Tips for Summer Entertaining on a Budget with Simply Frugal Mom

I have a special guest for all of you today! Please meet Erin from Simply Frugal Mom! She is a fellow Seattle blogger and  is always full of frugal tips, which I love. Enjoy!

I’m thrilled to be guest posting today
on Design, Dining + Diapers. I’m Erin and I blog at Simply Frugal Mom. My blog
is all about finding ways to help busy moms save time, save money and
save their sanity!

Summertime around my house means lots
of barbeques and family parties. As much as I love entertaining, it
can get pricey to host all of these events. So today, I’m going to
share some tips for summer entertaining on a budget.

Focus on one stand out dish.

Don’t plan a menu full of new,
complicated or expensive dishes. You’ll end up frustrated and frazzled
on party day. I like build my menu around one stand out dish and add
some simple favorites to round out my menu.

One of my favorite summer entertaining
meals is pulled pork in the slow cooker. Grab a couple bottles of
fancy BBQ sauce from the store and pair with canned baked beans, fruit
salad and potato chips. And a bonus…no standing over the hot BBQ or

Or you could focus on a stand out
salad, like this recipe for Greek
Orzo Pasta Salad
. Pair with grilled chicken, corn on the cob and
watermelon for a light summer dinner.

Let Your Guests Help Out

As the hostess, we seemed trained to
say “No thank you, I’ve got everything handled” when a guest asks what
they can bring. But in my experience, if someone asks to help
out….you should let them. If you want to handle the majority of the
menu, let your guests bring some of the accompaniments. Ask guests to
bring hot dog/hamburger buns, a tray with all the fixings for
hamburgers, fruit salad, chips.

Be specific, but not too specific.
Don’t give your guests a copy of the exact recipe you want them to
make. Not that I know anyone who would do that

Decorate with What You Have

Unless you are planning an elaborate
themed party, you probably have everything you need around the house
to decorate for a summer party.

Masonjars filled with flowers are one of my favorite ways to

Or fill a large bowl with lemons and
limes for a splash of color.

I’m planning a beach themed party of my
son’s birthday in August. I plan on using clean sandpails (from the
dollar store) as serving bowls. And decorating with shells and other
treasures from our recent beach vacation.

Hit the Dollar Store

You can find tons of items at your
local dollar store that are perfect for summer entertaining. Pick up
paper plates and plastic cups and utensils. And bright colored table
clothes and napkins.

Plus, you can find things like bubbles,
bouncing balls or coloring books to keep your younger guests occupied
and happy.

Think Beyond the BBQ

If hosting a full barbeque is out of
your budget, consider a less expensive dessert get together. Grab some
ice cream and have all your guest bring their favorite toppings for an
old fashioned ice cream social. Or provide graham crackers and
marshmallows and have your guests bring s’more toppings for a backyard

Happy Summer Entertaining!

Erin’s blog, SimplyFrugal Mom is all about helping busy moms save time, save money and save their sanity. You’ll find recipes, crafts, gardening, and other frugal living tips to make your life a little bit easier. You can also connect with Erin on Twitter (@Simply_Frugal), Facebook or Pinterest.

A HUGE thank you to Erin for sharing her tips with us today! We all know I’m a fan of the dollar store and she is SO right about hitting it up for silverware. And I love the idea of an ice cream social, yum! Please go visit Erin and show her some love.


Taryn is the owner/editor of Design, Dining and Diapers, a lifestyle blog that focuses on DIY home decor, design, seasonal crafts, easy recipes and just being a mom! She is all about making things for less by upcycling thrift store finds and using what’s on hand. Taryn lives in the greater Seattle area with her husband, 3 year old daughter and 1 year old son.

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