What to Read Next

Cheap dinner party menus

23 May 2012
Cheap dinner party menus
Cheap dinner party menus

The YouGov survey concluded that almost 19 million people don’t host dinner parties because of the time and expense involved. The average dinner party, according to the survey, costs £60 – but we’ve come up with three menus that will cost you at least half that.  

Menu 1 – the veggie one

To start

salad
salad

A refreshing summer salad, made only with peas (buy frozen to make it even cheaper), radish, a single spring onion and some cress. Even the dressing is super cheap to make – just thin crème fraiche out to single cream consistency with a little milk.

For main

pasta
pasta

Packed full of flavour, good for you, and very cheap indeed, mushrooms are a miracle ingredient if cooked properly – fry on a super high heat (the pan should be almost smoking) to seal in the moisture. Mushrooms are the star ingredient in this red wine ragu.

Pudding

orange
orange

Oranges, the honey you already have in the cupboard, a few shelled pistachios and a sprinkling of cinnamon. Simples! Sophie Grigson’s aromatic oranges take only two minutes to prepare, which makes it the perfect pud if you’ve got both time and budget constraints.

Menu 2 – the exotic one

To start

bites
bites

Such tasty little morsels, Jo Pratt’s chilli and chickpea bites combine Tenderstem broccoli, lemon, basil, and the obvious red chilli and chickpeas. You could always substitute in regular broccoli and dried basil to make it even cheaper.  

For main

Stick with the nice ‘n spicy theme, and try Ching-He Huang’s legendary chilli chicken recipe (main picture above). All the ingredients are cheap and easy to find – think chicken drumsticks, fresh root ginger, lime, sweet chilli sauce – and Ching’s batter is simply divine.

Pudding

fig
fig

It might look expensive, but aside from the figs (and you only need one per person) Marcus Wareing’s baked figs with flapjacks recipe only requires oats, sugar, a bit of butter (we’re sure you’ve got that in your fridge anyway) and an optional blob of crème fraiche.

Menu 3 – the traditional English one

To start

prawn
prawn

What more appropriate way to start an English dinner party than with prawn cocktail? You can read all about its intriguing history here, then quickly rustle one up with a few prawns (buy frozen if you like), lettuce, cucumber and a Marie Rose sauce. Super cheap.

For main

shank
shank

Lamb shanks: a cheap cut of meat, easily transformed into a dazzling dinner party dish. Here it’s served with a garlicky, lemony sauce and topped with a couple of coriander sprigs. It’s the perfect way to keep carnivores happy on a budget.

Pudding

yorkshire
yorkshire

The most British pud we could find! Rustle up a few sweet Yorkshire puds (very cheap to make), then instead of gravy, top it with a scoop of ice cream and a splodge of jam, usually saved for your morning toast. Trust us; it’s great.

 

Have you any top tips on how to keep dinner parties cheap? Or should they be something to splash out on? Talk to us in the Comments box below.

How to Choose the Best Student Loans

The fun of summer vacation is often dampened by thoughts of student loan debts. See which loan is the best for you.

Starwood Credit Card

Earn 25,000 Bonus Starpoints®! Use toward Award Nights or Flights.

Military Mortgage Rates In 2016

Rates as Low as 2.75% (3.028% APR) 15 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military Takes 1 Min!

How To Make Sagging Skin Look Tight and Lifted

[Watch] The easy and effective way consumers across the country are improving the look of their wrinkled and sagging skin without cosmetic procedures.

Banks Are Worried Homeowners Will Do This.

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this.

Update Your Look: Bell Sleeves

How Older Men Tighten Their Skin

Men, reduce the look of wrinkles, sagging skin and fine lines with this affordable and effective skin tightening treatment without leaving your home.

Powerful Tactical Flashlight Flying Off Shelves!

This new tactical flashlight was just released to the public and is flying off shelves in the United States. Limited supplies left, act quick!

Ever Googled Someone? Do A "Deep Search" Instead

Entering a Name and State on this site could reveal info you thought wasn't available. Have you searched yourself or someone you know yet?

Why You Should Pay Attention to Free Sample Sites

Sign up now for freebies so good you will feel guilty not paying for them! No credit card or purchase necessary.

Don't Let Wrinkles Stop You From Meeting New Women

Men: Before you consider spending thousands on getting a cosmetic procedure to look younger, you should..

File your taxes for $0

TurboTax announces Absolute Zero is back. $0 Fed. $0 State. $0 to File. Get your maximum refund, guaranteed. Federal Free Edition.

Insane Navy Seal Flashlight, should it be banned?

The Military has recently released technology that is now available to the public. Get yours before they run out - Limited Supply!

$200 Military Flashlight Surplus Dumped

Highly anticipated LumiTact G700 Tactical Flashlight Overrun - Now available to civilian population

People In Heavy Credit Card Debt May Not Know This

If you owe more than $15,000, there is a way to pay off credit card debt that few people think of first. (It's not what you think!)