General budget-cooking rule: Any relatively nutritious food you can get for a dollar a pound is your friend. Pasta, a kiddie favorite, is available for as little as $0.99 for a 1-pound box, which holds eight servings and can satisfy even the pickiest 10-year-old.
This is a perfect lunch entrée if you're hosting the party at home, where you can prepare the dishes beforehand and keep them warm until serving time. The possibilities are endless. Buttered shells, macaroni and cheese, spaghetti and tomato sauce and baked ziti are all sure to please your guests and your wallet.
If you're looking for finger foods, try stacking tortellini on a stick!