Newspaper article The Canadian Press

A Dinner Party for $10 a Guest Is Possible with Good Planning, Foodies Say

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

A Dinner Party for $10 a Guest Is Possible with Good Planning, Foodies Say

Article excerpt

How to throw a dinner party for $10 a guest

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VANCOUVER - Tara Noland hosts dinner parties at her Calgary home at least once a month, plus for almost every Super Bowl and much more often over the holidays.

Entertaining at home instead of shelling out for pricey restaurant meals is often the advice given to people looking to reign in their spending. A full-blown dinner party with multiple courses, decorative centrepieces and signature cocktails can seem costly, but food bloggers for whom hosting is old hat say it's possible to do for about $10 a person.

"I think planning ahead is key," said Noland, who just celebrated the seven-year anniversary of her blog, Noshing with the Nolands.

The Calgarian starts to think about her events weeks in advance.

"I think one of the worst things is having a dinner party and you're not participating in it because you're in the kitchen cooking."

Preparation can also result in savings if you scour for sales at grocery stores or even dollar stores for decoration.

Frozen turkey or chicken that can be slow cooked is easy to snag at a discount, said Idriss Amraoui, a 29-year-old in Montreal who runs the blog Broke Foodies.

He also suggests using cheaper and versatile frozen vegetables that can be whipped into a starter, like soup.

It's not necessary to do multiple courses though, and appetizers are often just a bonus when Amraoui hosts.

Entertainers can avoid being saddled with the whole food bill by asking guests to contribute a specific dish or turning the event into a potluck. In the event of the latter, Amraoui stresses guests must be aware it's a potluck before they're asked to commit.

"I wouldn't tell you, 'Come have dinner at my house,' and then tell you, 'Well, can you bring your potato salad?'" he said.

Lisa Bolton's secret to affordable entertaining is creative grazing boards. …

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