The school year is upon us, which means that everyone is jumping right back into classes, dining plans, and crammed living situations. What better way to blow off some steam than to throw a classy kickback with some friends? #nonewfriends

Even though you may have money to blow after an amazing paid summer internship, the majority of us are back to ramen life, and would like to be able to enjoy a lovely dinner party without spending the rest of the money we don’t have. If this sounds appealing to you, look no further — we’ve got you covered.

1. Booze


Photo by Christin Urso

The first thing to make sure your party is a success is some sort of “adult beverage” to offer your guests. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, and it definitely doesn’t have to expensive. I would suggest the porch crawler because it’s basically idiot proof, can be made in bulk, and consists of three fairly inexpensive ingredients.

To take this drink to the next level by serving it in a pitcher instead of a plastic tub, and set out glasses made out of actual glass (or at least fancy plastic ones) instead of red Solo cups.

#SpoonTip: Everything tastes fancier out of a straw.

2. Something With Bread


Photo by Megan Pendergast

If you want to your guests to remain standing for the night, you should probably offer them some carbs to soak up the tasty drinks you made. This focaccia pizza can make 16 servings from one loaf. It is also addicting, so make plenty.

3. Water


Photo by Laura Smith

It’s a full house, it’s hot, and people have been drinking — so give them water. But not just regular water, because we’re classier than that (tonight). Add some lemon wedges, put it in a cute pitcher, and you have just elevated the “thank you’s” you would have gotten from your guests into “I love you’s.”

4. Something Fresh


Photo by Maggie Gorman

Fall is the time for apples, pears, sweet potatoes and more. It would basically be a sin not to indulge in some of the seasons most delicious produce. My personal fave for a party is this apple, honey, and goat cheese quesadilla.

5. Something Sweet


Photo by Isabelle Chu

Everyone starts to crave something ooey and gooey after hours of pretending to be classy. Depending on the intoxication level of your guests, I would suggest starting up a bonfire and roasting some mallows. The best part is, s’mores are both extremely economical and a no-brainer crowd favorite. You can even make ’em in your dorm room like this.

Beware — after such a well-rounded evening, people will be asking you to host classy dinner parties every weekend.