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Tips for Hosting a Dinner Party on a Budget
Ready to host your first dinner party with friends or a small holiday get-together? You don’t have to break the bank to have a meal with good company. Check out these tips for hosting a dinner party, complete with wine, on a budget.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask
If you don’t feel like you have the time or the funds to tackle everything, ask your guests to bring an appetizer, side dish or dessert to share. The only faux pas is asking a guest to bring the main dish.
Serve Just One Appetizer
If you are handling the appetizers on your own, don’t feel pressured to have an elaborate spread. Save your appetizers for the main meal and serve just one bite before dinner. We like to check out the bakery department for day-old baguettes to make crostini topped with seasonal roasted veggies or dipped into a sweet potato puree or homemade hummus dip. Try serving this Pinot Grigio as an aperitif with your appetizers as your guests arrive.
Skip the Steak
Unless there’s a great deal on a more expensive meat, we like to stick to chicken for a big dinner party. It’s affordable, delicious and easy to cook. There’s something super impressive about a whole roast chicken. Or you can serve delicious chicken thighs with a creamy mushroom sauce or marinated in a curry yogurt. The options are endless. If you’re looking for a main dish that is meatless, consider a frittata loaded with your favorite veggies of the season. Afterall, few things are cheaper than eggs. Consider serving this Pinot Noir and this Chardonnay with your chicken. If the main dish is a bit spicy, we suggest this Riesling to help cool things down.
If you didn’t delegate the sides away, think filling and affordable. We like to serve potatoes or sweet potatoes in salads, mashed or roasted. They’re such an affordable ingredient and they are great at making your guests feel full. For more inexpensive, hearty ideas, head to the dried beans aisle and brainstorm a legume salad or soup for extra protein. Pasta side dishes with seasonal vegetables are also another way to round out the menu on a tight budget.
Good, Affordable Wine
Cavit makes a variety of red and white, sweet and dry Italian wines, all for less than $10 a bottle. They’re high quality, food-friendly and ready to impress. Choose one red and one white wine that will pair with most of the food being served. There’s no need to feel like you have to offer your guests more wine options than that. If you’re having a large gathering, ask your local wine store if they offer a case discount for an even better deal.
Ready to set the table? Using butcher paper, DIY decor and found branches or leaves, you can create an an easy and affordable tablescape. Check out our tips here.