By Ann Martin
For those that enjoy entertaining family and friends in their home, nothing is better than the feeling of gathering everyone together for a relaxing evening. However hosting regular get togethers can be costly. But there are ways to keep the cost of entertaining low and still have it be the gathering you want it to be. Here are a few tips on how to entertain throughout the year without breaking the bank.
How to Keep the Grocery Bill Low
If you’ll be serving meat as a part of a sit down dinner or even as appetizers, be on the look out for clearance meats. Typically in the morning stores mark down their meats and poultry and sometimes even at a substantial discount. The reason for this is, the meats and poultry may be approaching their expiration date and the stores still want to try and sell it rather than throwing it away. Usually there is a sticker on it the package saying “Manager’s Special”. Sometimes you can even receive a discount of up to 60%.
Another way to keep entertaining costs low is to keep a variety of canned goods on hand. When black beans, chick peas, canned tomatoes go on sale, be sure to stock up. These are versatile food items that can be used in many different appetizer recipes. For example, black beans and tomatoes would be delicious additions to any quesadilla. Make your own hummus using canned chick peas. As variations on hummus, add some fresh produce such as jalapenos, roasted red peppers or even some canned diced tomatoes. Another tip is to use fresh and in season produce to really keep your grocery bill down. Check your pantry and use what you have on hand as well. You’ll be surprised at what you can make out of what you have already.
How to Add the Events Accents for Cheap
As I mentioned above using what you have on hand and already in home sure keeps the costs of entertaining way down. The same goes for accenting your event – from center pieces to decorations, look around your home and garden and see what you can use. Keep in mind the season as well. If its Spring or Summer time, try decorating your table with flowers picked from your yard. Simply put one flower in a one bud vase and line them down the table. If you don’t have multiple bud vases, look around your house for glass jars or other containers that could sub in for a vase. For the Fall, gather some pinecones and fill up a glass hurricane with them. Choose a variety of colorful leaves and spread them throughout the table for a beautiful and eye-catching table decoration. And almost always keep tea light candles and votive sized candles on hand they add s special touch to any event.
Keep your eyes peeled for clearance sections while shopping. You can find discounted tableware, paperware, serveware, etc. For those that entertain on specific holidays, be sure to scour the stores right after the holiday is over for even better deals on cups, napkins, plates, and other holiday favors for your entertaining needs.
Ann Martin is a freelance writer for Dinnerware Center, which carries an extensive assortment of dinnerware, tableware and flatware sets, such as the Oneida Mooncrest and Oneida Flight. Ann writes for other home and cooking websites. When Ann is not writing, she enjoys spending time reading and traveling.
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