host a dinner party on a budget

Hostess Essentials: Host a Dinner Party on a Budget of $150

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I absolutely love dinner parties. Stories and laughter over wine. Bellies full of homemade meals and hearty company.

Being one of the few 20-somethings I know who owns a home, I often find myself hosting, and it’s one of my absolute favorite things to do. There’s nothing quite like sharing your favorite recipes with your friends and opening up your home to help your loved ones feel warm and cozy. It’s a wonderful gift to be able to give for the low price of deep-cleaning your house (which, let’s face it, we all need reminders to do anyway!) and an extra run of the dishwasher.

And yet, hosting seems to scare people. The two concerns I hear most often? “I don’t have enough space,” and “I don’t have nice things.” While there’s only so much you can do with the space that you have, you can easily host a dinner party on a budget by stocking your kitchen with the essentials. Start with the basics (classic white dinnerware, simple flatware, wine glasses, etc.), add some candles or fresh flowers, put on some music, and voila! Everything you need to host a simple dinner party.

Bonus: You can buy everything that you see below and serve six people for less than $150! Ever better—all are available on Amazon Prime, so shipping is fast and free. Links below.

Hostess Essentials, host a dinner party for $150 or less

01. Dinnerware set for 6
02. Flatware set for 4 (Buy two!)
03. Drinking glasses for 6
04. Serving utensils
05. Wine glasses for 6
06. Serving platters, set of 4
07. Bar set (includes cocktail shaker, bottle opener, wine opener, and other essentials)

What are your hostess essentials?


Weekend at the Farm

Have you ever felt like you were in a book? I have, once, a few Saturdays ago.

Farmhouse Kitchen

We drove about two hours outside of town to our friends’ farmhouse, and although we’ve been there dozens of times, something about this time was different. I felt like I was being guided, almost pulled, by some crafty writer who kept making grasshoppers chirp and laughter bellow and who just couldn’t keep from  jumping and pointing and saying, “Did you know that a place like this could exist? Look! It does! Let me show you.”

Farmhouse Table

I started noticing it that night when I fell asleep to the smell of vanilla, wrapped in fleece and hand-sewn blankets in a room bound by wood and family heirlooms. Sunday morning, it felt like my writer was pleading, “Look! Look at the sunshine streaming through the windows! Look how it makes everything glow! Forget the vanilla. Smell the coffee, the leftover smoke of late-night cigars! Listen to the bacon hit the cast-iron and sizzle!”

Liquor Cabinet

It continued through breakfast. We gathered around the table and drank coffee, black, over 1920s jazz. We ate potatoes fried in bacon grease; cheddar melted over grits; and avocado, bacon, and egg atop toasted sourdough.

Pouring Coffee

I tell you, the farm really is like a house you find in books, the ones that most people dream about but wouldn’t know how to live in even if they had the chance. Our friends, however, have perfected the art, and they make a weekend in the country everything it should be. I’m crossing my fingers that it’ll be cold enough next time to light the stove.


(And, because I’m sure all that talk about bacon made you hungry, here’s  a recipe. It’s especially great served with hash browns, cheese grits, and fresh bananas.)

Avocado, Bacon, and Egg Breakfast Sandwich

Avocado, Bacon, and Egg Breakfast Sandwich

Start to finish: 20 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 2 sourdough buns, cut in half
  • 4 slices of thick-cut bacon
  • 4 large eggs
  • Spicy brown mustard
  • 2 avocados, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Toast sourdough halves 10-12 minutes or until lightly brown.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp and brown.
  3. Meanwhile, fill a medium saucepan with cold water and eggs. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 3-4 minutes. Immediately remove from heat, drain, and soak eggs in cold water and ice. Once cool, remove eggshells and slice eggs.
  4. Layer sourdough halves, spicy brown mustard, avocado slices, egg slices, and bacon.