Hannah Stewart, Purdue University Student and Peer Counselor
So you want to host a dinner party. Perhaps it’s your turn to do Thanksgiving dinner, or maybe you’re just wanting a good time. Don’t stress out! Dinner parties can be a lot of fun, and they don’t need to cost an arm and a leg to have a good time! Below are some tips and ideas on how to stretch a budget and have a fantastic party.
Do you need an appetizer? Depending on the meal, you most likely don’t. But, this is a great way to get others involved! They can bring chips and other snack items for after the meal when you’re playing games or watching a movie. Asking your guests to bring the drinks isn’t always a bad thing, and you can make sure everyone gets something they like. They could want to bring more than chips or a drink though, like a side dish. No one said this couldn’t be a potluck! Never turn down someone bringing free food to a party.
If you are having a dinner party, of course there will be dinner. Don’t order take-out! There are recipes on the internet that are just a mouse click away. Cooking at home is always more cost-effective than ordering something. Of course, frozen pizza is always an option, but there are other delicious entrées to try as well. Although pizza is great, certain foods stretch and feed more, while costing less. Some people find it to be more delicious and filling. Pasta is always a cheap food that feeds a lot of people. Somehow, there are always more noodles than there are people. And even if you do happen to run out, it’s a quick 8 minute boil to more noodles.
Looking to host a more formal party? Or, maybe you just want something besides noodles; ramen does get old. Cooking a turkey or ham can feed a lot of people and it’s very filling. It’s usually just some preparation and a quick shove in the oven. Bonuses: Heating up an oven can often heat up an apartment potentially saving you on your heating bill. You also get leftovers which could feed you for a week!
So the food has been eaten, everyone’s happy…. now what? How are you going to entertain those people? There are several options rather than going out and spending money on an activity. Do you have any board games? My personal favorites are Apples to Apples, Cards Against Humanity, and Munchkin. Card games are also great because several people can play at once. Do you own an Xbox Kinect? Nothing gets the group going like Kinect Sports or other Kinect Games! Your whole body is involved, and dancing games are usually a good time and laugh for everyone. For the more restful people, there are always movies: Netflix, YouTube, Red Box, and Hulu are great, cheap options to find videos and movies for entertainment.
Hosting a dinner party can be a lot of fun so don’t stress out; if you can handle finals, you can totally handle this. Just a little bit of planning, and you and your guests can have an awesome time.