Nine More Months: My $25 Party Spread from Smart and Final Extra Bakersfield

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My $25 Party Spread from Smart and Final Extra Bakersfield

This past Saturday I went to an event at the Smart and Final Extra in Bakersfield, California. Out of the four locations in the Bakersfield area it's the only "Extra" store, and it's only been open for about six months now. At the #SFBakersfield event we got to talk to customers about a free gift card contest in the store. Anyone who simply checked in and shared a picture of a corporate brand product on any of their social media accounts received a free $25 gift card. It was a lot of fun approaching customers. Some people weren't interested at all, some were all about it, and others were hesitant or just needed a little help figuring out how to do it. I think it was a really fun way to spread the word about a great new store.

In between talking to customers I took some time to browse around the store and look for items for my shopping challenge. What kind of party spread could I put together for $25? We don't throw our own party for sporting events usually, but we do go to some each year. Part of the fun of going to the party is putting together some yummy dishes to share. A lot of people go to the party so the more food the better. My first instinct was to try and make five different dishes for around $5 each. I wanted to keep it light and relatively healthy, but still tasty and appealing to all.

I always like to bring a veggie tray to parties. It's a way for me to ensure that I have at least one healthy option to snack on. While Smart and Final had some great trays at great prices, I decided that I could do better making one myself. There was a great selection of veggie-tray-worthy produce, so I picked a few things out. Best of all, I was able to create a tray full of my favorite things and nothing I didn't like. I also picked up some Greek yogurt and ranch dip mix for an easy and light veggie dip.

I wanted to make some Buffalo Wings - a food staple for watching sports - but since I had a very limited budget I ha to make it a little cheaper. I scoured the meat department and found these - boneless and skinless leg meat - each pack around $5. I grabbed the cheapest one I could find, as well as a packet of Buffalo Wing seasoning that was less than $2. I was planning on turning these into some yummy Buffalo Chicken Bites. The recipe is simple.

2-ingredient Buffalo Chicken Bites

2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken meat
1/2 packet of buffalo wing seasoning

Trim and cut your chicken into bite-size pieces, then mix with half of a packet of Buffalo Wing seasoning (found near the taco seasoning). Spread out on a baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes. Let cool and try not to eat them all!

A fan-favorite and always affordable and easy dish is deviled eggs. The First Street brand items were a great value. For less than $5 I could easily throw this together. I usually get a little more creative with my recipe, but for the sake of the challenge I had to keep it simple with just eggs and mayo - okay I added a little salt and vinegar at home.

A $1.99 box of triscuits, plus half of a $0.69 cucumber and a $1.69 tub of cream cheese made up my next dish. Inspired by the very picture on the box, but a little simpler. I have to confess, before I put them all together I sampled one to see how it tasted. Then I sampled a couple more. I had to stop myself. They are delicious. If you have dried dill in your pantry, sprinkle it on top. It's fabulous!

I couldn't pass on $0.99 tortillas. I knew that they would be perfect for quesadillas - a favorite of my kids. Even my picky eater can't resist them. Simple and a crowd pleaser. The pre-shredded cheese was a great deal and made this dish come in well under $5.

Here's my haul. Grand total: $25.08. I threw the sparkling water in there so we would have something to drink. Unfortunately I didn't have enough money left to get anything to add to it, so I guess it doesn't really count as part of my spread, but it made for a yummy treat when I added some frozen berries from my freezer.

For more spread ideas, check out the Smart and Final Social Circular. Connect with Smart and Final on Facebook, Twitter, or using the hashtag #ChooseSmart.

I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Smart & Final. All opinions are my own and are not influenced in any way. #CBias #ChooseSmart #SocialFabric


Sara @ said...

Oh I love all the ideas you came up with, that spread would definitely be a hit at our house. Thanks for sharing!

Elizabeth Rodriguez said...

Wow this looks awesome! I want to be as creative as you are with food :) Great post, I am now a new follower! (I stopped by from CBias)

Jessica Hughes said...

Love the simple dishes. Thanks for the recipes!