Having your friends come over for a dinner party sounds like a fun plan, but it can also be costly. Here's how you can host a fun dinner party without bursting your budget.

#1 Plan well: Deciding on the theme and food choices will prevent you from spending unnecessarily. If it's purely a cheese platter party, it's not likely you'll need new decorative bowls or unnecessary ingredients!  

#2 Go digital: Sure, invitation cards are much fancier. However, you'll save a lot of money by sending emails or organising a group chat on Whatsapp. There are even websites, like Paperless Post, that send out beautifully designed online invitations.

#3 Use mismatched tableware: Resist your inner perfectionist and use what you have at home, instead of buying matching disposable tableware or a new cutlery set altogether. 

#4 Have a signature alcoholic drink: Instead of buying various bottles or having a bar where guests can order from a menu of drinks, restricting the menu to one or two signature drinks (e.g. vodka or rum) will keep the cost down. It's also easier to track how much alcohol to buy or is being used.

#5 Alternatively, you can make it Bring Your Own Booze party. Or a potluck — this way, you're providing the space and only part of the "menu".

A version of this article was first published on Singapore Women's Weekly.