Dinner parties are perhaps the best way of socialising with friends and relatives. You can take your time, eat what everyone likes, cater for any allergies or time constraints, and get a chance to talk and perhaps watch a movie later on. But how can you throw a dinner party and save some money at the same time?
You can scour the internet for recipes that will allow you to create delicious foods for relatively little money. There are websites dedicated to recipes, and you can substitute some ingredients for off-brand versions to help you shave off some pennies here and there.
Making large batches, for example making a lot of spaghetti sauce and freezing the part you won’t use for your dinner party allows you to buy ingredients in bulk. This is also a handy time-saving tip for working parents, as it allows you to prepare your evening meal in a hurry without sacrificing quality or price.
Shopping at your local market can also help you save on ingredients, as you tend to be able to find excellent deals on fresh meat, vegetables and other products.
But if you go to Sainsbury’s, you can find free recipe cards detailing delicious recipes and listing the precise ingredients, which you can buy from Sainsbury’s while you’re at it. You can pay a couple of pounds for a little binder to keep them all in, but by the same token you can just keep the recipe cards and use them as is.
When you use these recipes, you know you’re getting top-quality food for a lower price. But keep an eye out – sometimes you could save some more money simply by substituting ingredients for an off-brand version.
Desserts can be difficult to get right, and people are often tempted to splash out and spend a lot of money on something ready made. But buying a big, cheap tub of easy-scoop ice cream, some fresh berries, and some digestive biscuits, you can make a quick and easy berry sauce by cooking some of the berries with some sugar in a pan.
Layer the ice cream, the rest of the berries, and the crushed digestive biscuits in some fancy glasses (ordinary wine glasses will do!). At the last moment before serving, pour over the warm berry sauce and sprinkle on a final pinch of crumbs, and you have a cheap, easy-to-prepare dessert that looks amazing!
Use a bit of creativity and rely on good sources, and your dinner party could be a huge success without breaking the bank.