Australia Day is now upon us, and (for many of us) that means catching up with friends and family over good food and a few cold beverages.
If you want to host the Australia Day shindig at your place this year without breaking the bank, we have you covered.
The following four easy tips will help you to entertain in style while still keeping the costs under control.
Have a barbecue
Not only is Australia Day the perfect time of year to host a BBQ, but a BBQ can be quite cost effective. Instead of wagyu steaks, you can serve guests barbecued chicken, sausages and pork tenders. Hot dogs and burgers are delicious and filling, and would go well with a side of salad and fruit. When you're shopping for food at the supermarket, look for specials. At the end of the day, every cent counts, so when you are given the chance to save dollars – take it.
Bring a dish
You can relieve some of the pressure of planning a whole meal by asking your guests to bring something everyone can share. Not only does this reduce your overall workload, but it gives your guests the chance to try a range of culinary delights. To avoid ending up with four potato salads and three garden salads, let each guest know exactly what you would like them to bring, such as drinks, sides, mains and desserts. If you're struggling for food ideas, consider something that can be eaten at room temperature, can be eaten as leftovers, and can be made in advance.
Plan your menu
With your menu, it is a good idea to plan ahead. Aim for dishes that share a particular ingredient as this will streamline your shopping and ensure you get the most out of all your purchased items. You should also look at what you already have in your fridge and pantry, as this will help you to avoid buying ingredients you don't need. Another good idea for keeping costs low is to substitute premium items for more affordable options.
Opt for a more casual event
If you're on a tight budget and want to keep things simple, you can't go wrong with a wine and cheese or dessert party. They are great alternatives to more formal dinners and lunches, while still allowing you to enjoy good company and have a great time. There is also the flexibility of time so your guests can come and go as they please.
Whatever you decide to do this Australia Day, the key is to have a good time doing it.