Impress your guests with these delicious and affordable dinner ideas.

So it’s your turn to host for the holidays? A memorable dinner doesn’t have to be expensive. It’s easy to go overboard on holiday meals, but our tips will help you set a budget and keep it without compromising on quality.

Plan it out

Get out your favourite cookbooks or visit websites like Yummly, Pinterest, and Epicurious. Plan your recipes and make a detailed list of ingredients so you can shop smart at the grocery store and only buy what you need. Find sales by checking grocery flyers online at Smart Canucks or on your mobile device with Flipp. If you see a deal you can’t resist, it might be worth a menu substitution.

Avoid Pre-Made desserts

Those cookies in the display are beautiful, but we know you have what it takes to make them from scratch. It may be more time consuming, but your guests will appreciate the hard work you put in. Let Martha help you out with some of her favourite crowd-pleasers, and try this irresistible Peppermint White Hot Chocolate if you dare!

Make it a potluck

Preparing a full menu on your own is a huge undertaking. Don’t be afraid to ask your family and friends to take on a dish to lighten your workload and share some of the the costs. The best way to organize it is to create a master menu and delegate dishes to each person. If someone doesn’t love their dish suggestion, brainstorm something else together. When it’s time to eat, everyone can enjoy and be proud of the meal they helped produce. Don’t forget to compliment everyone on their cooking skills!

Plan out your leftovers

If you’re making a traditional turkey dinner for your guests, plan to save some for leftovers. You can get as much as a whole week’s worth of meals out of a single turkey, which could mean big savings for the family. Here are some tasty recipe ideas that you can try. If you’re not making turkey, be creative with whatever leftovers you do have. The golden rule is to keep your meal simple and delicious. Avoid getting too carried away with unnecessary and expensive side dishes and desserts. The main course will be quite the feast on it’s own and you’ll have less waste at the end of it. Good luck with your meal and happy cooking!