Planning Party Food on a Budget

When it comes to organising a party, you may find that it is fun yet surprisingly expensive. One of the most important things you can do when planning a party is to budget carefully what you intend to spend on food. If you are an experienced party host then you will know how easy it can be to overspend on food. You don't have to hire in an expensive caterer in order to ensure that the food is first rate. All it takes is a little bit of effort and imagination on your part in order to make your party an inexpensive success.

If your party is likely to be more of an informal affair then a sensible option would be to provide a finger buffet consisting of foods such as sandwiches, crisps, sausage rolls, dips, vegetables and fruit. Alternatively, you may request that each of your guests bring food with them. Obviously this is unrealistic for larger, more formal parties however it can be a nice creative idea for smaller gatherings. The added benefit of asking guests to provide food is that you will be guaranteed to have food at the party that everyone will enjoy. In order to avoid people bringing the same food you may wish to make suggestions to your various guests as to what they may wish to bring. Don't forget that it is equally important to have drinks as well as food present at your party.

If you are organising a party or gathering revolving around a televised sports event then pizza is always a safe option. People both young and old love pizza and there are of course a wide selection of flavours to choose from. Everyone should be happy and you won't have had to spend too much money.

If you are looking to save money then you would be perhaps unwise to service alcohol. Not only are parties where alcohol is present more out of control, but guests will also have to worry about designated drivers. if you decided not to serve alcohol then you wont have to worry about any of these issues, and there will be no need for you to make arrangements if people wish to stay overnight.

If you are likely to have a large number of people attending your party then try to buy your food in from a wholesale warehouse. If you purchase items in bulk then this will help you to save money and such shops are likely to have catering goods for sale that you may not find available down your local supermarket. If you decide to shop from a supermarket then keep your eyes open for discounts or offers such as two for one deals. These are especially likely to be available for bottles of drink.

It will of course help if you plan in advance how many people you wish to attend. If you have a good idea of how many guests are coming then this will help you to set a budget which you must then stick to. Poor planning is always the enemy of the perfect party!

Dave Matthews is writing on behalf of American Soda, a leading UK supplier of drinks and american sweets.

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