These days, we’re all trying to cut costs. And having friends over for dinner instead of eating out is one way to do it. But if you aren’t careful, food costs can add up and soon a homemade dinner is pricier than a restaurant meal.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Follow these tips for an indulgent four-course dinner party that won’t have you applying for food stamps the week after.
Forget about ramen noodles, PB&J and mac-n-cheese. Your college staples aren’t the only budget foods around. You’re an adult now, and you can turn it out for a dinner party while being savvy about food costs. You can serve wine, steak, starters, sides and dessert for under $25. Stay with me people, I’m just getting going.
Greet Guests with a Glass and a Nibble
To welcome your guests, put a glass of wine in their hand and have something delicious for them to snack on.
Nuts and gourmet cheeses will blow your budget before you even get to the table. Go with deviled eggs, that retro treat your grandma made (for good reason). Six eggs (which translate to twelve little devils) will set you back less than $1.50. Boil them pretty, combine the yolk with mustard and mayo and sprinkle with paprika. You probably have that stuff in your fridge already.Let Your Friends Wine
Your friends want to bring something, so let them. Ask for what’s easy: a bottle or two of wine. It’s an absolute must at a dinner party, but can blow your budget. So let your friends take care of it.
Your main course is the place to splurge. Sure, times are tough, which means an indulgent steak is a welcomed break from all the skimping. Serving steak doesn’t mean that everyone gets a Porterhouse; pick a cut that can be cooked, sliced, and served family-style. People actually take less meat when they serve themselves. Gluttony is so 2007.
Plus, since restaurants are cutting back their orders, there’s a surplus of prime meat in the grocery stores, which is being offered as a special. Last week, my local grocery had prime hangar steak for $4.99 a pound; this week it’s trimmed filet mignon for $5.99.