How I Hosted a Dinner Party for 6 for Less Than $60

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My husband and I love to entertain!

But like many who love to entertain we don't take the time to do it nearly enough. So last weekend we had 2 couples over for "fancy dinner." I was able to feed 6 people an appetizer, steak Diane, sautéed green beans, roasted potatoes and apple pie for dessert for $10 each! How much would that cost you in your local fancy restaurant? I bet you couldn't get the entree alone for less than $30.

Dinner party plate
Image: Courtesy of How I Pinch a Penny

Here is how I did it:

2 days before the dinner I went to my grocery store early in the morning. When I say "early" I mean 9 am. This is the time the meat manager is coming around and marking down the meat that will "go out" today. Just because the meat is dated for a "sell by" does not mean that at the stroke of midnight it goes bad on that date. It means that the grocery store has to sell the meat by that date to ensure that you, the consumer, will have enough time to take it home, store it and consume it in a timely manner and the product still be of a good quality. Anything beyond that you are on your own. If you are eating the meat that night or even the day or two after the date you are still good to purchase your "reduced-priced"meat.

All of this to say that I went to the grocery store 2 days in a row to get the "reduced" filet mignon cuts. In my grocery store this is a discount of 40-60%. That is a pretty good savings for me when it comes to anything, never mind a premium cut of meat! I also picked up 2 bags of mini new potatoes that were on sale 2 for $5. I grabbed a pound and half of green beans for $3.50. Next it was cremini mushrooms and I picked up about 10 of them for $3. If you are not familiar with or want more information about mushrooms check out the post I did for The Mushroom Council titled Mushrooms Instead of Meat on Mondays.

I also picked up 4 apples and a can of Crisco to add to the other ingredients I already had at home to make an apple pie. Also on my list was heavy cream, butter, a block of cream cheese, a box of water crackers and 1/2 cup of sliced almonds from the bulk bin. I had a lot of flour at home so I didn't need to add that to my cart. If you are short of flour pick up 5 lbs of flour for your apple pie and the homemade bread.

I grabbed a $10 bottle of wine on my way home and we were ready for dinner! (I don't typically recommend a bottle of wine that cheap, but this pariticular cabernet sauvignon was recommended and has a very high wine score. It was very good all things considered) The total was just under $60 and I would show you the receipt but in a rare moment of cleaning out my purse I tossed it!  I am kicking myself!

Timeline

Friday

Saturday Early afternoon

  • Bake the bread
  • Clean the green beans
  • Wash the potatoes
  • Trim the filet if needed
  • Slice the mushrooms

1 hour before the meal

  • Put the potatoes in the oven
  • Pull out the cream cheese to soften on a plate
  • Pop open a jar of home made Jalepeno Jelly and pour over the cream cheese. Serve with water crackers
  • Put a sick of butter on a plate to soften and place on the dinner table

As the guests have the appetizer

  • Pop open the wine to let it breathe
  • Start the mushrooms sautéing
  • Sear the filets
  • Slice the bread and put on the table

Once the guests sit down to the table

  • Invite guests to enjoy bread and butter or herbed olive oil while you finish the entree
  • Sauté the green beans
  • Finish the Steak Diane Sauce
  • Pull the potatoes from the oven add butter, salt and pepper

SERVE...ENJOY...CHAT. Don't forget to serve your lovely Apple pie! Want to see the pins from Pinterestthat inspired this penny pinching meal? Here they are:

Steak Diane  24 Hour Bread

How do you pinch pennies when entertaining at home?

     

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