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  Food and Drink Ideas  
Dinner parties are not just for the people who can afford veal and lobster most nights of the week. And, they are not just for those who have a large grocery budget. One of the easiest things to do if you are looking to entertain is to throw a dinner party on a budget.

When working on a budget, you will have a smaller list of ingredients to choose from. For example, you may be forced to choose from steak or chicken, instead of anything under the sun. Smaller parties are also easier to manage and to plan for.
The first thing to do is to make sure the guest list is complete. Do you have enough space for everyone? Are the people you invite likely to come? You don’t want to invite ten people and only have three show up especially when you buy enough food for ten. When you make your guest list out, make sure you have enough room to accommodate them as well as the budget to feed them. It’s true that the less people you have, the better food you can purchase. But at the same time, you need to consider what is more important to you for your party; a well rounded guest list or a gourmet meal.

After you have the guest list managed, search for a menu that you can work with. Buying frozen appetizers can look expensive, but they are usually cheaper than buying the ingredients to make them yourself. Try to keep the courses set to three as a maximum. An appetizer, main course and dessert are the only things you really need, and dessert can be as simple as a sweet cocktail. Look for a main dish that is liked by everyone but still a decent price. This way you keep everyone pleased as well  on budget.

The next thing to consider is that you need to keep the setting as simple as possible. I’ve seen parties where everything is perfectly matched and the theme is right in your face, and while it usually looks good, it can cost more than the food if you are not careful. At the same time you can have a very simple theme where you use color or stuff you already have as a great jumpstart to the best party you’ve thrown. Just remember that no matter what you do the point is to have a good time and spend time with friends. If you start getting stressed out then maybe you should step back and take a break, then try again in a few minutes.

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