Saturday, 13 October 2012

Budgeting for Party season- Food and drink

I love this time of year, the weather is warm and I can come out of hibernation!!  One of my favourite things about this is its bbq season!!  This year I am even more excited to be able to have people over to my place!!  However this can be an expensive pastime so here are some tips to make entertaining and being social more cost effective!!

A few rules in our group of friends are these
  • BYO meat and booze.
  • Everyone brings a plate.  Consult with the host as to what to bring.  I usually do potato bake but I am bringing back desert this year!!  Yummy key lime pie!!
  • Host provides food for the kids. 
This works really well whether there is a lot of people or just a few!!

In general party season can be very draining financially so once a month I buy myself a gift card from my local supermarket.  $20-$50 depending on how much spare cash is around!!  Most years I have about $250 saved up in cards which I can then use either individually each time I know the groceries are going to be more than normal or I save it all for one big shop right before Christmas.  Just be aware that they expire in 12 months so keep them in order!!

Shops used to run Christmas Clubs shame they don't anymore.  I would join one if there was one in my area!!

Buy things on special now.  Just watch expiry dates!!  Adding a few things each week if they are on special can make life so much easier.  I have already started stocking up on soft drink and a couple of lazy bags of chips.  I buy my faves like corn chips and jars of salsa now although its hard to resist them in the cupboard!!  I have also started stocking up on booze as there were some great bargains a few weeks ago!!

If having a party, plan what you are having.  I will not be making my key lime pie if the limes are $2 each like they are at the moment so make sure what you are making is in season. 

Here is a rough menu I whipped up for my first "gathering"!!  There will be 8 adults and 10 kids for the purpose of this plan!!
  • I will be making potato bake, a cheese platter for the adults.  Also some haloumi cheese for a bbq entree!!  I will also have garlic bread or rolls.
  • kids will be having snag sandwiches and ice cream plus chips etc 
  • One couple will bring a green salad
  • One couple will bring pasta salad or rice salad etc
  • One couple will bring chips and dips plus a desert!!
Please let me know if you have any money saving ideas and what your "take a plate" is!!  I will put up my world famous potato bake recipe tomorrow!! 


  1. I like to bring a trifle!

    1. I LOVE trifle!! You are invited for sure!!

  2. there is no way i could buy food now for something that is later than say next tuesday, if its in the house it goes almost instantly. i bought pretzels yesterday to take to a picnic today got up this morning and they are gone!
    The parties or gatherings always seem to be here so generally provide everything, sometimes people bring stuff. if i ask they do. If its at someones house i'm usually up for a salad or dessert. i usually take a Fattoush salad - always a winner

    1. Gee you are good doing everything yourself!! I just googled fattoush as I had no idea what it is YUM!! You are invited too!! We have a massive garage and I stash stuff in that.

  3. That's a great idea about buying yourself gift cards. I'm going to a bring-a-plate event this afternoon and am taking sausage rolls. I find they're a hit with kids and adults alike and they don't take long to re-heat xx

    1. Buying the gift cards really makes a difference to me!! I think I have done it for the last 7 years!!
      Yum sausage rolls you have an invite too!! Thanks for stopping by!!


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