate 4 of her 5 before we even got home from trick or treating. What can I say….I guess she’s missed candy, although I don’t think she is necessarily a “deprived child” when it comes to the sweets and junk they give the kindergartners at school. My other daughter was not quite as rushed to eat hers (thankfully).
After figuring out what pieces they would keep I have to say they appeared to have loads of fun counting up (and handing over) their pieces to get quarters in exchange. We were originally only going to give them dimes, but a blog reader actually gave us the wonderful idea to not just do this for Halloween…but to do it all year round whenever they are given candy! We were worried that dimes wouldn’t amount to very much during those non-holiday periods of time, and the plan is to let them buy a toy of their choice with their money. Doing this for my girls makes me feel like this might just be the perfect balance between those fun and carefree childhood experiences, and not going overboard….which I am thrilled about!
Some of you may be wondering if I ate any candy? Especially those friends who knew me in my “previous life” because I was a candy hound! In the old days I could barely keep the Halloween candy in my house because like an idiot I would buy my favorites and eat most of it before the big day. All I have to say is that this year I only ate two little snickers and they were mmm mmm good! That is it though…moderation is key, which certainly made this feel like the “special occasion” that it should be.