Dec 10, 2005

Entertaining On a Budget

The thought of guests coming for dinner can strike fear in your heart when your cupboard is bare. What to serve is always the question and how to impress while still spending less. Fear not! There are many ways to wow your dinner guests and still keep the cost under control.

Keep It Casual - Plan simple fare. Opt for a simpler meal rather than a fancy multi course affair.

Check your stock - Take a look in your pantry and see what you have on hand before you plan your menu. Plan your meal around such staples as pastas, rice or beans.

Check the sale flyers - See what your local grocers have on sale, this is a great way to make the most of seasonal items. It is also the best way to cut down the cost of more expensive items such as meats and cheeses.

Go vegetarian - Serve your guests a meatless meal. Not only can vegetarian meals be less expensive, they are healthier and lighter too. The highest priced items for many recipes such as meats, cheese, sour cream and cream or butter are often the most unhealthy.

Ease up on the appetizers - Have your meal almost ready to serve when guests arrive and prepare only one simple appetizer.

Serve a simple dessert - Seasonal fresh fruit with a simple topping of homemade whipped cream is not only elegant, it is good for you and a welcome refreshment to a full stomach.

Be creative - If you need to decorate for your dinner party, visit a local dollar store. You can find everything from candles, beautiful decorative vases, and dishes. Keep things simple yet elegant.

Host a Pot Luck - If you really want to have guests for dinner but feel you can't afford to why not host a pot luck? People love to show off their cooking skills and pot lucks are great opportunities to do so. Ask your guests to provide copies of their recipe to share. It's a great way for everyone to find new recipes to try at home.

I think if you use these tips you will find that you can entertain more often that you imagined without breaking your pocketbook.


Kimbie said...

Another things I like to do with my friends when I have them round for dinner is find out which of them want to learn how to cook (or who enjoys cooking). Then I get them to come over early and help out! Fun : )

Kimbie said...

p.s. You've been tagged to list your 10 favourite foods!

Michele said...

That sounds like lots of fun Kimbie! I always enjoy offering free lessons as well :)

Looks like you got me, will list my faves next post!


sailu said...

Great tips,Michele! Thanks..:)

Michele said...

You're very welcome sailu!

Alanna Kellogg said...

Do "Sunday night suppers" -- as easy as a big pot of soup and fresh bread and a salad. And LOTS less liquor ...

Michele said...

Good point! I love soup and bread... yum! :)