Dinner Parties can be expensive, especially when you are having a trial run, so it’s useful to plan and schedule your dinner party purchasing.
Alexandria Blaelock, author of Stress Free Dinner Parties: How to plan, host and enjoy your party says “Even if your budget is modest, with careful planning you can make the most of it and host what seems like a lavish meal.”
Here are Blaelock’s tips for dinner party purchasing:
- Plan Ahead: Some food stuffs like fish need to be bought the morning of the day of your meal. Others, like rosewater or tarragon vinegar need a visit to a specialty store. But the bulk of your purchases will come from your usual grocer. This means you can buy them a little at a time with your usual food shop.
- Buy in Bulk: Some items (e.g. wine) can be purchased at a discount when you buy in bulk. Work out what you need and buy at the same time. Try not to drink all the wine before the night!
- Use Seasonal Produce: Plan your meal to take advantage of cheap and abundant seasonal vegetables. Try to avoid out of season imports as they will be the most expensive, and may not taste as fresh.
- Buy from the Producer: Buying direct from the grower cuts out a couple of steps in the supply chain so the food is cheaper and fresher. You’ll get to meet the producer, and they are generally happy to offer tips on preparing and serving their produce.
- Buy from Ethnic Grocers: You can often get better deals on ethnic staples from ethnic grocers than you local store. This might be 10 kg (22 lb) bags of rice, enormous bunches of fresh coriander (cilantro), or 1 kg (2 lb) bags of dried spices. Plus you might find some interesting new things to try.
With Alexandria’s tips, planning and saving on dinner party purchases is simple, and you will feel more organised and in control of your evening.
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