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Easy & inexpensive appetizers/snacks for large crowd

I'm looking for ideas for appetizers/snacks/dips that are easy & quick to make. Also fairly inexpensive.

This is for a mid-afternoon baby shower & we are expecting between 30-50 people.

I will be serving coffee, lemonade, & iced tea for drinks & will have a cake.

We don't want the guests to fill up on food right before dinner, but we want to offer some sort of a snack.

There will be 4-5 of us who can cook. I just need some ideas.

So far I've come up with: buffalo dip, 7 layer bean dip, fruit dip, veggie tray, fruit tray. Maybe some chex mix or glazed nuts. I make some great pinwheel snacks with puff pastry, pancetta, parmesan & caramelized onions, but that can get expensive.

How much should I be expecting each guest to eat?

What else do you suggest?

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  1. Hi jcattles-- here's a thread to start:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/2792...

    If you decide to have spiced nuts, I especially like these:
    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/gi...

    1. How long will people be there before dinner is served? What you have listed there sounds like plenty to cover you against anyone who shows up hungry.

      1. Hummus bi tahini is tasty, popular and safe.

        1. I've made similar pinwheels before and people love them. My mother wanted to recreate them but couldn't make it to the store, so used her deli ham and swiss cheese, and they were absolutely delicious. That would cut the cost a lot.

          1. Deviled eggs are cheap, easy, and always the first to go at any party I've ever attended.

            1 Reply
            1. re: phofiend

              +1 for the deviled eggs...also, WHY put all those expensive ingredients into pinwheels? Just do a veggie version and use tortillas (which come in great colors now!)...I like the Hidden Valley Ranch pinwheels from their website but there are a billion others and probably better out there on the internet.