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The Definitive Guide to Hosting the Perfect Dinner Party on a Budget 

When you have a taste for the finer things in life, it can be difficult to keep yourself on track with your budget. Nothing illustrates this better than trying to throw a dinner party when your bank account is running low. Even leaving out the overall monetary cost, it can be hard to resist spending money on entertaining, even when you are short on funds.

So does being strapped for cash rule out being able to throw a dinner party short of putting yourself in debt or taking out payday loans to cover the cost? We’re here today to tell you that the answer is a resounding “no!” As long as you’re smart about it, it’s entirely within your power to put together the kind of dinner party that your friends will be talking about for months.

Finalize Your Menu Before Shopping

A common and potentially expensive mistake many hosts make when planning a dinner party is going shopping for supplies before having finalized the evening's menu. If you make this mistake you’re likely to purchase all kinds of ingredients and extras you don’t need and overbuy on items you do need.

Instead of falling into this trap, be sure to get a final dinner headcount well in advance. Finalize a menu before creating your shopping list, and stick to it once you’re at the store. This’ll keep your food budget neat and tidy and make sure you keep your costs to a minimum.

Start Planning Early

Building off of the previous tip, you’ll be in a better place financially the longer in advance you plan your dinner party. Knowing ahead of time what you’ll need lets you keep an eye out for sales or deals on supplies you’ll need while doing your regular shopping. Not everything can be bought early, but things like frozen foods, cooking staples, and other non-perishables will keep for quite a while. Speaking of wine...

Don’t Go Wine Crazy

Wine is one of the most variably priced items out there, with a bottle ranging anywhere from $3 to $3,000. While the price of a bottle may be a simple diagonal from least to most expensive, the noticeable quality is a little flatter. The difference in taste between a $3 bottle and a $13 bottle is vast, but the difference between that $13 bottle and a $30 one is negligible.

Since there’s very little discernable difference to the average palate between wines at this price point when planning your dinner party try and find a nice mid-priced bottle of wine that’ll impress your guests without breaking the bank.

Groove Up Your Music

One thing that doesn’t cost anything beyond a little of your time is picking the right music. Before your party, make a dedicated playlist that’ll enhance the atmosphere you’re trying to create. Maybe try classical or jazz during dinner, and then move more towards something livelier as the evening progresses. Music is a great tool for adding a little class and ambiance without spending much.

Keep it Classy

Being on a budget shouldn’t limit your ability to throw a successful and delicious dinner party. Really, it just means you’ll have to adjust your thinking in a few key ways and be more deliberate with your planning. If you can manage to do that, you’ll be able to share the finer thing in life without relying on payday loans to cover the cost.