The season of get togethers is upon us! Soon there will be more Christmas and holiday lunches, parties and dinners than you can count on one hand. I love a good party, but when you are on a budget sometimes it can seem daunting to invite many guests into your home and provide food and drink for them. But worry not! Here are ten tips from a wonderful website called Stone Soup (minimalist home cooking) that will keep you in that entertaining spirit without breaking the bank. To see the original post click here.

Tip 1 – Keep it simple 
Having people over doesn’t mean that you need to provide an elaborate 7 course meal that costs a bundle. Keep the meal simple and your budget will thank you.

Tip 2 – Allow your guests to contribute
People always ask what they can bring – make the most of it! A bottle of wine, a starter, a salad or a dessert are often easy to put together/ buy and transport on your way to a party so they are easy for guests to bring and make a wonderful addition to a meal. And often times they will work with whatever you are preparing no matter what.

Tip 3 – It’s low cost, not low quality
If you can’t afford really great steak, trade it out for a less expensive, but still high quality ingredient like sausage. This way you are serving great food but at a lower price.

Tip 4 – Think of less expensive alternatives
Serving pesto? You can make a great homemade one using walnuts instead of the pricier pine nut. Making small swaps such as that in recipes can save you a bundle especially if you replace an expensive cheese with a similar one that might happen to be on sale.

Tip 5 – Go for comfort food
When guests come over more likely than not they are not expecting fancy dancy food. A homemade Mac and Cheese, roast or stew is sure to be a hit.

Tip 6 – Use eggs as your protein
Affordable and delish! Eggs can be a star in your main dish – think souffle, Quiche and frittata.

Tip 7 – Watch your serving size
To make sure you waste as little food as possible, consider serving it family style. This way everyone only takes as much as they are willing to eat and you don’t  over serve your guests. Remember, tossing food is like tossing money in the garbage.

Tip 8 – Make it from scratch
Making something like homemade pasta or bread adds a special touch to the meal without much added cost

Tip 9 – Make dessert the star
Sugar is pretty cheap making dessert economical if you stay away from expensive nuts and chocolates. Make this the highlight of your meal, it ends the night with a bang!

Tip 10 – Use seasonal ingredients
Come fall and winter root veggies are the freshest and cheapest. Try to steer clear of things like asparagus and other veg that only is harvested in our part of the world in the spring/summer.

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