While the whole concept of hosting a party may seem to be particularly hectic at first glance, in all actuality planning a party is fun and relatively easy as well. By utilizing a few tips, the process of planning a party can feel just as easy and equally entertaining as it is when it comes to preparing a small meal for just a few people.
1) Save money by buying in bulk
By buying what you need in bulk it will cost you less than it would if you bought all of the items separately. In some cases, you could have some leftovers - make sure you utilise the freezer! For big parties, Costco is a lifesaver.
2) Go with what you know
The last thing you need is unpredictability; you don't want to attempt something that you have never prepared and ultimately ruin the meal. As such, stick to what you know and only prepare meals that you know you can do blindfolded.
3) Provide the right setting
No one wants to be at a party that feels out of place. And food shouldn't be out of place either. Make sure buffets or food stations are in a logical order, and make drinks easy to find.
4) Utilize disposables
Don't make your guests feel guilty about leaving you with an abundance of utensils to clean up after the party is over, and let's face it, with today's tendency to dine out, you might not have enough plates and glasses to go round. Take advantage of the boutique napkins, disposable plates, cups and utensils out there (or on our shop!).
5) Provide simple alcoholic drinks
If you plan to provide alcohol for your guests, one way you can minimize the amount of money that it will cost to host the party is by going simple. Your guests won't complain if you don't provide champagne and expensive hard liquors - if that's what they want, they can bring it. Keep it simple and stick to affordable popular wines and beers that many people enjoy.
6) Plan your serving sizes
The last thing you want to do is to buy an abundance of food and drinks that will be left over after the party is over. As such, ensure that you look at how many people are coming to the event and plan your serving sizes accordingly. A good rule of thumb is to have 1.5 of something per person, e.g. 1.5 of each canape per person, or 1.5 hamburgers per person - this should account for the big eaters and the small eaters. For drinks, we'd suggest one bottle of wine for every 2-3 guests and the same for soft drink, juice, etc.
7) Clean out that refrigerator
No one wants to drink lukewarm wine. A good thing to remember is that the more items you place within your fridge, the harder it will be for your refrigerator to keep them cold. And if your guests are going in and out of the fridge continuously, your fridge may have to work twice as hard. Clean out your fridge, get rid of the clutter and ensure that your guests will always have cold drinks/wine and condiments on standby. Also make sure to utilise the esky, laundry tub or bath tub if it's a larger, casual event.
8) Plan your time accordingly
Going to party and waiting for food can prove to be embarrassing for the host to say the least. Ensure that you create a time plan beforehand so you know exactly how long each dish will take to prepare, before you determine a time to host the party. Preparation will pay off!
9) Go homemade
While it may be true that you can purchase pretty much any party food under the sun, from canapes to burger patties to cakes, by creating some of these dishes yourself, not only will your guests be impressed at your cooking skills, it can help to reduce the overall costs that are associated with the party.
10) Think seasonally
Last but not least, when it comes to choosing a theme for your party, ensure that it correlates with the season. For example, if it's Easter, a common tradition is to host a fish and wine related theme; and if it's in the summer, a BBQ is the best way to go. Not only will your party have a seasonal appeal, ingredients for these themes are more readily available (and often more cost effective!!).
We hope these tips have helped you out - make sure to let us know if you've got any more!
Read more: Summer Party Salads - perfect for entertaining!
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