How to Throw a Dinner Party and Not Break the Bank

Back in my days of being a private chef I threw quite the dinner party! I’ll be totally honest and own up to the fact that I never paid much attention to cost of ingredients because I wasn’t footing the bill! Nowadays I still love to throw a dinner party but I try not to spend a gazillion dollars when I entertain (gotta save some money for my birthday trip this summer!)

How to Throw a Dinner Party and Not Break the Bank

That said, you won’t be surprised to know that I’m always curious to know how much dinner parties cost. I usually think in terms of price per head – and it usually comes out to about $25-35 per person if I’m going all out on wine. Well… guess who just got served? Me!

How to Throw a Dinner Party and Not Break the Bank

You guys are well aware of my ALDI obsession by now! It’s the latest and greatest place to shop that saves you money and still gives you a quality product. While I was with them a few weeks ago in wine country they put together the most gorgeous dinner party with the following menu:

Crostini with Mushrooms and Happy Farms Preferred Goat Cheese
Cheese Boards with all the Crackers and Dips
Kale Salad with Lemon-Yogurt Dressing, Southern Grove Marcona Almonds, Avocado and Southern Grove Dried Cranberries
Priano Pipe Rigate with Spring Vegetables
Seared Specially Selected Scallops with Herbed-Lemon Oil
Chile-Rubbed USDA Choice Flat Iron Steak
Oven Seared Cauliflower Steaks with Tomato and Red Onion Jam
Chocolate Cake with Almond-Cream Cheese Filling and Berries
not to mention wine with every course!!

How to Throw a Dinner Party and Not Break the Bank How to Throw a Dinner Party and Not Break the Bank How to Throw a Dinner Party and Not Break the Bank How to Throw a Dinner Party and Not Break the Bank

Take a wild guess as to how much that cost per person minus the wine?? Me – I said it was probably about $30 per person without wine. Here’s what it actually broke down to…

  • Crostini with Mushrooms and Goat Cheese
  • Kale Salad with Lemon-Yogurt Dressing
  • Pipe Rigate with Spring Vegetables
  • Seared Scallops with Herbed-Lemon Oil- this was the most shocking part of the menu for me!! Scallops usually are expensive – but these were not only affordable but still WAY delish – easily my favorite part of the meal.
  • Chile-Rubbed Flat Iron Steak
  • Cauliflower Steaks with Tomato and Red Onion Jam
  • Chocolate Cake with Almond Cream Cheese Filling and Berries
    Dinner total: $14.59*
    *Cost per serving based on prices as of 3/29/2016. Prices may vary by location & subject to change. **Is not inclusive of fresh herbs.

That’s roughly $15 a person for a GIANT meal!! Can you even deal? Imagine what that would have cost if you went out to eat? Nuts, right? ALDI nailed it with a delicious dinner that didn’t break the bank. I mean, I would have thought the scallops would send the price tag over the edge, but not at ALDI… they keep things efficient so they can pass the savings onto us. And while the wine wasn’t included in price per head – I can guarantee you that the wines served were not only perfect pairings with each course – but they were all very reasonably priced, and some even sourced from local vineyards in California! How fun is that?

How to Throw a Dinner Party and Not Break the Bank

Now who do I need to call so I can get that Oven Seared Cauliflower Steaks with Tomato and Red Onion Jam recipe and make it on the regular! I’m hooked!

** This post is brought to you by ALDI. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that allow me to create new and special content like this for What’s Gaby Cooking**

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6 comments

  1. Heather Christo

    Beautiful party ideas and I love this post- I think so many people want to entertain these days without spending a fortune!

  2. Sarah | Broma Bakery

    Stunnah of a meal. I can’t wait to throw huge dinner parties in my California mountain home. Of course you’re invited. One day, one day.

  3. Julie @ Table for Two

    I’m so shocked at how inexpensive this was! Totally need to take a page out of this post and apply it to my next dinner party!

  4. Naomi

    I’m right there with you about not spending a bajillion $$$ for dinner parties. Love ALDI!

  5. Meg

    Thank you for the intro to Aldi which I visited here in NJ today. Love the many gluten free options. Will be back often.