Hosting a dinner party is a wonderful way to show friends and family a good time but it can end up costing you a lot of money… especially if you like to impress. This doesn’t have to be the case if you host your party strategically. Try these tips for throwing fun dinner parties without blowing your entire grocery budget.

Make it a Potluck

This one is a no-brainer! Ask your guests to each bring a dish (choose a theme to make it more fun!) and your costs associated with hosting go down significantly. Try this recipe for mini raw key lime pies.

Look for Sales

If you don’t want to go the potluck route, you can plan your menu based on what’s in season (generally in abundance and less expensive than out-of-season ingredients) and what’s on sale. In fact, that’s a great way to make a healthy charcuterie board on a budget… and charcuterie is always a big hit at parties (or anywhere, for that matter).

Ask Guests to BYOB

It’s nice to provide guests with beverages for the evening, but decent wine and cocktails can be pricey. Instead, provide your guests with a welcome drink, but ask them to BYOB or bring a bottle of wine to share at dinner. There will be plenty to go around!

Go Veg

Quality proteins can cost a pretty penny so why not make your dinner party meatless? Dinner can be just as delicious without meat. Try it  but be warned: it might become a habit! If you’re not familiar with vegetarian cooking, Martha has some worthy recipes to try: Vegetarian Recipes for Entertaining and lets no forget this cauliflower gem from Luvo’s CEO Christine Day.

Get Thrifty

The table setting is a crucial part of the overall dinner party experience. Thankfully you don’t have to spend a lot of money to make yours look pretty. If you don’t already have a tablecloth, fabric scraps and scarves can look nice when artfully arranged. You can also check out the selection at your local thrift shop or second hand store. You might even find something interesting to make your centerpiece, which brings us to our next tip…

Look to Nature

Fresh flowers and plants always brighten up a room even when you don’t have guests over. Instead of spending money on an expensive bouquet, see if you can find pretty leaves, branches, flowers or other plants on your property that could make a creative centerpiece. Arrange them in a vintage vase from the thrift store and you’re sure to impress your guests. If you do happen to pick up a grocery store bouquet, use these tips from Luvo to kick it up a notch.

Do you have any tips for throwing memorable dinner parties without spending too much? Let us know in the comments at then end of this post and be sure to download Luvo’s 7-day meal and fitness plan for more nutrition tips and recipes.

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