In Part Two of the interview with Food Network host Sandra Lee, I asked her about entertaining on a budget. I figured that Sandra is the perfect person to tell us how to throw a party with high style—after all, this is a woman whose outfits match her curtains in each and every show...
Here are Sandra's tips for entertaining with high style on a low budget:
CM: When entertaining, is it possible to have style if you're on a budget?
To give a party high style on a low budget, make sure you plan your menu carefully.
- Look for foods that can be made or frozen ahead of time.
- If you want to serve cut foods like crudite or antipasto, vegetables, or cheese, slice the foods yourself.
- Do a cost breakdown of items that you need and combine with items that you already have on hand.
- When guests ask what they can bring to your dinner party, suggest a bottle of wine or spirits. This will help significantly with your party budget.
Also, keep your decorations simple, but creative.
- For centerpieces, pick any greenery from your yard as a base and then add fruit, flowers, peppers, pine cones, candles, figurines and woodcarvings.
- For a neat tablecloth idea, put a clear plastic drop cloth over flat and colorful objects such as leaves, theme paper decorations or decorated paper cloths.
- You can also borrow what you can, instead of buying.
Do you have any ideas for throwing a creative kid's birthday party on budget?
- Go for a menu of family-favorites: Pasta salads and sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, hamburgers or turkey burgers, French fries and candy ala carte.
- I recommend looking at everyday things with a fresh, creative eye. I find dishes from china to paper plates in quality little shops, Target, or Wal-Mart.
- You can also find great fabrics at JoAnn's for usually just $5.00-$10.00 a yard.
- Fruits, desserts, or a bowl of punch can become a quick, appealing centerpiece.
- If you have it, use it and if you don't...make do with something else. It'll be just as fabulous.
Don't miss Sandra Lee's new show, Sandra's Money Saving Meals, premiering May 10 at 12 p.m.