Entertain for cheaper - Some essential tips for saving money on food

Food is an integral part of entertaining guests - there is no way around that, but here are a few tips for planning a frugal feast to take you through the holidays and beyond.


 

You don't have to go broke to throw a good party, according to Money Management International (MMI), a non-profit financial consultancy.

The average holiday shopper spends $688 on holiday-related expenses each year. A simple way to save money? Gift homemade treats as gifts - find recipes for your favorite bakery items or confectioneries and spend money only on the packaging, MMI suggested on December 16.

Some other ways to save:

Brunch
Forget dinner parties (it's the most expensive meal to serve, says MMI), and instead serve brunch. That little window of time between breakfast and lunch is great for serving food because the menu options are so much cheaper and easy to make (i.e. Eggs Benedict - just eggs and muffins).

BYOV&C
This is a new spin on the classic BYOB (bring your own beer) bash. Instead of beer, ask each guest to bring one bottle of wine (vino) or cheese to share at your party. Alcohol is one of the most expensive entertaining staples, and there are so many varieties of wine and cheese that sampling itself will make your party a success.

Bite-sized bash
Bite-sized desserts are all the rage for 2010 - with shrinking budgets and growing health awareness, who wants a whole pie anyways? Translate this trend into entertaining by baking or buying (or asking guests to bring) one or two entire cakes or pies and cutting them into small sample sized bites.

Wait
Wait as long as possible to buy table centerpieces like ham or turkey. Grocers tend to mark meat prices down as it gets closer to big holidays.

Shop with a list and on a full stomach
Impulse purchases are a no-no when shopping on a budget. Always go grocery shopping prepared with a list and eat something first! If you shop on an empty stomach, you are more likely to fill your trolley with impulse purchases. 

Start a new tradition
If all else fails, instead of hosting an elaborate dinner, try something new. Mobilize your friends and family to donate the most precious resource of all - their time. Spending your holiday serving meals to the homeless or sick will cost less and, more importantly, remind everyone of how fortunate they are.

www.moneymanagement.org

 

 

 

 

 

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Recruitment Genius: Car Sales Executive - Franchised Main Dealer

    £30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

    Recruitment Genius: Group Sales Manager - Field Based

    £21000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Located on the stunning Sandban...

    Guru Careers: Email Marketing Specialist

    £26 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Email Marketing Specialist is needed to join...

    Recruitment Genius: Tour Drivers - UK & European

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join a is a...

    Day In a Page

    As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

    As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

    Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
    Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

    The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

    Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
    Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
    Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

    Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

    A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
    How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

    How books can defeat Isis

    Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
    Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

    Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

    She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
    The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

    The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

    The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
    French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

    French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

    Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
    Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

    Young carers to make dance debut

    What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
    Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

    Design Council's 70th anniversary

    Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
    Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

    Dame Harriet Walter interview

    The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
    Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

    Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

    Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

    Bill Granger's winter salads

    Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
    England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

    George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

    No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
    Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links