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Tips for Hosting a Dinner Party on a Budget
Hosting a dinner party doesn't need to be difficult or pricey.  Here are some fun and inexpensive tips for planning a party.

Dinner Party

Budgets may be tight this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t host a killer dinner party this holiday season. FOX Business talked to “Frugal Luxuries by the Seasons” author Tracey McBride to help you throw a memorable party without breaking the bank.

Mulled Wine

No need to spend a lot on top-shelf alcohol to impress your guests.  Pick one festive and unique drink to serve at the part. Scour the Web for specialty drink recipes. McBride says she often ops for mulled wine because of its sweet??? flavor and cheap price tag.  We gave it a try and found it had a festive aroma, and some of the ingredients such as cinnamon sticks and cloves can be used for hot apple cider as well.

Vegetable Platter

Skip the hassle and price tag of hors d'oeuvres and serve up a vegetable platter, or crudités to start a dinner party. Often vegetables that are in season in your region are the freshest and cheapest. With an assortment of veggies, you can skimp on the more-pricy veggies; sprinkle a couple pear tomatoes among the carrots to add some flavor and color. Bonus: The platter can be made ahead of time which means more time enjoying the party and your friends. HINT: A lot of veggies are in season now, including broccoli, cauliflower and carrots.

Ravioli

No need to dish out lots of dough on an expensive cut of meat that requires a lot of attention to prepare. Consider dishes that use a less expensive cut of meat, such as stew or a casserole. Dishes such as lasagna or ravioli can be made ahead of time and don’t’ require meat, but keep guests’ bellies full. And if you are short on time, we recommend going with ravioli, we got a store-bought brand which was tasty and ready in under 15 minutes.

Pot Luck

A pot luck can be a fun way to host a dinner party while alleviating some of the costs and work involved. Bonus: pick a theme, like Italian or Mexican and assign guests different dishes. Make sure you keep track of the assignment or you might end up with a meal full of salads.

Centerpiece

Let the creative juices flow and skip the fussy (not to mention expensive) flower centerpieces. Mother Nature provides her own makings for a festive display--enjoy the cool fall air and colors while on the hunt for pine cones, colorful leaves and pine needles to create your own masterful centerpiece like the one we put together in just 10 minutes. 

Table Setting

Plastic utensils, plates and cups are relatively inexpensive, but why spend money on something you already own? There’s nothing wrong with putting out your everyday flatware.

Apple Cider

Looking to create a seasonal aroma sans the heavy price tag? Heat up some apple cider with some cinnamon, a creation that pulls double duty: It will fill the room with a nice scent and you can serve it as a drink with dessert as an alternative to tea or coffee.

Tips for Hosting a Dinner Party on a Budget

Hosting a dinner party doesn't need to be difficult or pricey.  Here are some fun and inexpensive tips for planning a party.

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