>> May 19, 2012
Hosting a dinner party may seem like a daunting task, but it can actually be a very fun and rewarding experience, without breaking the bank. There are plenty of ways that you can play host to a successful dinner party without shelling out all of your cash – all you need is a little creativity. Don’t worry if you’re stuck for ideas, as the following tips will help you host a thrifty dinner party.
Sending out invitations for your dinner party is a great way to be classy without spending a cent. If you have nice writing, simply draw up a few fancy invites and send them in the regular mail. If that is still too pricey for you, then you can always deliver them yourself!
Planning the menu that you will serve will be the trickiest part of the evening, as it is way too easy to end up spending too much on pre-made or catered food. When it comes to the meal, you can cut a few corners by preparing a large dish with bulk ingredients that everyone shares, such as soup, chilli con carne or stew. Pair the main course with cheaper side dishes that are loaded with carbohydrates such as noodle-, rice- or potato-based dishes. Salads are super cheap and make great plate-fillers, and bread can round out the meal and fill up your guests. Indian curry dishes are also a great idea for vegetarian options, have very few ingredients, and you can easily make a few varieties and serve them with a giant bowl of inexpensive rice. Amazing and cheap desserts include pies, tapioca pudding, rice pudding or ice cream with toppings.
Beverages on a Budget
After food, beverages are the next major budget breaker. Although it’s classy to have many different varieties of alcohol available for your guests, it will be more interesting and much less expensive for you to make cocktails. You can even tell your guests what you will be making ahead of time, so they can bring their own alcohol if they wish. Make your alcohol go further by creating drinks such as sangria, which is just red wine, citrus fruit and lemonade, or mojitos, which are white rum and sparkling water with a bit of lime and mint. To have a selection of wine available, ask your local bottle shop about clean skins, which are unlabelled bottles of wine that, no matter how much the wine is actually worth, are always sold at extremely low prices.
When it comes to party supplies and place settings for decorating your dinner party, it’s easy to get the chic appeal for cheap. It is incredibly stylish these days to have un-matching décor, especially if it’s got a vintage look. Head down to your nearest Opp Shop and pick out a few extra plates, bowls and cups, making sure they are as vintage as possible. While there, choose a few vases to put flowers in, an old-school decanter and some cute salt and pepper shakers from the 1950s to decorate with. The whole trip will only end up costing you a few dollars, and you will get a particular style of place setting that looks antique.