Simple Occasions On A Budget

We have all been there, or maybe just me…?

It was 48 hours before a bridal shower that I promised I would throw months ago (honestly, can I really be held responsible for something I promised to do months ago?), and I remembered that people like food. Not only do they like food, they expect it. They also expect cake, punch and decorations in exchange for bringing a gift and giving up a perfectly good Sunday afternoon for a bridal shower (even if it would have been spent watching their husbands watch football).

Luckily, this shower was a small affair and someone else had already taken care of the invitations and transportation for the bride-to-be. I just had to cover the food and decorations and set up the space. We had reserved a meeting room at a private club so that none of us had to clean our houses – something I would definitely recommend if possible. Nothing is more stressful that your dog/kids tracking mud on a freshly cleaned floor 3 minutes before the guests arrive!

So, here I was with less than 48 hours and a budget of $100 for 15 – 20 guests. After realizing I was never going to be able to pull off a Martha Stewart-esque menu of dainty hors d’oeuvres made from my organic garden bounty, I headed to *gulp* Costco.

Here is what I found:

Personalized Bridal Shower Cake - $20

Large cake (could easily feed 30+) with bridal design and personalization: $20.

I ordered the white cake with butter cream icing, though they also offer chocolate and carrot cakes for the same price.

If you would like the cake personalized, they ask for 24 hours notice.

Assorted Croissant Sandwiches - $45

Croissant sandwiches including Ham, Turkey and Roast Beef (all with lettuce, cheese, mayonnaise and mustard): $45.

One tray has 12 croissants, cut in half. They say it feeds 24 people, but in reality, people will want a whole croissant to themselves. In addition, leftovers of this kind are great for lunches the next day! I should have bought another tray – we only had 3 halves left over, and I know everyone was being ‘polite.’

As with the cake personalization, they ask for 24 hours notice.

Veggie Tray (Dip Included) - $15

Veggies and dip: $15.

Not only does this save you the hassle of washing, cutting, peeling etc., but the dip is included. To buy all of the ingredients to duplicate this veggie tray would have been more than $15, not including time and labour.

Fruit trays are also readily available, but, depending on the season, fruit selections can vary. This time of year appeared to be “boring melon season,” so I opted to buy some strawberries and grapes and do my own fruit bowls instead.

I also picked up pineapple and orange juice, and club soda for a simple and relatively healthy fruit punch (1 can of each concentrate and 2L – 4 L of club soda, based on your “sweetness” preference).

The hardest part of this bridal shower was getting out of Costco without buying cookies, baklava, crackers, cheese… you get the idea. I managed to escape with only a couple of ‘extras,’ which I ended up sharing with my guests, of course! I did manage to stick within my $100 budget though, which was a miracle in itself.



From Victoria, British Columbia

Rachel was born and raised in Victoria, BC and graduated from the University of Victoria secure in the knowledge that she didn’t actually want to be a Sociologist, Historian or Accountant (yeah, she was there for a while).

While weaving her way through school, she spent 12 years slaving away in the food/beverage and tourism industries before entering the world of business. For the last 3 years, she has helped small business entrepreneurs in BC get their ideas off the ground.

All of this experience has lead to a couple of inevitable character flaws: she is an “I need coffee immediately” connoisseur, a “let’s do lunch” restaurant expert and an absolute stickler for customer service excellence, no matter what the occasion. She also developed an incurable writing habit in order to document her trials and travels.
When she isn’t mapping out weekly coffee and lunch schedules around Greater Victoria, she can be found driving down the west coast sampling local diners, or driving across North America searching out interesting (and safe) truck stops. A couple of times a year, you can also find her in Florida, celebrating life with family and amazing Southern BBQ you have to taste to believe (and yes, she claims that alligator tastes just like chicken).

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1 Response

  1. Fran says:

    humorous, well written, useful information, and the prices quoted are rounded up…so the total will be a pleasant surprise under budget.

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