Party Planning: Dinner Party

dinner party

”A dinner party is a social gathering at which people eat dinner together, usually in the host’s home. At the most formal dinner parties, the dinner is served on a dining table with place settings. At less formal dinner parties, a buffet is provided. Guests choose food from the buffet and eat while standing up and conversing.”

It sounds really dull when described by Wikipedia…

Well it doesn’t have to be. Dinner parties can be a great way to socialise and combine friendship groups. I do enjoy a good house party or night out but there’s something brilliantly formal about a dinner party that if you have an open-minded group of friends can also be a lot of fun. Out there on the internet there are may ways to feed your guests for a low cost but I’m interested in the different ways you can theme a dinner party to ensure it’s fun and frugal:

A ‘Potluck’
It’s a very american phrase but it means that everyone brings something to contribute. You can theme these, give people budgets to stick to so it’s fair or just let it go wild and see what people bring. The goal isn’t to bring the best thing or the food that everyone loves. The goal is to have fun (and laugh at each others cooking!). I’ll do a whole post on potluck’s soon…

Offer to host all the food in exchange for everyone bringing their own booze to be shared out. In my experience most of the cost for a dinner party is alcohol so this cut’s that right out leaving more money to spend on the quality of food.

Takeaway Dinner Party
Everyone must don their finest apparel, sit down with fancy table settings and the host orders from their favourite establishment. Everyone throws in a tenner and poses for formal pictures as they eat.

Slow Cooker
Use your slow cooker to your advantage. No-one wants the host in the kitchen all evening so prep as much in the day by throwing veggies and meat into a slow cooker for a fancy casserole in the evening.

Don’t forget to make the place look a bit nicer than usual. Table settings, napkins and candles can all be purchased very cheaply on the high-street and can make a meal from average to fancy.

Board Games
Bust out the board games and play some into the night. Recently my friends and I have really been getting into board games and it’s very fun – especially the games where you get to screw each other other because there’s not much sweeter than revenge in a board game.

Find the friend (or maybe you are the friend) with paid for advert-free Spotify. Appoint someone the DJ (someone with universal tastes, not your metal head best-friend) and give them the tasks of keeping the music going all night.

And that’s all there is to hosting a casual dinner party. Obviously if you were meeting parents or hosting to someone very formal then you might need to up your game but this is an alternative way to hang with your friends for cheap.


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