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College Dinner Party On A Budget

Hosting a party as a college student on a budget can be a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. With a little planning and creativity, you can serve delicious party snacks and appetizers that will impress your friends without breaking the bank. In this post, we'll walk you through the steps of planning, shopping for, prepping, making, and serving tasty treats that won't empty your wallet.


The first step in throwing a budget-friendly party is to plan ahead. Decide on the number of guests you'll be hosting and the occasion for the party. This will help you determine the amount of food you'll need to prepare. Next, make a list of the snacks and appetizers you'd like to serve. Keep in mind that a variety of flavors and textures will keep your guests happy and engaged. Some budget-friendly options to include in your list are:

  • Veggies and dip: Cut up a variety of vegetables like carrots, celery, and bell peppers and serve with a dip of your choice. You can make your own dip using Greek yogurt or sour cream and herbs.

  • Cheese and crackers: A classic party snack that never fails to please. Opt for a variety of cheeses like cheddar, brie, and gouda and pair them with crackers or sliced bread.

  • Popcorn: Make your own popcorn in a pot on the stove or in a popcorn maker and season it with a variety of spices like chili powder, Parmesan cheese, or truffle salt.

  • Sliders: Mini sandwiches are always a hit at parties. You can make them with a variety of fillings like pulled pork, chicken, or veggie burgers.


Once you have your list, it's time to hit the grocery store. Look for sales and discounts, and take advantage of bulk buying options. Don't be afraid to try store-brand or generic products, as they can often be just as good as the name-brand versions at a fraction of the cost. When shopping, consider the following tips:

  • Buy in-season produce: Not only are fruits and vegetables in-season cheaper, but they also tend to be fresher and more flavorful.

  • Use coupons: Check the local newspapers, online sites and the store's website for any available coupons.

  • Consider frozen or canned options: Frozen fruits and vegetables, canned beans, and other pantry staples can be a great way to save money without sacrificing taste or nutrition.


Before you start cooking, make sure you have all the necessary ingredients and equipment. Chop vegetables, measure out spices, and have all your utensils and cookware ready to go. This will make the cooking process much smoother and more efficient. To save time, consider prepping some of the ingredients the day before the party. Some ways you can prepare are:

  • Make a grocery list with all the ingredients needed

  • Chop fruits/vegetables and store them in airtight containers in the refrigerator

  • Thaw out anything frozen the night before


Now for the fun part – cooking! Start by preparing the easiest items first, and work your way up to the more complex recipes. Remember to keep your workspace clean and organized, and don't be afraid to ask for help from your friends. Also, consider making a few dishes that can be made in advance, like dips or sliders, to save time on the day of the party. Some examples of easy recipes include:

  • One-pot recipes

  • Easy tomato sauce

  • Spaghetti


Finally, it's time to serve your delicious party snacks and appetizers! Arrange them on a platter or in bowls, and make sure they are presented in an attractive and accessible way. Don't forget to provide small plates and napkins for your guests. To keep the party atmosphere relaxed and fun, consider setting up a DIY station.

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