How to Host a Budget Friendly Dinner Party
A dinner party is as much about quality time with friends as it is about the food. It’s about getting together to enjoy a nice meal and some charming conversation within the comfort of your own home, without the expense of going out to dinner.
Here are some tips to help you put together an enjoyable evening without spending a fortune:
Inviting Your Guests
Mailing out invitations is time consuming and expensive. By sending and online invite, you can manage the guest list, let everyone see who’s coming, and include all the vital information, like directions, party theme, and what to bring.
You can create a private Facebook event to easily invite all of your guests and share the party information to only the people you invite. Or use Evite to create an invitation, manage the guest list, and find part planning ideas.
Creating the Menu
Start with a theme. Not only will it help you stay on budget; it will also help decide what sorts of things to ask your guests to bring. For instance, if you’re planning an Italian-style dinner party, your guests could bring bruschetta or some other Italian-style appetizer. And an inexpensive Chianti might be a big hit.
Start With Ingredients You Have
Buying tons of ingredients for your dinner party isn’t going to save you any money. By the time you’re done shopping, you may have been better off going out to dinner.
Think about what recipes you can prepare with ingredients you already have or select recipes that have ingredients you know you’ll be able to use again.
Don’t Cook Something You’ve Never Made Before
The worst time to try a new recipe is when you’re preparing a meal for a group of dinner guests. It will be very stressful and you won’t know how the meal will taste until it’s time to serve it. Choose a dish that you’ve made before and know will turn out well.
Make it a Potluck
This is the best way to save money on your dinner party. Plus, your guests are bound to ask: “What should I bring?”
It’s usually easiest to prepare the main course yourself and ask your guests to bring something that will compliment it, like appetizers, wine, and dessert. Create a list of things you need and either assign them to certain guests or leave the choice to them in an online forum or sign-up sheet. Just ask them to stick with the theme you selected and share what they plan to bring with the group so you don’t end up with several of the same items.
Create a list of everything you’ll need for your dinner before shopping so you don’t forget anything. Check sale papers before heading to the store to see if you can choose a recipe that incorporates what you find on sale.
Be sure to stock up on extra items you’ll need like toilet paper, candles, and napkins.
After Dinner Entertainment
Plan something fun as a group for after dinner like a game of charades, Pictionary, or karaoke. Or shop online for dinner party games like murder mysteries. Some of them even include themes and menu ideas to get you started.
Having friends over for a fun night in doesn’t have to be expensive if you plan in advance, get a little help from everyone coming, and stay organized.