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Squeaker’s birthday party was this past Saturday (on her actual birthday- the 5th) and we had a small, intimate celebration that was also our first holiday entertaining event of the year. It might also be our last because it still proved to be more than enough for this introvert, but it was still a lot of fun none the less. We also managed to stay within our minimal party budget so that was a definite win for us. And I am more than happy to share my budget friendly entertaining tips with you. We tend to allocate the largest chunk of the budget to food and I’ve found that one of the more popular party options (and budget friendly options) is cheese. I mean, who doesn’t love cheese? And believe it or not, a cheese tray is definitely a budget friendly option.
If given the opportunity, I confess, I will eat all the cheese in existence.
I love cheese.
But, previously, when I would use it for entertaining it meant buying block cheese and then the painstaking process of cutting it all up by hand. That resulted in uneven pieces … and sometimes, not all of the cheese would make it to the platter.
However, this problem was at least solved after taking a trip to Walmart to get our party supplies and food. After going through the produce section and regular grocery area, we made a stop to the deli.
Squeaker loves cheese just as much as I do, so the biggest challenge was keeping all of the cheese on the tray until our guests got here.
After underestimating the reach of her little (or not so little) arms, I finally wised up and pushed the cheese tray further back on the table.
I paired the cheese cuts with homemade crackers. Which, I’ll admit- I will do this differently next time around. Like rolling the dough thinner. Much thinner.
But even with that one beginner’s misstep, the crackers turned out to be pretty good and paired very nicely with the cheese cuts.
You can also make these cheese crackers by adding in a handful of shredded cheese. It’s really up to you!
Making homemade crackers was just one of the ways that we stayed under our budget for this party. And here are a few more tips:
- Ask guests to bring a side dish or appetizer
- Take advantage of sales (a tip for any time really)
- Make it at home, as much as you can. Sure, those ready made dips and desserts and packaged goods are a tempting buy. Especially when you’re hard pressed for time. However, making it at home gives you full control over the ingredients and it might not take as long as you think!
- Re-use your decorations.
- Plan your menu ahead of time and stick to it. Depending on the time of your party, you may want to do just a spread of appetizers and finger foods. Or, you can do a main dish, but serve it up in individual portions.
Do you have a budget friendly entertaining tip to share for holiday entertaining? Or maybe it’s a deliciously easy cheesy recipe? I’d love to hear it! Let me know in the comments below 🙂