How to Save Money when Planning a Large Dinner Party

As the weather starts to improve its giving us a glimpse of just how awesome summer will be. Now! this was the optimistic in me talking but in all honesty British weather is like a 2yo with tantrums. One minute we could be enjoying what resembles Spring weather and next it’s back to winter. But as Brits this is something we are well aware of so we are always ready for all weather changes. As we look to upcoming summer vacations many of us have a handful of parties and weddings to attend. But what if you’re hosting one and don’t wish to break the bank?

If you come from a large family then you know it will be a big occasion. Better yet you could be celebrating something awesome this summer {like my 3-0}. Here is How to Save Money when Planning a Large Dinner Party.

planning a large dinner party

How to Save Money when Planning a Large Dinner Party

A dinner party, even a large one, does not have to break the bank. It can actually be a surprisingly economical way to host a lot of people.

Table Settings

You might be lucky enough to have a full dinner service lurking, ready for use, in a sideboard or kitchen cupboard. If you don’t, think twice before going out and buying one. Even a discounted set will dispose of a good chunk of your budget, which you may be able to use to better effect by buying food and drink. Moreover, unless you plan to host such events regularly, purchasing a large dinner service is unlikely to represent good value for money, particularly when assessed on a cost per use basis. It could be preferable to rent the requisite cutlery and crockery from one of the many party suppliers now in business. Alternatively, why not embrace the eclectic look, and mix and match your place settings, using whatever you already own?

What to Drink

Although your guests may bring bottles as gifts, general etiquette suggests that, as host, you have no obligation to use these in preference to your own selection of drinks. That said, setting aside expensive bottles presented as gifts by guests, in favour of serving cheaper alternatives, is unwise. Consequently, as a thoughtful host, you will want to ensure that the drinks you provide are as good as your food.

You may also want to match your courses with suitable wines, which could require a certain amount of research. You’ll also need to remember that, even if you decide that your main course needs to be paired with a robust red, some people will still prefer to drink white wine. Once you have fixed on particular types of wine, it is a good idea to look for supermarket wine offers. They can be the perfect way of buying several bottles of the same wine for a very reasonable price. Finally, don’t forget to lay in appropriate supplies of soft drinks for drivers, or other non-drinking guests. planning a large dinner party

What to Cook

Unless your day job happens to involve mass catering, or you are experienced in cooking for dinner parties, it is usually best to keep things reasonably simple. Fancy recipes may sound delicious, but finicky and complex dishes can prove to be tricky, time-consuming and expensive, especially when being prepared for large numbers of guests.

There is also the potential for waste, of both food and money, if a recipe goes wrong. It may be less stressful and cheaper to pick a familiar dish, which you already know is easy to upscale. Something like chili can be an excellent choice, even for a novice dinner party host. Its basic ingredients, for both meat and vegetarian versions, need not be costly, particularly for savvy shoppers or those with supermarket loyalty points to spend.

Remember  to prepare inexpensive side dishes, such as baked potatoes and salad in advance. Remember not every supermarket is equally priced. When it comes to meat and other expensive items consider supermarkets such as Lidl. Lidl is considerably cheaper than more upmarket choices such as Sainsburys. In order to compare prices remember many price comparison sites can help you with your research.




  1. May 11, 2017 / 3:35 pm

    Love these tips! I agree that keeping things simple when it comes to food for a party is key. This way everyone is happy and no extra cost was needed.

  2. Annemarie LeBlanc
    May 11, 2017 / 1:58 pm

    These are all good advice for planning a party on a budget. It is really easy to overdo it, but if we keep tab of the running expenses, then we can tweak some things and stay within budget.

  3. May 11, 2017 / 1:23 am

    Great tips! I love throwing parties on a budget and seeing how far I can stretch a dime!

  4. May 10, 2017 / 9:34 pm

    Great dinner party ideas. I do believe it is a art to hosting and you brought up some classy ideas.

  5. My Teen Guide
    May 10, 2017 / 9:29 pm

    These are all great advice. Sometimes planning a large dinner party leaves me overwhelmed that I end up calling for catering. No fuss, no waste, and you know the food will always be good.

  6. May 10, 2017 / 3:59 pm

    I agree that keeping it simple is best for planning a large party as like you said things could go to waste! Great tips x

  7. valmg
    May 10, 2017 / 1:40 pm

    I usually only have a larger crowd for the holidays. You make some good points. Making salads the night before saves time and often gives a better tastet.

  8. Vyjay Rao
    May 10, 2017 / 1:40 pm

    These are some fantastic tips for hosting a large dinner party. While I hardly host such huge parties, I love the tips shared here as you are right in saying that we need to plan about the drinks, the main course and the side dishes. It must be lavish but at the same time it should not pinch the pocket.

  9. Alison Rost
    May 10, 2017 / 4:29 am

    Your budget is truly among the most important factors to consider when having a dinner party. Thanks for the tips.

  10. Kindness In Demand
    May 10, 2017 / 3:46 am

    These are great tips. We try to stick to cookouts and BBQ to entertain for less. But I would love to host a nice dinner party so it’s nice to see that I can do it on a budget.

  11. Pam W
    May 9, 2017 / 10:48 pm

    I haven’t had a big dinner party in ages. These are great tips for saving money while hosting a stellar dinner party.

  12. blm03
    May 9, 2017 / 9:40 pm

    These all sound like great tips. I have never actually hosted a large dinner party at my home for anyone other than family, and we aren’t the fanciest family!

  13. Betty Boiron
    May 9, 2017 / 5:11 pm

    These are great money saving tips! It always surprises me how much everything adds up, especially when you have a decent size guest list!

  14. Jeanette
    May 9, 2017 / 2:33 pm

    I love to host dinners. I love we suggest here. Because hosting a meal can be very expensive all the tips you have here will help a lot.

  15. Alli Smith
    May 9, 2017 / 2:16 pm

    These are all great tips! I love to host large parties. I’ve been doing it so long that I have it down pat and it’s really not that hard to do if you plan well.

  16. Anita Anderson
    May 9, 2017 / 2:02 pm

    Hosting any party takes a lot of planning and prepping. As does the meals as some can’t eat shellfish and others are vegan. Knowing who you will invite and the taste they like will make the party go smoother.

  17. Candy Kage
    May 9, 2017 / 1:19 pm

    Hosting a dinner party takes planning. It doesn’t have to break the bank just make your lists and plan, plan and plan. Serve dishes that can be prepped the day before.

  18. Robin Rue
    May 9, 2017 / 10:25 am

    It can add up fast if you are hosting a big dinner party, so I am all for any ways to save that I can find. Love this!

  19. May 9, 2017 / 10:07 am

    These are some great tips, it is amazing how quickly it can all add when you are throwing a large party of any kind. Food can be so expensive!

  20. Jaime Nicole
    May 9, 2017 / 9:55 am

    The costs of a dinner party can certainly add up! Shopping around for the best grocery prices can definitely help!

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