Tacos. You can feeda ton of people with tacos and they are a fun, social meal.
Brown some meat, a pound for every 4 people or so. Season with tacos seasoning or spice it how you like.
Salad: shredded lettuce head, 1/2 head for every 4 people diced tomatoes, about 2 per 4 people
Beans: use either canned refrieds, canned reds or pintos, or even cheaper, but slower would be dry reds or pintos, or even make your own refireds (I like to add diced chiles to refrieds) or you can put out more than one kind
Salsa- make your own if you can swing it tomatoes lime juice salt cilantro onion hot peppers
tortillas whatever you like
You can make bean dip or cheese dip (like Ro-Tel) to go with if you want
just put it all out and let everyone fill their plate with fixin's that they like and fill a tortilla and eat it. Repeat until you are stuffed.
Not the cheapest but a great way to cook for a group-cajun shrimp boil. Use outdoor propane cookers and do it up! I also use my propane cooker for corn on the cob, and other need-to-boil-a-ton-of-water-really-fast recipes. (Like pasta for a ton of people, for instance.) Any chance any of your group is a hunter? That could really defray the cost of meat... HB
How about a PILE of habanero peppers? Mama didn't know what they were, and planted 5 plants of them, and now we have a ton of them sitting around ready to burst into flames any minute. Can you dry them? If so, how? One little perpper does a whole batch of salsa up right. What to do with the rest?
I can't help with your current situation, but as for an ounce of prevention, you could use undyed leather. I know about begging and choosing, but if you wanted- oh I don't know, say some deer leather in it's natural color, there is probably some way to get some...mentioned in another post...by me...in this room.