The holidays are here, but entertaining doesn't have to blow your budget.
Creative thinking and a little planning can go a long way toward throwing an amazing and affordable holiday party. With these tips and tricks from Publix, your guests will never know you've been fabulously frugal.
Simple and seasonal
One of the best ways to keep your budget in check is to choose recipes with simple, seasonal ingredients. This includes root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, rutabagas and turnips, greens such as kale, cabbage and Brussels sprouts, as well as winter citrus such as grapefruit, oranges and lemons.
Aprons Simple Meals offers pre-planned meals that have been created by chefs and tested by everyday cooks. All of the recipes feature ingredients that are readily available at Publix, so you all your shopping can be done in one stop. Several of the recipes even have accompanying videos, which are a great resource for novice cooks.
Do brunch or cocktails
To cut costs, instead of serving an elaborate holiday dinner, opt for an alternative party menu.
Dessert and cocktail parties are chic this season and less expensive than traditional parties with full meals. You also can plan a cozy brunch, with affordable but filling ingredients. If a potluck is part of the plan, up the ante and instead ask guests to bring their favorite cocktail instead of food.
For desserts, let Publix handle it.
Entertaining bakery platters come in a variety of styles and flavors, such as gourmet cookies, European specialties and fresh fruit tarts. Custom cakes also can be made to order. If homemade is what you prefer, try one of the Aprons Simple Meals trios, irresistible desserts or salted caramel popcorn cones.
Menu planning made easy
If you've decided on a main dish for your party, but don't know where to begin choosing side dishes, Publix Aprons Recipes offers several pre-planned pairings of recipes that work well together.
A simple search for "party" in the Publix recipe database returns an array of easy-to-make recipes. The five-star-reviewed party hors d'oeuvres is a pre-planned trio of mini stuffed peppers, teriyaki pork bites and black-eyed pea salsa.
The best part about these Aprons recipes is that all the ingredients are listed together, so planning your shopping trip is a cinch. You can even save them on the Publix app, where you can find buy-one-get-one deals and discounts, and check them off as you shop.
Your home has been decorated with detailed attention. Shouldn't the presentation of your food match that flair?
For large buffets, use dishes of varying heights so the food won't feel as crowded.
Strategic placement of food on serving tables is a great cost-saving measure. A trick for buffet-style tables is to put the least expensive food at the head of the table, and the most expensive at the end. Guests are likely to serve themselves heavily at the front of the table, and scoop smaller servings as their plates get full.
Bring nature inside
Layer nature into your holiday decor by using sprigs of greenery cut from your yard.
Simple jars filled with branches or colorful berries are elegant and festive. In-season citrus can be dried for ornaments or studded with cloves and hung as pomanders. Cinnamon sticks tied in a bunch will look pretty and smell wonderful when paired with candles and evergreens clipped from the yard.
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