Friday, August 5, 2011

Frugal Friday! Entertain on the Cheap

I found a few of these nice tips on "Entertaining on the Cheap" in my AllYou magazine, March 25, 2011 issue.

Entertain on the Cheap: Make your parties the best on the block--without overspending

All year long, entertaining should be on your mind. When the clearance signs go up, be on the prowl for napkins, paper plates and any holiday-themed items such as tablecloths. The cost is often a fraction of the original.

Use what you own. Pretend you have no money in your account and look around your house for ideas. A reader, for instance, used hydrangeas and magnolia branches from her yard as the decor and the party favors were jars of jelly that she got in a combo pack!

Make your menu as flexible as possible. The day before the party, go to the grocery storea nd see what meats are on clearance. Usually, you can pick up some quality cuts at low prices. A reader, for instance, often prepares fajitas becasue the vegetables make the meat go further. She can entertain 10 couples with about $4 worth of meat.

Another reader, always keeps chickpeas, black beans and tortilla chips on hand. In a pinch, she can make an inexpensive and easy hummus or bean dip to serve with raw veggies, chips or pita bread, Dips are not only fun and easy, they are satisfying too.

Have guests bring the dinner ingredients! Do either a pizza bar or a build-your-own stir-fry. As guests arrive, put their "topping" in a dish and place it out on a table. When everyone is present, start cooking. You can also do a waffle bar, omelets or fondue. You're limited only by your imagination.

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