When throwing a party for a group of friends or family, it is important that you offer some kind of food and drink. Creating a menu for a party and making all of the food to feed your guests can often seem like a daunting task. However, there are a variety of simple snacks, entrees, desserts and drinks you can create easily and inexpensively for small or large groups.

Choose Your Snacks

Snacks are a very common type of party food. If you serve a variety of simple snacks, you may not even need to serve an entree. Consider your theme when choosing the snacks for your party. For example, for a Hawaiian luau party, fruit salad, fruit kabobs, ham rolls and chips with a fruit fusion salsa are all ideas that do not take long to prepare. For a sports party or backyard barbecue, chips with a variety of dips, raw veggies with dip, or a bread bowl filled with spinach dip are all ideas to consider. Pasta salads, macaroni salads, pretzels and trail mixes are all other easy options to prepare and serve. Think about the amount of time you have to prepare the food and the number of guests you are serving when choosing your snacks.

Choose an Entree

While you may be tempted to offer a selection of entrees at the party, it is far easier to serve only one entree. Again, consider your party theme when choosing your entree. Barbecued chicken, grilled chicken, hamburgers, buffalo chicken wings and chili are all easy options to make and serve. Sandwiches are also a simple entree option if you serve them buffet style. Set out the bread on a serving platter and serve all of the sandwich fillings out in a line down the buffet table. This way the guests can choose what they want on their sandwiches and you have very little preparing to do before their arrival.

Choose the Desserts

Avoid serving individual sized desserts such as miniature pies, as these will take you a long time to prepare. Instead, serve a large sheet cake with bulk sized tubs of ice cream. Sheet cakes can be customized to fit any party theme, and come in a wide variety of flavors. Other simple options include popsicles and ice cream sandwiches.

Choose the Beverages

Instead of serving custom cocktails, create a batch of one signature cocktail and fill a large decanter with it. If you will not be serving alcohol, lemonade and ice tea can also be made easily in large quantities and served from a decanter. If you want to serve soda at your party, purchase several types and set them out for guests to serve themselves.