Throwing a Dinner Party on a Budget- Can it be Done?

Throwing dinner parties for friends is one of the great joys of adulthood. Having your own home where you can have loved ones over and enjoy food and drinks is infinitely more enjoyable than going out clubbing and partying every weekend once you reach a certain age. However, as a young adult, budget is still often an issue and throwing dinner parties can be expensive. If you're looking to keep costs down but still have a great time, here's how you can go about it.

Throw a pot luck party
Food is surprisingly expensive- when you first move out and start buying your own food shopping this comes as a bit of a surprise for most of us. So when you start adding nice dinner party foods to your trolley- steaks, seafood and other luxurious items it can of course start costing a small fortune. One way you can keep costs down is by throwing a 'pot luck' party- here each guest brings a dish. That way you all have plenty of food to go round and without any major expense on one person and it's also a fun way to sample each other's cooking. It can help to set a theme here (perhaps a certain kind of cuisine) so all of the dishes work well together. This saves you from eating samosas for starters and lasange for dinner- or any other strange combination! It can also help if you assign starters, mains and desserts amongst yourselves beforehand; then you can be sure that you'll have plenty of each course and your pot luck party doesn't end up as say, five desserts and no savoury dishes!

Go with less traditional dinner party dishes
A dinner party can be anything you want it to be. These days the occasions tend to be a lot less formal than they once were during the rise of the dinner party in the seventies and eighties. You don't have to stick to certain etiquettes and rules if you don't want to, you can customise your party however you want. One pot dishes like stews or big batch cooked meals like chilli con carne and spaghetti bolognese might not scream 'dinner party', but are always delicious crowd pleasers. Not only can they be done on a budget but they're also easy as you can make them in advance and you're not spending the whole evening cooking from scratch. 'Family style' meals like burritos or fajitas where guests build their own meal are fun and interactive, and again are a lot less expensive. Put out bowls of tasty seasoned meats, salads and different toppings that people can help themselves to and make their meal exactly how they like it.

Save on drinks
Usually, guests will bring a bottle along when you invite them for a dinner party. However you will still want to be well stocked as keeping the drinks flowing is one of the most important things at these kinds of gatherings! You can often find quite nice bottles of alcohol at supermarkets but it might take some trial and error, sometimes cheap can be a bargain but at other times it can mean cheap and nasty! Otherwise you could find a site that stocks alcohol at good prices, if it were a special occasion look for well priced champagne that could save you a few quid. You don't want to break the bank when it comes to drinks but it's worth having plenty in and ensuring they're nice quality too. 

Getting friends together means spending quality time and making memories. It doesn't have to leave you broke, you can enjoy delicious food and drink together for much less than you probably thought!