One of the joys of having your own home is hosting family dinners, even if you’re shopping on a budget. But needing to keep costs low won’t stop you from laying out a feast for your nearest and dearest. With the right approach to dinner planning, you and your family can enjoy a shared dinner that can’t be beaten while still staying under your budget goals. All you need are a few simple tricks up your sleeve and some smart shopping. Let’s dive into 5 Affordable Ways to Host a Holiday Dinner.
1. Pare Out Non-Favorite Dishes
Is there always 3/4 of a dish of sweet potatoes or does the green bean casserole usually go untouched? Then skip them! Keeping your budget low is all about prioritizing the dishes your family loves to pass around without wasting your time or money on things that are less important. In fact, ditching dishes your family never finishes can make room in the budget for extras of what you tend to run out of.
2. Cook from Scratch
The ingredients for a holiday feast ingredients tend to go on sale as the day approaches and it’s great to take advantage of sales. But remember that cooking from scratch is often cheaper even than discounted pre-made and pre-mixed items. Make your own cranberry sauce with a bag of frozen cranberries and a splash of orange juice. Make your own stuffing with fresh veg and stale bread. Instead of buying powdered potatoes, mash your own from a large cheap bag of golds or russet potatoes. You get the picture.
3. Make Smart Substitutions
Think smart about flavors when shopping. You don’t need premium ingredients for items that are just for adding texture or flavor. look for what’s discounted and make smart substitutions. You can use the cheapest kind of bacon for chopping into the casserole, for example. Challenge yourself to come up with delicious ways to use the ingredients that are most seasonally available and affordable. You might just whip up a new family favorite. This OnlineMom’s key tip to Host a Holiday Dinner.
4. Consider Leftovers In Your Budget
Many people worry only about how much the feast will cost on its own. But if you tend to have leftovers, you can also factor in up to a week of grocery budget into the feast as well. If your family enjoys turkey sandwiches and potato sides for days after the dinner, you can definitely calculate some of your future meal costs into the fact that a big family feast always produces leftovers that need to be eaten up. Don’t forget to grab extra containers if you usually run light on home Tupperware.
5. Get Creative with DIY Decor
Finally, there’s no need to buy decor. Get creative with the nature in your yard, the linens in your closet, and raid your craft cabinet to make some beautiful DIY decor that won’t cost you a cent. If you can, get the younger members of your family to pitch in with paper decorations and wildflower arrangements. There are many ways to make your home holidays festive, even elegant, without splurging on new decorations. Get the whole family or your craft-enthused relatives to decorate the house before the big dinner.
Hosting a family meal on a budget doesn’t have to mean sacrificing anything. Shop smart, share the cooking, and cut out dishes your family never eats anyway. You’ll be looking at a beautifully laden table on the big day surrounded by happy family members. For more wonderful homeowner tips or guidance in finding the perfect home for special family dinners, contact us today! Thanks for reading 5 Affordable Ways to Host a Holiday Dinner!