Tip: Bring Snacks to Share!
It doesn't matter what size your ministry is, chances are, your budget isn't big enough. We could all use a few more dollars (or a few more hundreds of dollars) to help make our student ministry budgets stretch a little further. But getting more isn't always as easy as spending more. So creative ways to help maximize the budget are always good. Let me share a few helpful tips that have been helpful to me and my budgeting.
BRING SNACKS TO SHARE!
Food consumption at events is always questionable. How much pizza should we order? How many bags of chips? Ten 2-litters or twenty? Get too little and you run out too soon. Get too much and you might blow your budget. So here is what I have done for years.
When planning for your event, ask you students to bring snacks to share. I have asked for as few as one bag of chips/pretzels/cookies, to three items of snacks to share. Simply state on your promotional material that your admission is to bring a snack to share.
I have even gone as far as including a suggested snack list with specific items we would like to serve. So when we host our viewing party for the big football game, I suggest items such as wings, buffalo dip, veggies, pizza, subs, cupcakes.
There are even times when we spring for the main food items like hot dogs and hamburgers for our year end cook out, our of the program budget. We then ask the students to bring "picnic/cook-out" foods to share.
Never have I ever ran out of food when asking for snacks. Usually I am able to stock my shelves for a couple of weeks with what is left over.
Caution though. Don't go overboard and don't ask all the time. While parents are usually gracious, the constant ask does become annoying. Plus if you are asking all the time, it might lead parents to wonder what's up with your budget. And that could go either way; good or bad.
In just a few weeks, we will host our first "Big Game" night. We are asking students to bring a drink and one "football" snack item to share. It should be a lot of fun with plenty to snack on.