How To Throw A Dinner Party On A Budget

How To Throw A Dinner Party On A Budget (Tuesday Nights Just Got A Lot More Fun!)

Emma Booth February 15, 2022

Where did the weekend go? How long until the next one? Nothing quite screams boring like a Tuesday. Often funds and morale are low, your best mate has decided to go to the gym (eye roll) and it’s easy to find yourself twiddling your thumbs or going to big Sainsburys for fun. 

Well forget that because in comes the weekday dinner party, which should remind you that amusement and friendship exist outside of the Friday-Sunday sphere. Unlock your phone, make a group chat with some favourites and take notes. This is how to throw a dinner party on a budget.

Step 1: Menu Prep

Believe it or not, a key element of a dinner party is indeed, dinner. While you might exist solely on instant noodles and crisps, I would advise against serving guests anything that features in a meal deal. Three courses are not necessary however a large main course is, particularly if you’re hosting rugby boys. 

The BBC Good Food website features some reliable hearty recipes. If you own a huge pot or pan try and make a one-pan meal like risotto or casserole. It saves washing up and can be plonked in the middle of the table for wow factor. 

Also everyone loves cheap garlic bread. That’s all I have to say. 

Step 2: Buying ingredients

Three words: Aldi and Lidl. You’re skint and cooking for multiple people, don’t even consider going to Tesco. 

If your guests have allergies, make sure to check the ingredient lists for each item when shopping. While free-from alternatives are more expensive, I’m sure your guest would rather supply their own cheese than have an anaphylactic shock.

Remember to buy wine. You’ll either need it for cooking or drinking or both. If you keep your guests tipsy, whatever you cook will taste better. 

Step 3: Cooking

If you can bully a flatmate into helping you cook then perfect. If going solo, start early to avoid disasters.

Pre-heat the oven and follow the bloody recipe. Skipping key ingredients such as onion tends to end in complete and utter failure unless you’ve followed Step 2 (see: wine). 

Step 4: Entertainment 

The ‘Smooth Jazz’ Spotify playlist and Heads Up! are going to be your crux’s when hosting a budget dinner party. Why? They’re both free. 

The jazz will calm people down when they get too excited about your cheap garlic bread. You’ll then need Heads Up! to add spice and energy once the mains have been consumed. 

Aim to have everyone screaming by 9. Conversation is free so don’t host unless you’re ready to get everyone talking. 

Step 5: Anarchy

With everyone fed and watered, fun should continue without any issues. Avoid talk about religion and politics unless you’ve invited your communist society friends. In fact, try and invite your communist society friends. It’s a Tuesday remember, you need all the chaos you can get. 

Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know
Having graduated from UAL in 2021 with a degree in Magazine Journalism and Publishing, Emma Booth is a writer, wannabe publisher, occasional art-maker and full time twenty-something. (edited)