Summer is in full swing, and there are a host of reasons to celebrate. Luckily there’s no need to bust your budget while entertaining friends and family. Here are our favorite money-saving tips for parties from planning and shopping to solutions for leftovers.
Serve Summer’s BountyHere are a handful of ideas on how to let the season’s finest flavors standout on your table.
Cook a whole fish on the grill, stovetop or in the oven. Then focus on flavor, not portion size, by allowing 3–4 ounces of fish per person and serving it over a salad or in tacos.
Grill a whole spatchcocked chicken, and then shred the meat off the bone for crowd-pleasing tacos, salads or enchiladas. Spatchcocking opens in a new tab (or removing the backbone) lets a chicken lay almost flat, ensuring even cooking on the grill. It’s an economical choice allowing you to buy a whole bird rather than wings, breasts and drumsticks separately. Bonus: Chickens sold at Whole Foods Market come with a heaping helping of standards — including no antibiotics, ever.
Stretch a protein by combining it with veggies on kabobs. Consider Chile-Orange Swordfish Kabobs opens in a new tab, Grilled Barbecue Pork and Plum Kabobs opens in a new tab or Grilled Tempeh Kabobs opens in a new tab.
Offer seasonal veggies sides such as grilled corn or this quick and colorful Southwestern Couscous Salad opens in a new tab.
Desert expensive desserts. Decorate homemade cakes with beautiful in-season berries instead.
Be Beverage WiseDrawing attention to the beverage table doesn’t have to mean additional alcohol; it means more fun beverages. Our favorite awe-inspiring ways to beat the bar tab include:
Create a custom cocktail such as Summer Sangria opens in a new tab to be your seasonal signature.
Always keep pitchers — not costly individual bottles — of cold water and “mocktails” on the table. Float slices of citrus for effect.
Invites, Decorations & Favors
If you’re opting for non-digital invites, consider upcycling old photos or paper you already have for a DIY invite to decrease cost and waste. Or put your kids to work drawing or painting.
Go natural! Decorate with fresh fruit (e.g. lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit in bowls, trays or vases) and flowers and herbs and greenery from the garden. Or reuse decorations from other events.
If your gathering is a match for favors (think baby showers or engagement parties), pass up plastic trinkets in favor of homemade delights. Make big batches of Spiced Quick-Pickled Cherries opens in a new tab), pot succulents in mason jars or make body care gifts (check out our beauty how-to videos opens in a new tab for ideas including DIY Relaxing Lavender Body Scrub opens in a new tab and DIY Moisturizing Lotion Bars opens in a new tab.)
Shop for Savings
There are many ways to save even before you do your shop:
Look for what’s on sale now. Search local sales opens in a new tab on our website and stock up. For example, buy lots of cherries when they’re on sale and pit and freeze for later or blend and freeze for fruity ice cubes or ice pops.
Cut costs in half. If you need only half a melon, chunk of cheese, fish fillet, loaf of fresh bread, etc., we’re happy to provide just the half you need.
Reinvent LeftoversControl waste and get the most out of your money by putting leftover ingredients towards delicious new meals. Here are a few ideas:
Use buns to make croutons and breadcrumbs
Crumbled up burgers can be added to quesadillas or burritos or top a pizza
Toss grilled veggies into pasta or rice
Add hotdogs or sausage bites to beans
Make sandwiches with chicken
What are your tips for summer entertaining on a budget?
*Digital coupons are valid for in-store shopping at U.S. stores only.