Come Dine With Me… On A Budget

As you get older, the lure of going out drinking until 3 o’clock in the morning fades away. In its place comes a desire to spend time with the people you love in a cosy environment (and going to bed at a sensible time). So, it’s no surprise that dinner parties are becoming a bigger part of your life. In fact, hosting the ultimate dinner party is probably high up on your list of goals. There is one thing holding you back, though, and that’s the cost because parties aren’t cheap, and you can’t afford to splash out once every month.

What you can do instead is host a party on a budget, and here’s how.

Resist The Urge To Go Big

When it’s your turn to play the role of the hostess with the mostess, it’s tempting to try and outdo all of the former parties. That means more exotic food, the best ingredients, and all the trimmings. Although it does fit the brief, this way of thinking is very expensive. The best ingredients don’t come cheap because it is high-quality stuff. The good news is that you can get make excellent dishes without far out ingredients. Forget about the truffles and the caviar and focus on the basics as less is often more.

Opt For Seasonal Food

Summer is almost here, which means that summery food is about to hit the stores. Well, in a lot of cases, the food is already available thanks to mass farming and chemicals. But buying food out of season only jacks the price up even more. Go on, try and purchase a bunch of strawberries in the autumn and see how much they cost. The suppliers, both the farmers and supermarkets, know the demand is high, so the prices skyrocket. When the food is seasonal, however, there is a bigger influx which brings the prices down. If you don’t have a clue where to start, this guide will help. 

Cheap Wine Is The Future

The thought of buying basic ingredients might send a shiver down your spine, and there is a good reason. Simply put, most people can tell the difference. However, that isn’t the case with wine. An average supermarket sells wine which has a stellar reputation, and it only costs a few pounds. And if you know where to look, there is always a wine sale taking place online that you can exploit. At the end of the day, there is no need to break the bank to buy a bottle of red. Indeed, it’s often better to go with the budget wine option according to customer satisfaction surveys. Make sure you check out my guide, How to Match Food and Wine for the perfect pairing. 

Avoid Pyrotechnics  

Dinner parties aren’t just about the food – they are also about the décor. As the host, you want to create an ambience (to be read in a Micky Flanagan style voice) to add to the experience. The thing is that adding luxury tends to be pretty expensive, as the term ‘luxury’ suggests. Don’t worry about going over the top with your ‘extras’; after all, the best parties simply have delicious food, lots of wine, and great company.