To all "Gossip Girl" lovers, and as an East Coast native myself, nothing is better than brunch on a Sunday morning. Unfortunately, I don’t have a Chuck Bass at my beck and call to spend a whopping $100 for a meal at the Plaza Hotel in NYC. The Upper East Side teens may have had an endless source of money (seriously, what were their parents thinking?), but as a college student, I have a more limited budget.

Luckily, I’ve come across some tips for throwing a Waldorf-worthy brunch with some not-so-Waldorf-worthy funds. Here's how to throw a "Gossip Girl"-like brunch on a college student budget. 

1. Name cards are a must

Blair and her mother are sticklers for perfection. Blair’s mother, Eleanor, can just never resist holding any formal event, and the invite lists are long. Choose to invite a couple of close friends for an intimate gathering or invite everyone for a true Manhattan party. But remember, less people means less plates to fill and less money to spend. 

Name cards personalize everything and will make your brunch so sophisticated, even the Waldorfs would approve. You can create a simple name card with index cards and a sharpie for a sleek, classy theme.

2. Finger foods are your best friend. 

Not only will finger food be cute for the 'gram, but it will be even better knowing, as the host, you don’t have to lift a finger to clean any utensils. The simpler, the better, right?

Here’s another tip: Buying pre-made baked goods won’t cost a ton like smoked salmon and caviar might. As much as some would love to indulge in luxurious salmon mousses, patés, and homemade croissants, they can get pretty pricey. Keep the portions small and go for a variety of tastes, colors, and textures if you can spare an extra couple of dollars.

These brunch recipes are both adorable to plate and a breeze to make.

3. Buffet-style is always best

There is nothing better than coming to a brunch and seeing mountains of food. Bart Bass always pleases his guests with an eclectic selection of brunch delicacies, so it’s only fitting you try to replicate it.

A buffet allows your guests to interact both with the food and each other in a completely casual environment. It’s best to keep the food simple with inexpensive ingredients so you can satisfy picky eaters without dedicating too much time and energy.

Having an oatmeal bar is wallet-friendly, as it averages around just $0.13 per serving. Toppings can include a variety of ingredients you might already have lying around your kitchen; brown sugar, jams, nuts and fruit. Your guests will be able to make their own rendition that is both comforting and filling.

If you want to keep it light and decorative, try a yogurt parfait bar and pair it with colorful in-season fruit.

4. Shortcut recipes are a life-saver

cream, pumpkin
Luna Zhang

For those who consider themselves a homemade-only kind of person, but don’t want to spend the money (or the effort) learning how to make Eggs Benedict or curing your own salmon, try a short cut. Short-cut recipes involve a bit of cooking, but also use some pre-made items that allow you to add your own twists to classic brunch favorites.

For example, let’s say you buy frozen waffles; have your guests top them with different condiments like maple syrup, chocolate chips, and whipped cream. Rufus Humphrey would approve 100 percent, since you know, waffles are his favorite. 

5. You gotta have macarons

sweetmeat, pastry, cream, pistachio, cookie, meringue, cake, macaroon, chocolate, sweet, candy
Gabby Phi

Blair’s favorite cookie. I mean, who can resist? Her boyfriend/lover/friend/husband, Chuck Bass, even flew all the way to Paris to get her the real deal. They're colorful and add an air of elegance to any occasion. These beauties can be prepackaged or homemade, and they look really cute either way. Unfortunately, the Ladurée options are quite expensive, so finding a cheaper, equally as tasty alternative is your best option for making it budget-friendly.

#SpoonTip: Trader Joe’s offers 12-macaron packs for only $4.99.

6. Remember the drinks 

Whether your brunch is booze-free or booze friendly, it is always important to have a variety of drinks. You can’t party like an Upper East-Sider without something bubbly in your hand. Blair and her minions are always at the local bar catching up with a gin martini, but Serena loves a good glass of champagne. (These are not your "normal" teens, but I think you already knew that.)

Ask your guests to bring a bottle of sparkling wine, orange juice, or even some fancy fruit-infused water. Let your friends help in the selection of beverages, because you shouldn’t do all the work yourself. Serve drinks in champagne flutes or buy plastic ones to make it easier on both you and them. Serena always loves to enjoy a glass of champagne with any occasion, so why not go along with it and celebrate?

7. Dress for success 

We all know B and S have styles that kill. From their time at Constance Billard School for Girls to the streets of SoHo and Paris, this dynamic duo is always flaunting something fashion-forward and sophisticated. It would be only fitting for everyone in attendance to be dressed accordingly. Casual, fancy, or simple are all versatile styles most people can accommodate. Embellished headbands are, of course, allowed (and encouraged).

8. Seasonal flowers are always in. 

vegetable, herb
Carly Gulasarian

Blair always had Hydrangeas in her room (they're her favorite) — they add a refined, upscale look to almost any event. An added plus: They smell great. But flowers can get quite expensive, so buy a larger bouquet and create smaller bundles yourself. This way you can spread out the flowers without spending a fortune on elaborate arrangements.

9. Don't forget to have fun

Create a brunch playlist and most importantly, enjoy the food and the company. Brunch is the best way to get together and have some fun. Nothing brings people together quite like food, drinks and a well-dressed group selfie for your Instagram, except for maybe, well, "Gossip Girl."