Frugal Fun: Hosting Friends on a Budget
One of the greatest joys of adult life is being able to have friends over to socialise. Most of us reach an age where clubbing every weekend and wild parties no longer interest us, and more relaxed and grown up occasions start appealing far more. Good food, good drinks and good company are the trifecta of a wonderful get together, and there are ways you can host these events on a regular basis without it costing the earth. Here are some ideas for get togethers you can host on a budget.
Pot luck party
The idea of a potluck party is that everyone brings along a dish and you end up with a feast. This means you get to sample everyone’s food and it can be a lot of fun, and because you’re not paying for everything it works out incredibly cheaply. One of the best ways to orchestrate a successful potluck party is to base it on a theme, that way the dishes are all in sync with each other rather than being a random mixture that doesn’t really go. Assign canapes, starters, mains and desserts to each guest and then that way you’ll be sure that everyone doesn’t bring the same thing and you have plenty for each course. It can be a good idea to get your guests to let you know what they plan on bringing in advance, once you know what everyone is making you can double check that you don’t have any repeats and it makes for a successful evening.
If everyone brings something along then again it hugely reduces the cost for you and you can host a feast where everyone has plenty to eat. Unlike a potluck party where guests bring a ready prepared dish, simply have them pick up something to throw on the barbeque and you can have it all cooked up for them. Burgers, sausages, marinated chicken drumsticks, steaks and grill veggies such as portobello mushrooms, corn and peppers are all good options to ask people to bring along. You can find inexpensive drinks such as wines from Oddbins or even mix up a couple of cocktails for everyone to share. If you have any large drinks dispensers, mix up a few different cocktails with some spirits, juice, mixer and fruit and people can help themselves.
One pot dish
Often we think of dinner party dishes needing to be very fancy- steak cooked to people’s preferences, perfectly timed vegetable side dishes, or foods and ingredients with exotic sounding names. But it really doesn’t have to be so formal and you can have a great night cooking a one- pot meal which is both tasty and inexpensive. Stews can be made using cheap cuts of meat and potatoes. Chilli con carne, meatballs, curry or spaghetti bolognese can all be made in one big pot and dished out to a number of guests, all you need to do is boil up some pasta or rice to serve it with. Look into inexpensive meals that can be batch cooked and go with that for your get together!