Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through our links, at no cost to you. Please read our disclosure for more info.
Dinner party planning is never easy. You have the guest list to consider when trying to work out the best mix of people to have at your gathering. You need to consider everybody's different taste palettes. And you have to plan party games or other guest-appropriate activities too!
On top of all this, you also have to consider your budget. Dinner parties are rarely cheap!
Of course, at the time of writing, you might not be considering a dinner party at all. Thanks to the pandemic and social distaining rules, many of us have had to limit our social plans. In theory then, now is the time to save up your money, as you might be able to afford the most extravagant dinner party imaginable after the crisis has passed. Still, with Christmas coming up, you might be in need of a few frugal tips if socializing is possible for you, and there is no harm in learning a few money-saving suggestions anyway.
So, here we go!
In This Post:
#1: Whittle down your guest list
There are bound to be people you don't really want to invite to your dinner party anyway, so chop them off the list. You shouldn't have to invite people because you think you ought to! And check with your proposed guests before inviting them, as you don't want them to be a no-show after spending a lot to feed them. If you know certain people won't be able to make it, you can whittle down your guest list, and spend less on your party.
#2: Create your own decor
You want your home to look nice for your guests, but you don't have to blow your dinner party budget on expensive table decorations and the like. Instead, make your own, as not only will this cost you less, but you will have more to talk about when people are complimenting your handwork. Check out these Christmas decor ideas, for example.
#3: Send online invitations
You don't need to deal with the expense of handwritten invitations, as there are loads of websites online where invites can be created for free. Check out Punchbowl, for example, as they give you the ability to send out guest invites in a range of fun creative themes. Alternatively, use email, perhaps with a customized template, or simply send your proposed guests a message on Facebook.
#4: Spend less at the supermarket
After deciding who to invite, you will need to work out your shopping list. This can be complicated, especially when people have food intolerances, and for this reason, it can be expensive too. You might need to buy a variety of different foods for your guests, but you don't have to overspend. By shopping at the right time of day, and with the savvy use of food coupons, you should be able to make a few savings in the store. Read our article on grocery shopping tips for advice on bargain hunting.
#5: Host a potluck dinner party
This is a great way to save money, as you won't need to buy all of the food and beverages for your dinner party. Make sure everybody has a copy of the menu, and for those that are willing, ask them to bring the appetizers, main course dishes, drinks, side orders, and desserts. Not only will this save you money, but it will save you time too, as you will have less to do in the kitchen. You can also get around food intolerances this way, as you can ask those people with specific culinary needs to bring their own menu items.
#6: Save money on entertainment
You don't need to spend a lot of money on entertainment, so don't assume you need to hire a specialist act for the evening, and don't spend a small fortune on board games. Instead, ask your guests to provide some of the entertainment, perhaps by having a cabaret evening where they can all show off their talents. Or play those party games that don't require lots of equipment, such as charades, quizzes, and the frugal options from this list of party games. Ask your guests for ideas too, and if you do decide on board games, encourage people to bring along those games they already have at home.
#7: Save money on clothes
You will want to get glammed up for the evening, but you don't need to spend a small fortune. Use what you already have in your wardrobe, perhaps by mixing and matching certain items to create a brand new look. Or visit those stores that offer fashion discounts on cocktail dresses, shoes, and any accessories you like to wear.
Dinner parties are great fun, so hopefully, we will all have the opportunity to host one again soon. When the time does come, use our frugal planning tips, as you will be able to enjoy the party with the knowledge that you haven't had to demolish your personal bank account in your efforts to give everybody a good time.