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14 Ways to Throw a Party without Breaking the Bank

Plus, Calculate Exactly How Much Food You Need

-- By Stepfanie Romine, Staff Writer
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Host a potluck: While you shouldn't expect your guests to bring everything, you shouldn't feel obligated to provide everything. Select a theme, then ask everyone to bring a side, salad or beverage to accompany the main dish.

Go simple with drinks. For one night, your friends can drink water or juice. If you must buy soda, stick to one regular and one diet variety.

BYOB: Keep some beer and a bottle each of white and red wine on hand. Let guests know they should bring their own alcohol.

When you're entertaining, you always want to make sure you have enough food on hand. But no one wants to waste food either. How can you determine how much food to buy for a party?

We'll show you exactly how much food you'll need for your next birthday, Halloween or New Year's party.

Cocktail Party: 10-12 appetizers per person
Dinner Party: 5 appetizers per person
How many varieties?
  • >50 people: 8 types of appetizers
  • <50 people: 6 types
  • 15-20 people: 4-5 types
  • <15 people: 3 types 

    Meat or fish: 6 ounces
    Rice, grains: 1/4 cup per person
    Potatoes: 2/3 cup per person
    Vegetables: 1/2 cup per person
    Beans: 1/4 cup as a side dish
    Pasta: 1/2 cup per person
    Green Salad: 1 cup per person
    Desserts
  • 1 slice cake, tart or pastry
  • 1/2 cup pudding or mousse
  • 1/2 cup ice cream
  • 2 Tablespoons whipped cream or chocolate sauce
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About The Author

Stepfanie Romine Stepfanie Romine
A former newspaper reporter, Stepfanie now writes about nutrition, health, fitness and cooking. She is a certified Ashtanga yoga teacher who enjoys running, international travel and all kinds of vegetables. See all of Stepfanie's articles.

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