Elegant Entertaining Without Breaking the Bank

preparing for a dinner partyDo you always wait for a special occasion to have a dinner party? You know the saying – More Happiness in Giving than in Receiving – , so why wait for that special occasion. It has been scientifically proven doing something for others, is good for your health. When you’re having a good time at parties laughing, it literally strengthens your heart. Who doesn’t want a healthy heart?

Now you might be saying, “I don’t have a creative bone in my body-how will I decorate without spending a fortune?  Or, what will I serve?”

Relax and take a deep breath, because we have the answers, with a few tips hints on how to create an affordable elegance that you can enjoy just as much as your guests.

To start you don’t have to spend huge amounts of money on anything that will only be used once. Start by looking around your home and see what you can use to complement a specific theme. Depending on the time of year you can do the following.

If you’re hosting a luncheon for family or a group of friends, gather potted plants from inside and outside your home and place them in the dining area for a lush, garden theme. Make place cards by writing each guest’s name on a leaf.

For an inexpensive table centerpiece, if you live near pine trees, fill a long platter or wicker basket with pine cones, fresh fruit, nuts, small white birch logs and baby pumpkins.

Maybe you have your own ideas…share them with us in the comment area below.

Now to answer the next question: “What will I serve?”

If you are making a main course, keep it simple and stick with what you know. Take advantage of convenience items such as pre-chopped vegetables or rotisserie chickens (check out our 30 minutes or less dinner ideas).

Don’t be afraid to ask friends or family to bring simple side dishes such as a marinated salad or potato dish (here’s a few of our side dish ideas).

pouring a glass of wineAt your formal gatherings, why not receive your guests with a glass of wine? Have a small table set up with wine glasses and a bottle of wine (it doesn’t have to be an expensive wine) at your entry way to your home. When your guests knock on the door, you answer it, let your guests in, take their coat and offer them a glass of wine while you are pouring it.

cold cuts and cheese for informal gatheringsFor less formal gatherings, purchase finger foods or snacks that your guests can enjoy while in good conversation. There’s mixed nuts, cold cuts, crackers and exotic cheeses, prepared salads and fresh salsa and chips.

Here are a few finger food recipes you could serve at your informal gathering: Brown Sugar Finger Wings or Bacon Wrapped Green Beans

What if your guests arrive and you are a little behind? Will you can anticipate that, because you will have appetizers to satisfy them while they wait for the main course. Here are some ideas:  Peach Mango Salsa served with chips. Try these ideas as well, link here.

Don’t forget your favorite beverages, and festive music, and you’re well on your way to hosting an “Affair to Remember!”

See What Others are Having Dinner or Lunch Gatherings

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