How to Host a Fabulous Holiday Dinner on a Student Budget

November 2, 2017 by James Hendrickson

While it may seem like the holidays are still a long way off, the reality is that they will be here before you know it. Shopping and preparing for Christmas is stressful for just about anyone, but for students who are trying to get by on a very tight budget, it can be downright nightmare-inducing. So, what happens if you’re not only dealing with that student budget but you’re also the one who is hosting that big family holiday dinner?

Here, we’ll take a look at ways you can go ahead and host a fabulous and memorable holiday dinner, even on a tight budget.

Make Sure You are Still Focused on Your Studies

Even though dinner preparation will take time and energy, it’s important to note that your studies should still come first. Take, for example, the library science degree through a school such as Rutgers Online. Your study schedule is probably pretty jam-packed, especially if you are also juggling your personal life and possibly a job on the side.

Making sure you plan well in advance of the holiday meal will help to ensure that you aren’t running around at the last minute trying to get everything done and forgoing your obligations to your online master of information program.

Create a Meal Plan

A great place to start when hosting a dinner is to create a meal plan. This will help ensure that you make enough food, a good enough variety of food, and you don’t end up over-buying on ingredients and items. Once you’ve got that set meal plan, you can also create a shopping list.

As a side note, when creating your meal plan, include items that are known for being affordable yet can be jazzed up with spices and herbs. Examples include carrots, potatoes, turnips, and sweet potatoes. All of these items scream holiday meal, yet are all extremely affordable. These are also comfort foods that really fill you up, which means you can scale back on the more expensive items.

Another way to keep ingredients under control price-wise is to pick items that are in season.

Don’t Go Overboard on Appetizers

While it’s great to serve appetizers and nibbles before dinner, you don’t want to go so overboard that your guests are too full to eat the meal. Instead, serve just a few light nibbles and be sure not to offer too much.

Nix the Open Bar

One of the most expensive items for a meal can be the alcoholic beverages you serve. Rather than create an open-bar atmosphere, stick to wine that can be served with dinner and let your guests know the rest of the gathering is BYOB.

Make as Much as You Can from Scratch

While this tip isn’t exactly a time-saver, it will save you a lot of money. Whatever you can make from scratch will end up costing you much less. This means things such as pies, squares, appetizers, and even chopping your own fruits and veggies. There’s also the fact that cooking things from scratch always ends up tasting better.

All of these tips will help to ensure your holiday meal is a huge success and doesn’t leave you in the red.

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