1) Since hotels are notorious for overcharging for food, skip the food
entirely and print up flyers listing several nearby eating
establishments. Note that many hotels WILL actually let you supply
your own pop and munchies if you do not expect them to serve it and
do not charge.
2) Use second or third tier hotels. The smaller hotels will not
nickel-and-dime you for everything and can be negotiated with on
expenses (I assume everyone knows betther than to pay what the hotel
first asks for?) We didn't use that much function space so many of
the smaller hotels are an option.