No More Pizza for the Youth Ministry

Feeding the masses at your youth group gathering but out of fresh menu ideas?  Meal planning for a retreat?  Or are you looking for an easy menu list to pass out to the parents who graciously volunteered to make snack supper for the youth group?

It’s okay to admit it – are you just plain tired of pizza?  Try these 9 inexpensive menus for a change.  Each menu is designed to be easy to make, easy to multiply and less than $3.00 per person.

9 Cheap Snack Supper Meals that are Not Pizza

1.    Ballpark Fare: Hot Dogs/Chips/Fruit             

Suggested shopping list: Hot Dogs & Buns (estimate 1.5 per person), ketchup, mustard, relish, bag of chips per person; Apples & Oranges (1 fruit per person)

Estimated Cost Per Person: $1.50-2.00

2.    Italian Night: Spaghetti or Lasagna/Bread/Caesar Salad*

Suggested Shopping List: Spaghetti  & sauce or Large Frozen Lasagnas, loaves of  French bread, butter, bags of romaine lettuce salad, Caesar dressing, croutons, shredded parmesan cheese.

Estimated Cost Per Person: Spaghetti meal $2.00; Lasagna meal $2.50-3.00

3.    Hoagies/Sandwich Bar

Suggested Shopping List: Either loaves of wheat & white bread or sandwich rolls, sandwich meat such as roast beef, turkey & ham, American and provolone cheese, lettuce, mayonnaise, mustard, tomato slices, peanut butter & jelly, bags of chips, sandwich cookies.

Estimated Cost Per Person: $2.00-2.50

4.    Mexican Menu: Tacos/Taco Salad/Nacho Bar

Suggested Shopping List: Ground Beef, Taco Seasoning (cooked ahead of time), heated taco shells, tortillas, shredded cheddar cheese, lettuce, salsa, nacho cheese heated in Crock Pot, extras: jalapeños, sour cream, guacamole.

Estimated Cost Per Person: $1.75-$2.00

5.    Frozen Food You Heat & Eat: Taquitos, Chicken nuggets, Corn Dogs

Suggested Shopping List: buy bulk quantities of whichever items you plan on serving (estimate 6 taquitos, 6 nuggets, or 1.5 corndogs per person) serve with cut fruit, chips, cookies.

Estimated Cost Per Person: $2.00-2.50

6.    Grill it: Hamburgers & Fixings

Suggested Shopping List: hamburger patties and buns (estimate 1.5 per person); American cheese slices; ketchup, mustard, pickles, lettuce, tomato slices.  Serve with sides such as chips, cookies.

Estimated Cost Per Person: $2.50 per person

7.    Breakfast for Dinner: Pancakes/French toast sticks with fruit cup or Breakfast Tacos with fruit cup*

Suggested Shopping List:  For Pancake/French Toast Sticks Meal: Pancake mix, butter, syrup, frozen French toast sticks, powdered sugar, fruit cups, milk and orange juice; For Breakfast Taco Meal: scrambled eggs with and without sausage crumbles (cooked ahead of time), flour tortillas, cheese, salsa, fruit cups, milk and orange juice.

Estimated Cost Per Person: $1.50-2.00

8.    Soup & Grilled Cheese Sandwich*

Suggested Shopping List: tomato and chicken noodle soups, loaves of white bread, butter, American cheese slices.  Remember to have bowls and spoons on hand.

Estimated Cost Per Person: $1.50

9.    Baked Potato and Salad Bar*

Suggested Shopping List: Potatoes (1 per person), shredded cheddar cheese, bacon bits, butter, sour cream, bags of salad, Italian and Ranch dressing, croutons, optional carrots or additional veggies for the salad.  Caesar salad is also a really popular option.

Estimated Cost Per Person: $1.50-2.00

Money saving tips: You can save more by buying in bulk packaging – serving from large bags of chips instead of individual bags will reduce your costs, for example.  Instead of individual soft drink cans, offer 2 liters to choose from or even cheaper, water & lemonade.   Note: I did not include drinks in most of the menus, costs for drinks will be anywhere from free water to about 50 cents per person.

*These menus are easily adapted to meet vegetarian diet needs


Do you serve a meal when your youth group meets? 

What non-pizza menus have worked well with your youth group?

Pin It!

I put together a little Pinboard for snack supper ideas – feel free to check it out.

Special thanks to my youth ministry colleague/former caterer/feeding frenzy expert, Michelle Freeman, for her input on this article.

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