Don’t let a limited budget ruin your plans for catering a party at home. The event doesn’t have to be expensive for it to be successful. All you need is the right menu, some creativity, and attention to detail.
Most of your intended guests are excited about the experience and the food; stuff like fancy décor and silverware don’t mean much. The success of your party at home depends on the quality of the food and drinks, at least for the most part.
So, if you’re looking at throwing an at-home party with a tight budget, you’ll appreciate these tips:
Plan Way Ahead of Time
Don’t let slip-ups and hasty decisions ruin your party. The way to avoid them is by planning way ahead of time – be it shopping for the things you need or confirming the number of guests, preparing in advance guarantees that every detail is covered, especially the food.
Time is a free resource that you should take full advantage. Making party arrangements may seem straightforward, but you’ll miss a ton of things if you do it on the eleventh hour. With time, you can do some comparison shopping on food and drink options. Confer to friends about the prospect of borrowing serving pieces, stemware, and even cheap décor.
Come Up with a Kickass Menu
No matter what the celebration is, see to it that your guests are treated with excellent food and drink to their pleasure. Although you’re working on a limited budget, you still can impress your folks with an affordable menu.
Do away with expensive full entrees; replace them with edibles in appetizer sizes instead. Go for flavorful dish options that won’t break the bank, i.e., dips, soups, and meat skewers. Another option is a hot buffet with a careful selection of affordable yet high-quality food.
Mind the drinks when you’re throwing a catered party at home. If you’re looking to save money for other expenses, then don’t buy different drinks in full bottles. Instead, go for signature drinks from the same brand of alcohol. Trust us – it’s cheaper that way. Don’t forget about non-alcoholic beverages as some of your guests are young ones.
Consider Pre-prepared Food
You have a lot of options when choosing the dishes for the party, and sometimes it can be quite overwhelming. Since you don’t have an entire team helping you, the best option is food that you can prepare for a couple of days in advance. You conveniently dress and garnish it on the big day. If you’re clueless about make-ahead food, you’d be surprised at the hundreds of ideas found online.
Don’t underestimate what you have lying around the house. Sometimes, you tend to look beyond the fridge and cupboard as you set your mind to prepare for a fancy at-home party. But your party menu (and your wallet) could get a boost if you look closer to what you already have at home. Using those ingredients sitting idle means you have one less stuff to buy.
Shortcuts Aren’t That Bad
Efficiency is crucial when you’re catering an at-home party. Find a way to get things done quickly so that you’ll cover more chores in less time. The best example is buying ready-made dough or pastry instead of making one from scratch. You know how long it’ll take to prepare the dough, plus it won’t cost you that much money to get one at the store.
Don’t be Too High on Hot Dishes
A couple of hot dishes is enough for an at-home party; serving more than what you can handle makes you prone to mistakes, not to mention the pressure that comes with it. Like what you do with all the dishes, hot items must be prepared in advance. You reheat them once it’s time to serve. Remember that you’re hosting the party, so you can’t spend all your time in the kitchen preparing the hot dishes.
Don’t Forget the Décor
The first thing to go when you’re catering to a home party is the expensive and fancy décor – but it doesn’t mean you don’t get to dress the place up. Make use of what you already have at home instead of buying stuff that you’ll only use once or twice. Be inventive enough to mix and match designs and styles of your plates, serving bowls, cups, linens, and others.
Create a centerpiece based on what you have. Probably the only things you must buy are candles and fresh flowers. You can even borrow a neighbor’s tablecloth if you don’t have one that fits the design you have in mind.
The focal point of your at-home party décor is the tablet layout; it must work flawlessly with your existing décor, but it should be unique enough to stand out. Even with a limited budget, you’ll come up with an eye-catching food layout.
You avoid a disastrous at-home party if you stick to what you can manage. Set modest expectations and keep all the details in check. The burden of covering the preparation, serving of food, and entertaining the guests could overwhelm you, especially if it’s your first time hosting a party. It’s why some people choose to work with a catering service to get the necessary help.