Try the simple things...snacks!
Chips and dip
Crackers and cheese
As long as there are good tunes and lots of fun going on, most people want a snack to replenish their energy, very few go for a meal.
You can buy a couple of hoagies and cut them into fourths. Buy some vegetables and cut them up. Check the deli ads and buy cheeses and deli meats to chunk up and serve.
If you are looking to do a dinner type thing then make spaghetti. You can make a lot and it is fairly cheep to make. That is why you always see some form of it at weddings and banquets. A salad on the side could be fairly cheep too and then buy some loaves of italian bread and cut them in half, butter them, sprinkle on some garlic powder and put them under the broiler until slightly golden.
A really good dip that goes along way:
the ultimate nacho dip:
1 lb hot sausage (no casings)
1 lb hamburger
1 red onion chopped
Fry in pan until cooked, add:
One envelope of taco seasoning
One jar of salsa
four to five cans of Campbells Fiesta Nacho Cheese Soup.
Stir and heat through. Serve with tortilla chips
Hot dogs are cheap. We once did a wieney roast. Open fire, sticks and all!
Stay within your budget but try to have a variety. Meat and cheese, hot dogs, veggetables and chips are usually very well recieved and cheap.
that dip recipe is also great on hot dogs!
I hope some of this is of help! Good luck on your party!