(Closed) my DIY food estimates – input please

posted 8 years ago in Food
Post # 3
570 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2012


the only price that I see is a bit low is the beef it average out to $3-$4 a lb

Do you have a CVs pharmacy the reason I am asking is because you will save on the plates and plastic cutlery

Box of 50 faux silver  forks or spoons or knives for $6.00 (if sale $2.99)
Package of 30 plastic plastics or faux china ones $6.00

Just go aisle through aisle looking for them or else ask an associate for their cutlery or fork aisle.

Those prices look the ones from Partycity. I got ripped up big time as well until I discovered CVS pharmacy sale purchase 150 forks for $18.00 

Post # 4
440 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Exactly what meal is being served with this? From that ingredient list I think you are going to be missing a few things.

-what kind of salad are you doing?

-you will need to add in condiments

-Seasonings for all of this food – Herbs can get expensive.


Also I didn’t notice any beverages of any sort.


honestly if you are looking to make the argument that catering will be cheaper – it will really depend on what you get. However I do think that it will be worth the money in the end not to have the stress!!!!!!!!!!

Post # 5
687 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

Go with a caterer!  You’re mother won’t want to look back on your wedding day and remember slaving away in the kitchen all day/night instead of spending that time with you….and I have a feeling that you won’t want that either!  Take it all in and let someone else handle the food for once! Mom’s night off 🙂

Post # 7
2006 posts
Buzzing bee

Even if catering isn’t cheaper, it is worth it for less stress!

Post # 8
2103 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

The beef seems so cheap. What kind of beef dish is this? Is it made from ground beef? Is it steak. I think steak would cost way more!

Post # 9
8353 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2011

I think a lot of your prices are way too low. Where I live, the cost of most everything is a lot higher.

Your mom is crazy if she thinks she can cook for that many people and still have enough time left to relax and enjoy your wedding. She is awesome to volunteer, but really, I think she will have to miss your ceremony to make sure everything is set up and ready to go for your reception. She will also be extremely tired and wore out, so even if she was able to see you get married, she probably wouldn’t enjoy it as much as if she let someone else do it.

Post # 11
4123 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

only 20 lbs of potato for over 100 people?

For one, it doesn’t seem like you’ll have enough food…. so your overall estimate is probably too low. As for catering prices, they can vary VERY widely. 

Post # 12
3219 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

I’m editing my original comment because I think i read the post wrong.

I think your estimates are way to low.

Your other needs to be way more than $100. I would guess your other will be around 300-500.

And you also need to think about pans to do the actual cooking in- does she have a pan that will hold 120 chicken brests? etc 

I would also add in apps Cheese & crackers, fruit, veggies & dip, etc

and also veggies for the salad

Post # 13
2090 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I don’t mean this to be snarky, but I don’t understand what the prices are for – to show your mom it would be cheaper to hire a caterer who charges $15/pp than to do it yourself, or do you have a caterer in mind who would let you buy the meat/produce, and then just charge you an additional fee to prepare it and so you are trying to estimate the food costs to you? Sorry, I’m just confused as to the purpose a little bit – if you let me know, I’ll think up more constructive comments 🙂

I think your cost for beef is too low. I rarely buy beef, but at my grocery, I’ve never seen $3/lb for any cut. But I know prices can vary by region, and by sales. To be safe though, I probably wouldn’t create an estimate using the lowest price you’ve seen – I’d use an average price.

How do you plan to prep the potatoes? If mashed, I’ll think you’ll need to factor in the cost of milk/cream and butter (or estimate more than $100 in “other”).

Salisbury steak (I think) usually has gravy served over it – so you will need a way to prep gravy and keep it warm so it doesn’t congeal – not sure if you factored in a chafing dish for that, and a way to keep it warm.

Will the salads just be lettuce and dressing? If so, ok. If not, I think you should up the “other” category to more than $100.

Hope this helps!

Post # 14
2103 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

Maybe breaking down the “other” catergory into specifics like seasonings, tomatoes, croutons, eggs, gravy, flour, milk, cream, butter, bread, etc. will help you to estimate your pricing better. Right now, since those things are vague and just listed as “other,” I think it’s easy to just underestimate items, their quantities and prices.

And I agree that you should do the average price. I’ve definitely been to store sales before and getting things in large quantities often isn’t an option because things have been sold out. Perhaps you can take the prices from a store like Sam’s Club or BJ’s or Costco where the prices don’t fluctuate as much and you can get things in bulk.

Post # 15
440 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Go for the catering.

Also how and where is your mom planning to store all of this prior to the wedding? I mean my parents throw tons of parties (we just did an engagement party for a good friend and had almost 200 people in attendance) and the caterer wanted to use some of our refridgerated space (we have 2 huge chest freezers and 2 standing commercial fridges). Most people do not have this type of space unless they are throwing a lot of parties.

Also when does she plan to do the cake?


I am not trying to be overaly critical of your mom’s plans but I don’t know that this plan has been well thought out.

Post # 16
440 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Another factor to consider is ice!

Not just for your alcoholic drinks but for things like water and sodas or tea (or whatever non alcoholic drink you decide on).

Ice is expensive, heavy, and is one of those things you cannot get until the day of. Who wants to be running between getting their hair done and picking up 100 lbs of ice?

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