Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Throwing a dinner party that won’t cost a fortune

Entertaining at home and inviting friends round for a meal is not only the pass time of the middle classes. We all enjoy entertaining and spending time round the table with friends and family. Unfortunately, there is a misconception that having a dinner party can be extremely expensive, and as a result, many people do not bother. Here are some tips to help you throw a fantastic dinner party that will not cost a fortune.

Menu planning is the key to making savings on your dinner party budget. Think about the foods that are in season and look out for special offers or discounts that are available when you go shopping. Deciding what you will cook, before you go to the supermarket, can turn out to be quite expensive because the items you are looking for won’t necessarily be available at a cheaper price. Instead, do what the Europeans do in France and Spain, go to the store and look at what they have, then plan your menu accordingly.

Dishes like casseroles, lasagne, roasts and pasta dishes are all very cheap to make. Main courses that can all be cooked at once, in the oven are an easy option too. Vegetables are cheap so you can create a wealth of food by having more than three or four choices of vegetable in addition to the meat option.

Save on wines by encouraging friends to bring a bottle with them. Or buy a box of wine which works out at half the price of the equivalent bought in bottles. Simple vegetable crudités and a humus dip are much cheaper than buying expensive processed and ready-made starters from the freezer section. A bowl of salad for six people, if you prepare it yourself rather than buying pre-prepared salads, will cost approximately 35p per head, instead of £1 per person!

Dinner parties are special occasions, and after working hard all week, we all deserve to enjoy ourselves and spend time with friends. Sharing a meal and relaxing in good company is a treat we should all give ourselves. And by avoiding pre-packed, processed foods, and making your own lovely meals, you can easily do it on a budget.


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