thoughts for cheap snacking ideas for game?
By - smegmabarnicle
Tell the others you can't continue to supply all the food. And then don't.
Decide how much you're willing to spend, and stick with it. If people go hungry, they'll bring snacks the next time.
Or, eat before you go, so you don't need snacks, and let others do the same.
Honestly, you don't even need to tell. It's a voluntary offer from your side. No one is entitled to you providing snacks... Except for bribing your game master. That's a different topic.. ;)
4 sessions a week?! These motherfuckers are eating you out of house and home!
As others have said, announce that you can't really afford to provide snacks and then don't. If they want to fill the void they can do but really, as full-grown adults they should be able to plan their eating patterns around not being able to snack for a few hours.
Popcorn is great, pan popcorn costs next to nothing and you can do all kind of flavour combinations
this. Make it yourself. Melt some butter and add whatever salt, sugar or spices you want.
I really like different curry powders in popcorn!
Buy Kernels in bulk and get a wok for perfect popcorn every time.
Seems pretty simple. You just have a fund on Venmo that everyone shoots $10 into a month, and then nothing changes.
If you need to start saving, then just have a chat with your group, tell them that with your current economic situation you can't really keep bringing snacks all the time.
But if you really want to still bring snacks, look into making flavoured popcorns of different types. Spicy curry popcorn are vastly different to caramel popcorn, and both taste great! (Be careful when making caramel popcorn though, melted sugar is basically like super sticky lava. Don't be tempted to touch it until it has properly cooled down and take precautions to avoid anything hitting your skin. It can leave seriously nasty burns and is hard to remove)
I host because it's my hobby.
That said, I also grew up in the "don't ever go to someone's house empty-handed" camp. There were times when I couldn't afford it...but friends knew it. Now I'm as generous to them as they were to me.
I mention this because I've been on both sides of this equation. For those you know can afford it, have them rotate who brings snacks for the group. For those who can't, go cheap that week. And that's that.
I've encountered too many groups that assume that the DM is responsible not only for the game, but also for hosting and providing "snacks"...and I put snacks in quotes because sometimes it's a full-on meal.
That's a matter of being clear about expectations.
When I host, I just ask folks to bring their own liquor. But again, hosting is a hobby of mine. But when I was broke and hosted, I was just honest: "hey, hosting weekly food/snacks/drinks is not/no longer in my budget. I request we ____".
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If you want to save, I'd advise to stop buying food for everyone, 4 times a week...
Various types of popcorn and kettle corn are quick, easy and really cheap.
Hummus, carrots and other veges.
[Potato wedges](https://tasty.co/recipe/potato-wedges) and [pull apart breads](https://tasty.co/recipe/sweet-savory-pull-apart-bread-the-vampire-killer) are easy and cheap if you do it yourself.
At the end of the day it comes down to how much time you spend in prep. If you keep providing the snacks you spend money or you spend time. Otherwise start getting your groups to chip in.
Huh. So you are doing face to face gaming in circumstances where the players are unmasked enough to put food and beverages in their mouth?
Are you the one hosting the game and is that why you feel responsible for bringing snacks, or is there some other consideration? Access to a kitchen and a refrigerator makes a big difference, a lot of people have suggested popcorn, popcorn could be popped fresh or popped a few days ahead, but obviously, freshly popped corn is more appealing. It is also a question of what happens to what doesn't get consumed. If you bring a bag of apples, the apples which are not eated then come home and then become part of your pantry, if you have sliced the apples up, you may decide to throw the apple slices you didn't consume away.
So, if I was trying to help you brainstorm, I would want to know the following
1. What dietary restrictions does everyone have?
2. What cooking equipment will be available at the game site? Is it your place and you can use your microwave and oven and refrigerator, or are you going to someones else's house and would be using their oven and microwave?
3. How much time is available just prior to the game to prepare snacks? Does everyone show up at the same time or do people drift in over a couple of hours and we keep people in snacks until everyone arrives?
4. What are the current prices in your area. If eggs are 50cts a dozen, deviled eggs are cheaper than if they are $1.5 a dozen.
5. How are people eating? Are they lounging around while they play or are they sitting at the table? Soup is tricky when you are relaxing on the floor.
So, when you have these constraints in hand, you can start figuring out how to provide a variety of snacks at a low price.
I'd be using someone elses microwave and oven, and they have an air fryer. we're in new zealand! so lockdown isnt over here. as for why I like bringing food, its just because I like to do it tbh,
Food prices in New Zealand seems really expensive.
As best I can tell, your food is about twice as expense even after converting New Zealand prices to US dollars. Putting it into US terms,$50 New Zealand dollars is equivalent to $20 USD per month in purchasing power or $5 USD per week in purchasing power for food. This makes reducing this cost a much tougher problem.
wow this is way overthinking it, embarrassingly so. dude's already providing snacks and you expect him to bend over backwards to accommodate dietary restrictions and spend additional time snack prepping?
"hey guys snacks are pricey if you want snacks, pony up otherwise we're not having them"
Well, he said he his providing snacks because he wants to. I don't know how you feel when you bring snacks, but if I bring something that someone doesn't want to eat, it seems a waste of my time and money. Better to not bring anything at all. As for spending time prepping, well, if you are trying to save money, it is often a tradeoff with time.
Carrots and hummus.
Make your own hummus, chop up carrots. Delicious, healthy, dirt cheap.
Also vegan friendly, gluten free, dairy free, egg free, kosher, halal, lent-friendly, so you don't need to worry about if your friends are in any of the food groups above.
Does exclude those who can't eat garlic, but their lives are already hellish. They're lost already.
>Carrots and hummus.
>Make your own hummus, chop up carrots. Delicious, healthy, dirt cheap.
Not necessarily true for every country though. Vegetable prices fucking skyrocketed around here in the quarantine, and hummus was always sold here like it's some exotic delicacy (chickpeas too). Now that I think about it, being vegetarian was never dirt cheap around here.
I'm sorry to hear that. I've never lived somewhere where cheap staple foods like chickpeas and carrots were inaccessible. I don't have anything to offer, I'm sorry.
Out of interest, where do you live that chickpeas and carrots aren't cheap?
Hungary. I didn't say carrots are inaccessible, but every vegatable and fruit got expensive during the virus. When the quarantine started last year pretty much every store doubled its vegatable prices. Chickpeas weren't that cheap before either, probably because it isn't commonly used around here and many stores don't have them on stock.
Hummus can be altered to be basically any bean dip. I'm having trouble picturing somewhere that some type of dried beans would be a more expensive option than most meat/cheeses at a grocery store?
I'll take it. If you can't eat garlic, something inside you has died. They have my sympathies.
Good choice. Also at that rate OP should maybe think about healthy snacks, if I had like chips or whatever 4+ times a week I think I'd just die within a few years.
If you want, you can encourage people to bring group food by providing bennie tokens if you’re running the game (or talking the GM into it.) Basically, a player can turn in a token to reroll a die, or gain other small bonuses, and you get a bennie when you do something that benefits the group, like feeding or cleaning up after people, keeping notes or maps, doing party loot, or painting minis for folks. (If the host isn’t the GM, that should be worth a bennie too as thanks.)
Popcorn is probably the cheapest snack you can get. Don't buy the pre-popped bags. If you are the host you might even be able to get everyone to chip in a bit for a popcorn machine.
Wait, you're spending 50 (about 36 USD) every month for supplying snacks to around 18-20 sessions?
We honestly should be taking lessons from *you*. How are you spending what is in my currency less than $2.00 per session? Are you hitting the vending machine and getting a small bag of chips for the group?
Red lentil and tomato soup. Super easy and delicious
Soup of any kind sounds like a recipe for disaster.
Over the years we have had soup countless times with no disasters, but then again, we're all capable adults
I see perhaps where we have been going wrong.
Maybe your right, but I dont love cheeto fingerprints neither.
If you can properly separate eating time from game play time its not an issue. IMO taking a meal break for the DM to gather their thoughts and for the players to all come out of character for a half hour it's super important.
the main appeal, for me, of soup is that it stays warm and ready for a long time and it's easy to prepare, so it's low stress for the host. It's also cheap as dirt and feeds plenty of people. Soups and stews have basically infinite variations and are easily customized. If you have a vegetarian person guest playing you can change the recipie on the fly. Those are all great perks for hosting guests.
If you have access to an oven and don't mind a little prep - pan fries.
slice up potatoes into fries shapes place on a cookie tray, drizzle with vegetable oil, sprinkle with salt and put in the oven ~400F for ~25min (flip em once about half way through).
Popcorn with different spice mixes and homemade bread work really well for this!
If you are able to get sushi rice (or any other short grain rice, like the stuff you use for risotto or milk rice) you could make onigiri. (Japanese rice balls)
You could go for the rice-only variant, you could mix the rice with soy sauce and pan fry them or you could stuff them with almost everything you already have in your kitchen. Veggies, eggs, maybe even leftovers.
I’m not sure how cheap fruit and produce is where you are, but grabbing stuff like apples, peaches, berries etc can be cheaper than grabbing frozen/microwave food. Could the other players chip in at all? Depending on the group size, $5-10/person could go a long way.
If you're playing D&D, it might not be in the rulebook, but it *is* legal to consume the flesh of the goat you slaughter at the start of each session. There is no need to extend the ritual beyond the death of the beast. Just make sure you have an especially hot firepit going, then dice up that kid into small chunks. If you provide your guests with skewers, they should have no trouble making good use of that fresh meat.
if you're the snack provider tell people you want them to chip in or you ain't buying
I'll start with congratulations on handling Covid.. Go Kiwis!
Snacks.. not sure what the prices are in New Zealand, or how much effort you're looking at but....
Cookie dough tubes where you can make got baked cookies in a snap.
Popcorn, as another user mentioned, if you by the loose popcorn and know how, stove top popcorn is great.
Pigs in a blanket. Hot dog segments wrapped in Pillsbury Crescent dough.
My group brings their own snacks and occasional sharing items. You’re not obligated to feed them. If you still feel inclined you can bake brownies, muffins, etc. box mix usually isn’t any more than 3 dollars and requires limited ingredients.
What are you currently offering?
Take turns on who provides snacks. Be blunt and honest with your players
If you are completely determined to bring snacks, just bring less. Don't expect yourself to provide all the snacks.
A couple of recommendations for cheap snacks: Ants on a log (celery, peanut butter, and raisins) and eggy in a basket (egg and bread, preferably with cinnamon).