Ready to host a holiday dinner, but worried about the increasing prices? Here are some affordable tips

Ready to celebrate the holidays with family and friends, but worried about the budget?
Many tri-state residents are concerned that high food prices and supply chain issues may impact their holiday dinners this year.
News 12 has some tips to help you create a holiday dinner on a budget:

BUDGET FOR YOUR DINNER

During this time of year, you need to budget for more than gifts! A dinner budget will help you get ready. Consider how many guests you will have and how much food you will need. Keep the dinner simple, that way you’ll save time preparing it as well as save money.

POTLUCK STYLE

What better way to save on your dinner than to have everyone share their favorite plates? Does someone in your family or friend group make a delicious pie or the perfect mashed potatoes? Have them bring it to dinner. What about alcohol? Ask guests to bring their own favorite wine, and don’t forget the champagne.

GROCERY LIST

Make your grocery list early - Holiday cooking can get pricey, especially this year with supply chain issues driving up prices.
Go through the circulars of your local grocery stores to find coupons and deals on things you’ll need. Try getting the non-perishable items early when they’re on sale.
Find coupon apps that can help you save money on groceries. Some apps will let you get money back on purchases you already made, by entering your receipts after you return from shopping. Here’s a list of some great apps.

MAKE YOUR OWN

If you have time, there are plenty of dishes you can make a few days ahead, and you will not have to buy. Bread, pies, cookies are just a few examples. Here’s an apple pie recipe you can make a month in advance and freeze unbaked.

DECORATIONS

Dazzling holiday decorations don't have to cost a lot of money, and you can make them yourself! Go simple for holiday decorations. Collect pine cones from outside and let them dry. Spray paint silver or gold and pile in jars or vases. Or use them as place-card holders for a dinner party. Here are other examples of holiday decorations you can make.
You can also find inexpensive decorations at dollar stores and craft stores. Ask your friends if they have decorations from years’ past. Or check your local freecycle Facebook groups.

SETTING THE TABLE

Get paper plates and plastic utensils from big box stores like BJs or Costco at a lower price. Or, if you’re looking for a more environmentally friendly option, ask friends and family to borrow extra plates, platters, utensils and cups.
Need a tablecloth? Check out a fabric store, where you can get fabric that will match your style or occasion. Or get a paper tablecloth roll, give the kids (and kids at heart) some crayons - it will keep them entertained during dinner, and they will create the perfect dinner art.
Looking for another zero-waste option for your table? Use cloth napkins. You can wash them and reuse again! You can also use them as a table decoration - see video below for instructions to turn your napkin into a Christmas tree.