I hope you are all doing well as we cruise into the holiday season! Since getting my own place, I’ve loved having friends over to visit and share a meal. Especially during the holidays!
That said, when you’re having a bunch of people over, with dinner, snacks, drinks etc, it can get expensive to host friends! Lots of people recommend potlucks for this type of concern, but if you’re wanting to truly “host” your friends, I have some recommendations.
I apologize that I don’t have many pictures with this post- just as dinner was about to hit the table, I found a leak in my garage. The evening got a bit more interesting after that, and adulting kind of took precedence over taking pictures. You’ll be able to see more of the process and about my leak in my upcoming holiday VLOGs. Still, had I not followed these tips, it would have been easy to panic since my tips for hosting an affordable holiday dinner also involve pre-prepping!
- Choose an affordable protein- I chose to use a turkey, which I got on sale for $10! It was pre-frozen so I was able to have it well in advance.
- Choose affordable side dishes- while parmesan mashed potatoes or truffled risotto both sound delicious, they make use of expensive ingredients. I try to keep it simple with classic mashed potatoes, sauteed green beans, roast carrots and stuffing. (Fun fact- I made this holiday meal for ten for a cost of ~$4 per person. It was delicious and made 100% from scratch… maybe I’ll share my meal plan before the holidays!).
- Start prepping in advance. If you don’t have turkey stock around, that means the night before you make stock from turkey necks to make delicious gravy. Get your washing and chopping done the night before. Clean the house- even set the table! But by getting everything ready, you save yourself from having to run out for an emergency item (that will cost an emergency price!) when you could have planned better.
- Be intentional about how you respond to the question, “What can I bring?”. Things like appetizers, desserts and wine can add up in cost, so if someone reaches out and offers to bring something, don’t just shut them down! My friends brought plenty to drink and desserts to share to this gathering and I reckon it saved me at least 30$ in wine and who knows how much time and money in desserts. (Thanks guys!) The photo of the snowman treats is the dessert my friends Rai and Seb brought, and Bridgette and Nick brought a bunch of butter tarts for us all to share!
- Have an activity to do to get everyone comfortable. I have friends that can walk into my house and know where the wine glasses and snacks are. I also have friends who haven’t had a chance to visit before! An activity allows everyone to settle in and takes the pressure off of you if you’re doing finishing touches on your dinner. My friends helped me start decorating my house for the holidays!
Those are my top five tips for hosting a holiday dinner affordably! What do you do to keep the costs in check?