Food and friends are the ultimate mood boosters, so don’t rule out entertaining entirely when you’re trying to save. Yeah, some extravagant recipes can add up, especially when you’re doubling and tripling ingredients. But if you keep it simple and sweet, you can still enjoy quite a feast. Here are some cheap dinner party ideas for a casual, super summer-y, but impressive fete.
If you have dinnerware already, use that! Matching sets are overrated, in my opinion, and a table full of colors is the most festive option anyway. And when you have bright and patterned dishes, don’t worry about formal placemats and chargers. You might expect a guest or two to bring wine, but it’s always nice to have a good bottle on hand. The table: Dinner plates // Dessert plates // Flatware // Bowls // Moscato // Wine glasses
How to Have a Dinner Party for Under $100…
For food, one of my favorite warm-weather dishes is Blog Milk’s Summer Pasta. I love this because:
- It’s pasta. Super cheap, universally loved, filling, and easy to make a lot of.
- It’s light, healthy, and tasty.
- It’s easily adaptable: Vegetarian/Vegan- nix the tuna; Gluten-free- Use quinoa pasta; Don’t like tuna- Switch it for sausage (which is also cheap!).
- It can use whatever veggies you already have in your fridge. If you’re starting from scratch, the veggies I think work best are seasonal and cheap, like cabbage and squashes.
- It just looks so pretty. It’s so easy to make, but will visually impress.
All together, you could pull off dinner for around $25.
Any go-to dinners you like make for friends?
Lauren Johnson is a filmmaker/producer living in West Hollywood who enjoys a great foreign thriller, leisure beers, and non-primary colors. Lauren also writes the blog LOCONCEPTS.