Party ideas | How to entertain on the cheap

Nothing beats a list of awesome party ideas, than a list of cheap party ideas. Friends of mine would be happy to spill the beans on my love for a well executed and successful party, as host and go-er!

As host, there are many sneaky little tricks to achieving a fabulous and glamorous party without waking up hungover with a pang of regret as you watch an ATM spit debt in your face. Ouch.

Don’t worry. Just console yourself with a double-shot flat white with extra sugar, and throw in a donut. Celebrate! Because you’ve just discovered these fab tips for saving a bunch of bucks on your next party!

Now there’s a reason to party right there! Woopee! Fire up the BBQ and throw some sausages on! Get the vino in the chiller! Let’s get this party started!

Tangent: While I’m on the topic checkout my video: Top 10 Party Tips for Avoiding a Hangover.  This will get your head sorted out too.


Pot-luck your party

Go generic

Hide generic packets before your party guests arrive and they will never know!

Families coming

When having friends over, who are bringing their children, cook up a big spaghetti Bolognese in a crock pot for the kids or cook an easy dish like hot dogs! Make the evening easy on yourself.

Love pot-luck

Hold pot-luck dinners. Get families to bring meat, salad and their own alcohol to a BBQ. Focus on snacks and dessert.


Get dip happy

Make dips

Make supermarket dip. Check dip packets for ingredients and make that dip yourself. Get more dip for less money!

Cheese platters

Buy cheeses close to their use-by date if you are planning to use the cheeses that night.

Pretty platter

Bulk up platters with vegetables, fruit and cheap dips. Add cheeses in smaller portions. Be creative. Go pretty over expensive! Focus on  presentation and try to make cheaper food look gourmet.

Buy chips

Chips are cheap and everyone loves a chip! Bulk up party food with packets of chips.


Get creative with platters

Cheap platter ideas

Here are some quick cheap party platter tricks:

  1. Cook up some bulk-buy sausages and cut them on an angle. Add toothpicks.
  2. Cut up small pieces of regular cheese and add chopsticks.
  3. Buy olives in discount stores like Aldi in jars.
  4. Buy antipasto supplies in jars at bulk discount stores.
  5. Research cheap and delicious appetizers online.
  6. Slice up carrots and cucumber. Arrange them artistically on a plate.
  7. Add your own delicious and thrifty homemade dips.

Slow cook it

Save time

For dinner serve up a beautifully cooked slow cooker stew. This is cheap and your guests will think you a gourmet cook. Slow cook the meal all day. You will also be free to chat with guests. Pop some rice in the rice cooker and a potato galette in the oven. Add a little salad as garnish. Wow. Not one guest spotted you cooking but they are salivating over your culinary skills! You are amazing!

Cheap table

  1. Drape some colourful material over a table for a quick makeover.
  2. Lay some white Christmas tree lights across a table. Switch the lights on just before dinner for an instant table pleaser.

Wine trick

Decant cask wine into bottles if you are really on a budget. (I don’t do this – but I have found an affordable wine brand that is nice on the palette! Try Gossips at Dan Murphy’s.)

Quick and cheap meals

  • Have a BBQ. BBQs are cheap, easy and sociable.
  • Cook a roast, slow cooker meal or simply serve nibbles.

Note: Do not plan expensive meals that keep you in the kitchen away from your guests.


Sweets as decorations

At a cocktail party poke marshmallows onto the end of skewers. Arrange them in vases. These look great and are a very thrifty and edible treat. if it is Winter have a fire so your guests can toast them!

Use this skewer trick for anything! Strawberries, grapes and chocolates.

Shop at home

Before doing any shopping for party guests always shop at home first. See what you have in the house already, which you can whip up for your guests. Creativity is half the fun! You will have a better night too, knowing that you didn’t break the bank just to have a little fun!

They will love you anyway

Remember your friends are coming to see you because they like you and want to spend time with you. If they are real friends they won’t be too concerned if you served up that delicious meal in grandma’s old china instead of Ikea’s latest platter! Also remember, the proof is in the pudding, not in the dish it arrived in!


Need more great food related tips?

If you need more ways to save money at the supermarket download money saving cheat sheets and printables! Use up leftovers, create quick and easy meals, find healthy budget lunch and dinner ideas!

  • 75+ awesome ways to save on alcohol
  • 250 essential tips for saving on food and groceries
  • 50 sneaky ways to hide fruit and veggies in food
  • 130+ easy cook-ahead dinners for the freezer
  • 150+ beaut budget dinner ideas
  • 50+ simple meal ideas using sausages
  • 250+ super foods for a better you
  • 100 happy and healthy high fibre foods
  • 50 great ideas for using up roast beef leftovers
  • 100 wicked ways with a supermarket roast chicken
  • 300+ easy ideas for a happy lunch box
  • 100 easy dinner ideas using minced beef
  • 50 simple ways to use up leftover Christmas ham
  • 100+ budget meal ideas using Aldi ingredients

Printables for creating budget meals and weekly menu planning

  • Essentials grocery list
  • Blank grocery list
  • Monthly menu planner

Read more to access over 1o,000+ tips in cheat sheets & printables!