How To Throw A Dinner Party (For Under $20)

Friends. Family. Food. YUS. A grand dining experience while in college can often times be few and far between. BUT, I can fix that and I can keep it cheap for y’all. Juuust what us college gals are in to! With $20 (or less), I’ll help you pick out cute decorations, an easy (and delicious) drink to serve and a cost-friendly entree + dessert. Say whaaaa?



Candles, candles, candles! Honestly, when it comes to a warm ambience the more candles the better. And we’re not talking the fancy kind. We’re talking cheap, buy it in bulk, tea lights to decorate everywhere. Online you can get a bag of 50 for $5. Cha-ching.


The best thing about setting the perfect music? It’s absolutely free. (If you use sites like spotify, 8tracks or pandora.) For a fun, feel, put on a playlist with warm jazzy playlist. Think smooth jazz or a little Frank Sinatra.


Grab a case of La Croix (12 for $4.39) and a bottle of Seccola Frizzante from Trader Joes (it runs $4.99 a bottle) for a flavorful, sparkling mixed drink to share amongst you and your pals. With drinks kept under $10, you have about $5 left for an entree. Let’s get to choosing!


Now, this may seem played out, but it’s cost-friendly and effective. One package of this stuff can feed your entire dinner party! You guessed it. I’m talking spaghetti. You can get a generic store brand package of this carb-filled goodness for $.99 or less at your local supermarket. For a gourmet meal, with ingredients you already have in your place, try pasta Aglio e olio. All you need is pasta, parmesan, garlic, olive oil and some red pepper flakes and parsley to sprinkle on top. Plus, look how gorgeous it IS.

Try the recipe here



Yum. We’ve made it to the best part! With a few dollars left to spare, we have to get creative with this one. Just kidding! Grab a bag of Betty Crocker cookie mix for $1.99 and you. did. it. You set the table and the mood, fed your guests and sweetened them up!

See? That wasn’t too bad. You really rocked it with this one! Maybe you can make it a goal between you and all your pals to challenge each other with $20 dinner parties once a month as a way of getting together during the busy school year for some casual downtime and yummy grub. Bon appétit!