Eighth grade graduations, high school graduation, college graduation, family reunions, Memorial Day parties, 4th of July parties; it’s time to plan for the festivities and here are some of our tips:
Decorations: Head to the Dollar Store! This is where we purchase our table cloths, decorations, themed plates, serving bowls and platters. Get your balloons there too! Adding a few balloons to the tables often is all you need for decorations because it’s so eye catching.
Get those crock pots out: I’m a crock pot girl, I think we have 7 of them, all different sizes. Plan foods that are crock pot based, it makes your preparation so much easier.
Determine if you want munchie foods, plated food or both: This is where I welcome on some help from our favorite grocery store and local restaurants.
Hannaford is offering $5 off their party platters that are $19.99 and over. From cheese platters, fruit platters, shrimp platters and more! Their special WOW! Prices are going very well with all of the other foods we’re needing for our parties too. Don’t forget to get your personalized cake ordered, too. You can even ask Hannaford for more help by letting them do your shopping for you. Do you have your party list of what you need? Go to their site and place your order and just pick it up when you’re ready. It’s free if your groceries are $125 or more before coupons. If it’s less than that, it’s only $5!!!
I spoke with a couple of our favorite restaurants to see if they have cater to smaller numbers and have been using them ever since to help me out.
Red Arrow Diner in Manchester, Milford and Londonderry have several different foods and options that are great for parties, both small and large and with that I’d like to add that they can match up your order with a very friendly budget!
When we have parties and are invited to parties, we often order Chili, Beans and Chicken Fingers to bring with us. Their chili at Red Arrow has won many prizes, it’s one of our faves! I fill my crock pot and typically, it’s empty after a couple of hours! It’s a hit.
Mid-Town Cafe and Red Arrow are family and they step in from time to time to make orders of wraps and more for gatherings. The Chicken Caesar Wraps are delicious and you can order them according to your party size. Of course potato salad goes well with it on the side. I’ve had lunch at Mid-Town Cafe a few times over the last couple of months and Mid-Town is another I’ve added to my “help me” list!
Red Arrow Diner:603-935-8121
We’re having a surprise 18th birthday party/graduation party for my son in June. I have drinks, chips, cookies, veggie platters and the birthday/graduation cake on my list for Hannaford to take care of. We have more adults coming at the beginning of the party and this is where those yummy wraps will be shown off along with the chili and a couple more sandwiches they offer. I’m also getting a box of the giant Eclairs at Red Arrow too.
The kids are coming a little later and staying later and this is where our other favorite and totally different restaurant catering menu comes into play:
Lacarreta in Hooksett/Manchester on DW Highway, sets up personal catering to your party size and Mexican favorites. When I was talking to Theresa about our party, she gave an example of an order she had just taken for 25 people. I’m telling you, they had a ton of food and some special orders of what would have been in my opinion more expensive choices. With all the food the were getting, easily, I thought it was enough food for 50 people. I had guessed the price to be at least $375, I was way off! It was $197.
That being said, for the second half of Brock’s party with all the “kids”, we’re going with a few different choices from Lacarreta. Now, they don’t have a catering menu for this, but they will give you options and prices over the phone. I did ask if they could come up with a few different options that I could share with you and they will later this week, but don’t wait if you don’t want, just give them a call.
Lacarreta: 603-628-6899 (ask for Theresa)
I hope these options were helpful to you. I love hosting parties and sometimes I do everything myself, but often life has been way too busy and I’ve been doing the half and half approach. Do what’s best for you and have fun with it. I always keep in mind we’re making memories and I don’t want my memories to be blurred or overwhelmed.