How to host a dinner party on a budget

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Planning a dinner party can feel like a full-time job, in fact, I know what that is like seeing as though I use to spend much of my days planning large events and parties for work. The 2020 pandemic had many of us hitting pause on social gatherings and being around large crowds was a thing of the past. I decided to have a small dinner party for my birthday in 2020. Before I got too carried away, I knew I needed to host a dinner party on a budget. Now that I’ve done it I’m going to share some helpful tips so you can too.

hosting a dinner party on a budget

The Guestlist

Your guest list is important, I would suggest you have close friends and limit it to invite-only. You want to be around people you actually like. I know this seems like a no-brainer. Though, some people are in the habit of asking if they can bring a friend. This friend could be someone you don’t even know. You don’t want to find out you’re not a fan of the person at your dinner party. Next thing you know, your small dinner party has evolved into something you did not plan for. Keep it intimate to avoid this from happening. Also, you are inviting people into your home. It’s not a good idea to welcome strangers into your space!

A key tip that will save you money is to have your friends bring a small dish. I suggest making this request because you’d have fewer things to worry about and since people have different diets you know everyone there has something they can eat because they brought it! Food is obviously the most important (and expensive) part of every dinner party. Sure you can cater but having something homemade is always a special touch. You’ll be able to share recipes with one another and this always makes for a good conversation over dinner.


My dinner party was outside, it’s important to stay hydrated because that summer heat is no joke, especially in July! Every place setting should have cold water. Champagne is also good to have when celebrating or dining outside too. I had a bottle of Bel-Air and got plastic champagne flutes from party city. If you want to get really fancy feel free to use your glassware but these are all tips for hosting a dinner party on a budget. It can also be fun to have a signature drink for the dinner party. There are so many fun cocktails to try and you might find that you’re actually quite the bartender! You can make a drink that matches the color of your dinner party theme too, this always makes for cute pictures you can share on Instagram.


As I mentioned before when sending out your invite tell your close friends to bring a small dish. It shouldn’t be too much to ask and as long as you provide the main entre the sides are really just a little something extra for a fuller plate. At my party, we had wings, corn on the cob, baked mac n cheese, and dinner rolls. If your dinner party has a theme you can ask your guest to bring food that aligns with the theme. This also makes it a little bit easier in case they’re not exactly sure what food to bring!


Last but not least, now there is nothing wrong with getting together and eating but is it really a party if you don’t decorate? I don’t think so! You also don’t have to spend a ton of money decorating for your dinner party either. Since I was celebrating a birthday I had balloons. Fresh flowers and tea light candles to set the mood. If you found this post helpful be sure to follow the Money Multiplied Instagram and subscribe to the newsletter!

If you enjoyed this article, check out my blog post on How to live a more intentional life



  1. Bonquesha
    September 19, 2020 / 3:58 pm

    Looks like you had a great time. … very nice tips

    • terrikingpr
      September 24, 2020 / 12:24 am

      Sure did!