How To Throw A Classy Dinner Party On A Budget

It's summertime, and that usually means fun in the sun, outdoor adventures, and reconnecting with friends and families. However, if your budget is tight, it can be difficult to imagine a fun and successful get-together. The truth is, though, that you can have a classy dinner party on a budget by keeping just a few things in mind. 


When preparing for your soiree, making decisions early about the guest list and the vibe you want are important. Set the tone for yourself and help your pocketbook at the same time. For example, Love Food says, instead of sending paper invitations, consider E-cards or Canva creations. This will not only let the guests know they're invited, but your design can also hint at the event's theme. Furthermore, a smaller guest list can mean extra savings (via TZR).

At least two weeks before the event, start to prepare the décor. Don't put too much pressure on yourself to have high-end place settings. Apartment Therapy recommends that hosts scour the dollar store for clean, white plates or search the $1 to $3 bins at Target for tablescape ideas. The outlet also mentions that using brown packing paper or wrapping paper for tablecloths is an inexpensive and interesting way to set the tone. 


In addition, these options are disposable, easy to clean, and, in many cases, reusable. For table decorations, small accents like candles, fairy lights, and greenery can go a long way in terms of adding personality to your event. Finally, Pandora has many dinner party playlists to give your party some background music. Artists such as Sam Smith, Amy Winehouse, and Beyoncé provide a gorgeous soundtrack to a beautiful night.

Budget-friendly drink options

One of the most expensive aspects of any party is the drinks. Real Simple mentions checking out Trader Joe's Two Buck Chuck. It's a delicious wine for your money, and guests will enjoy their options from white to blush and reds. In addition, instead of providing all of the alcohol yourself, mention in the invitation that guests should bring their favorite cocktails or mocktails to share. 


Love Food recommends that hosts should have one specialty drink for all to enjoy, like sangria or mojito, that could be mentioned on the invitation, and guests can bring something else for everyone to enjoy. Guests may enjoy coffee with their desserts or delicious herbal tea as a nightcap, for instance. Regarding cups and drinking glasses, visit the dollar store for great options or, even better, visit a second-hand store for earth-friendly options that could add a unique twist to beverage enjoyment.

Food options on a budget

For most party-throwers, the food is the biggest stressor on their pocketbooks. There are plenty of three-ingredient meals to choose from, and party-throwers shouldn't forget to scour their pantries for inspiration (via Love Food). Making your own food rather than ordering out is the way to go, per TZR


One fun idea is to have guests make their own pizzas, veggie trays, or tacos. Meals like strawberry salad with poppy seed dressing or spicy lemon chicken kabobs are fantastic options for a summer soiree, too. Sticking to recipes with five ingredients or less is key to keeping our budgets solid.

For dessert, don't overlook simple pleasures like ice cream or brownies. TZR suggests trying Jeni's Wildberry Lavender or Vanilla Bean ice cream in small bowls drizzled with honey or chocolate. These options will satisfy your guests' sweet tooth and add a classy cherry on top to your event.

Throwing a successful dinner party on a budget is simple with a few substitutions. Experts agree that preparation is key. Keep it a small, intimate gathering, and don't over-prepare your food. These tips will keep you smiling from your wallet to your dinner table.