Dinner Parties on a Budget
I love entertaining! Throwing dinner parties has got to be, hands down, one of my favourite things to do. There is something about sharing good food with good friends that brightens my soul. Maybe it’s the fact that we all get to sit down together around a table, the excuse to dress up a little bit fancier than you normally would or perhaps it’s because we usually try out new recipes tat are also a little bit fancier than the Mac and cheese and frozen chicken nuggets that the kids think is the epitome of fine dining.
Throwing a dinner party on a budget can seem like the recipe for a stressful disaster but it surprisingly easy to do. There are no shortage of cheap and cheerful recipes that you can spruce up to make dinner party worthy, not to mention a hole host of other ways to keep costs down but still have a wonderful night.
Split up the responsibilities
This is by far the easiest way to save money on a dinner party. Divide up who is bringing what course so that no one person, or couple, is responsible for the whole meal. You see the biggest savings when no one person is responsible for all the alcohol.
Considering starting a dinner party fund
If you have a regular date to chow down with a group of friends why not set up a kitty to pay for each meal? Any amount over £5 per person, per dinner, is going to add up to a nice budget for doing the shopping.
Favourite go to budget recipe ideas
Homemade hummus is a breeze to make! Chickpeas blended up with a touch of natural yoghurt, garlic and olive oil is all you need for this party favourite. Tahini and sesame oil is traditionally used in this far east favourite but in a pinch the natural yogurt and plain oil will do. Veg crudités are a great way to serve it or take a look inside your freezer and use the heel of bread to make tasty strips of toasted crostini.
Chilli is an excellent way to fill people up when you have limited funds. I am a huge fan of 5 way chilli. If you have the time or the kitchen magic that is a slow cooker you can easily save some money by choosing cheaper, tougher cuts of meat and then use the low and slow method to transform them into tender chunks of goodness. The 5 way part of the meal comes from the selection of toppings that you lay out separately and allow everyone to add their own touch. the traditional 5 are: Grated cheese, diced onion, broken up saltine crackers, drained kidney beans and sour cream. Guests can then add their own toppings to the chilli. For when the budget is really tight, have a look at using turkey mince for your chilli- the turkey takes on flavours exceptionally well so can be the perfect showcase for your homemade chilli sauce.
Chocolate fondue can easily be replicated by melting some chocolate and providing a variety of dippable options; sliced fruit, marshmallows or even biscuits will all be firm favourites.