Easy & Affordable Holiday Entertaining

The holidays can be a wonderful time of year, especially because they often bring together family and friends from near and far. While hosting for the holidays can bring great joy, it can be expensive and stressful to prepare meals for houseguests.

Below are some tips and recipes to make feeding holiday guests easier and more affordable.

Use What You Have In the Pantry
One of the best ways to keep food preparation simple and affordable is to use ingredients you already have in your kitchen. Leftover bread and heels have lots of uses in the kitchen—just keep a gallon-size zipper bag of them in the freezer. You can use them for French toast, excellent homemade croutons, bread puddings, bread crumbs, and stuffing. Here is a great bread pudding recipe using leftover bread that is incredibly easy to make and universally loved.

Bread Pudding
Developed by Ted Allen for the Grain Foods Foundation.

Keep Breakfast Basic
While breakfast may seem like an easy meal to prepare, it can get complicated when preparing for guests. Instead of putting out an elaborate breakfast spread, prepare an easy and delicious breakfast casserole. There are dozens of versions to add variety, and casseroles can be made the night before, making your morning prep as simple as throwing it in the oven. Breakfast casseroles are also hearty and filling breakfasts that will keep your guests from scrounging for a snack midmorning.

Pasta is Perfect For Family-Style Feasts
Pasta is a great base ingredient when you’re feeding several on a budget—it’s affordable, easy to cook, and substantial enough to fill up your guests. Dress up your pasta with some flavorful and colorful ingredients (tomatoes, basil, garlic, vegetables of your choice, etc.) for a simple meal with a gourmet look. Add some ground beef for a heartier meal.