Planning a dinner party for a large number of guests means a lot of work - and considerable expense if you don't keep an eye on the cost. That means you need to know how to save money on dinner parties. The wish to impress your guests with sophisticated dishes and presentation can lead to an eye-watering bill if you're not careful! But with careful planning and wise shopping, you can provide an impressive meal on a reasonable budget making you the queen of ways to save money on dinner parties.
1. Plan Your Menu Carefully
It's often the "extras" that bump up the final cost, such as elaborate starters and drinks. So keep starters simple, and perhaps the dessert as well, which is one of the easiest answer for how to save money on dinner parties. Use ingredients that you know you'll be able to find easily, so you won't have to rush around looking for a crucial ingredient and pay over the odds for it. You'll want to provide a variety of drinks, but you can save money by buying larger bottles of soft drinks.
2. Get Fresh Produce from a Market
You'll need a lot of fruit and vegetables when you're catering to a large number of guests. Base your menu around seasonal ingredients, which are available at cheaper cost. Don't buy expensive imported strawberries in the middle of winter. You could even head to a farm that offers pick-your-own vegetables, and farm shops can often be cheaper than supermarkets.
3. Visit a Wholesaler
If you need to buy food in bulk, you can often find bargains at wholesalers like Costco. So if you have a membership card or can borrow one, buy as many ingredients there as you can. In fact, it might be worth scouting out ideas on a trial run to see what kind of things are available, although you may not be able to rely on the same items being on offer when you go back. Still, it could give you some inspiration for your menu planning.
4. Use Cheaper Cuts of Meat
This can be a good way of stretching your budget further. Speak to your local butcher. They may be keen to do a deal if you place a large order. You can also order in advance to be sure that you'll have what you need. They may even deliver for your convenience. Cheaper cuts of meat tend to take longer to cook, so think of dishes that involve braising and stewing.
5. Use a Wine Comparison Site
One of the big expenses will be wine. With good company and great food, the wine flows faster! So check a wine comparison site to compare supermarket wine offers. You can find out which wines are cheaper when you buy several bottles, which can offer big savings, and these offers can allow you to upgrade and buy a better wine.
6. Rent Glasses and Equipment
There's no sense in buying glasses and other equipment that you'll only use on this occasion, and you won't have enough plates at home. So it makes good economic sense to rent the items that you'll never use again. You can rent just about anything you'll need - the bonus being that you can add insurance in case of breakages, and you won't have to worry about your own items being broken.
7. Don’t Panic
Panicking is bound to make things even more stressful. thing the event through carefully and prepare well. Work out a budget and stick to it. Have a shopping list and also a prep list for the day of the party. And sometimes, it is worth calling around to get quotes from caterers or private chefs. By the time you add up the costs of food, equipment rental and the major hassle factor, it might well be cheaper to let the professionals handle it.
Planning a dinner party is never easy, but with these tips you can hopefully make setting up your event a breeze!