Friday, April 6, 2012

Frugal Easter Dinner

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Hippity hippity hop....this weekend many people will be celebrating Easter or at least the arrival of Spring.  If you host a dinner, as we will be doing, your monthly grocery bill can bump up quite a bit because of one meal.  Here are a few ideas on how to keep the bill low, but still enjoy dinner.

  1. Go pot luck.  Ask guests to bring something to contribute to the meal.  Buns, jello (considered a side dish in the Midwest), sliced cheese, fresh fruit, or a vegetable side dish are all easy to transport.  It will save you time and money in the kitchen.
  2. Avoid having meat as the main course.  The Easter table at my home when I was growing up always had a ham at the center.  If you would like meat available, but not the focus, consider quiche with diced ham or scalloped potatoes and ham.
  3. Emphasize veggies.  Asparagus, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, spinach pie.  Served with a portion of eggs, cheese, and bread will fill up many guests.
  4. Make your own dessert.  Cupcakes, muffins and quick breads are all easy.  You can even take whipping cream and whip it for a long time for an inexpensive and festive topping.  Serve along side fresh fruit and coffee.
  5. Avoid pricey beverages.  Skip offering sodas, juices or other processed beverages.  Offer ice water that is spiked with lemon wedge or a cucumber slice.  Fancy and inexpensive.  Beyond that you can offer herbal teas and coffee.
As I type I think this all sounds lovely.  We are doing most of these ideas.  However, our guests will be my 90 year old grandparents as well as my mother who has is not in the best of health.  My guests want and expect to see a ham on the table. And not knowing how many Easters they have left with us, a ham they shall receive.  Watch next week for my tips on how to get the most out of that ham.

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