Despite the easy access to dining halls that comes with living on campus and the plethora of restaurants in the Austin area, I often find myself craving a home-cooked meal. I recently had the opportunity to celebrate the end of the school year with my fellow residence hall council members by having a small dinner party. Especially in the midst of finals and hell week, it was refreshing to take a break from all of the stress, sit down and enjoy a nice meal in good company. Here are some tips and tricks to having a great get-together on the cheap.

1. Location, location, location

Whether you decide to have your party in an apartment or dorm room, make sure there’s enough space for everyone to fit comfortably. You don’t want to be that one person left out of the conversation because you’re awkwardly crammed in the corner.


Photo by Gabby Phi

2. Work together

Buying fresh produce to cook for a hefty amount of people can certainly empty your wallet. Try splitting up the chef duties (and expenses) by designating each course amongst the party peeps to cut down on cost. Make sure your individual food items go together as well. As much as I love mashed potatoes and pasta, the two just don’t complement each other unless you’re carbo-loading.


Photo by Gabby Phi

3. Manage your time

Food doesn’t come from thin air. Leave plenty of time to cook, maybe even a little extra just in case something goes wrong. No one likes to wait around for food either, especially on an empty stomach.


Photo by Gabby Phi

4. Refrain from snacking

Appetizers are the pre-game for the entrée for a reason. If you eat too much, you won’t last for the main course. Trust me, I’m speaking from personal experience.


Photo by Gabby Phi

5. Have fun

Relax and enjoy each other’s company! Nothing is better than sharing and enjoying the fruit of your labor.


Photo by Gabby Phi

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