Halloween party ideas 2015

Ten home entertaining ideas for the host and hostess who want to impress but, in today’s economy, may not have the money to go all out. It's simpler than you think...

Small and simple is often the best approach to home entertaining

The mistake most people make is thinking that every party has to be fancy and upscale in order to be successful. In fact, sometimes small and simple is the best approach of all.

1. Most people assume, when thinking of cost-friendly entertaining, is that a buffet is the most affordable option. Actually, a sit- down dinner can be even more cost efficient, especially if you’re only having a small group. This way you can control portion size and make your money stretch even farther.

Make your main course the star

2. When considering ten home entertaining tips, also bear in mind that focusing on one main course can also help you save money. Make your main course the star and highlight it with lighter side dishes.

3. And tip number three…don’t overlook the cheaper meats such as pork and chicken. Even a less expensive meat can be dressed up with the right recipe.

4. If you are having ten or more guests, then consider the budget buffet. With larger groups, a buffet is the way to go, but that doesn’t mean you have to make it a traditional menu.

5. Consider a selection of soups or chilli and, for tip number five, low cost carbs such as rice or polenta work great as sides. You can add flavoring and it is easier to stretch them to feed a large group.

You can forgo dinner and do cocktails instead

6. Another of our ten home entertaining tips is to consider forgoing dinner altogether. A cocktail party can be just as much fun and less expensive than a complete dinner if you focus on a couple of drinks.

7. Consider tying the drinks you offer into a creative theme. A beach party or a retro inspired evening can add spark to your gathering and even be a conversation starter!

8. When it comes to decorating, cost doesn’t have to be an issue either. Warehouse stores which sell party goods at a discount can be a huge help, as can scanning the aisles of your grocery store for sale items.

9. Another great tip for decorating is to go with what you have. Often, items you have lying around the house can be put to use as centerpieces or other décor for a unique spin…without costing you a cent.

Entertaining doesn't have to mean overspending

10. Remember, entertaining doesn’t have to mean overspending. You can help curb expenses with another of our ten home entertaining ideas, building a dinner around a specific recipe. Have a recipe you’ve been dying to try? Make it the star of the evening and keep the sides to a minimum. Also, some foods are less expensive in season, so shop for these items – especially fruits and vegetables – when they are at their most affordable.

Home entertaining doesn’t have to be a challenge. Just take a deep breath and remember that it’s all about having a good time. Good friends, good food and a light, comfortable atmosphere are all it takes to have a successful party, whatever your budget.

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