Entertaining isn’t a cheap activity, and of course you want to do it right. Despite that, when you decide to have friends or family over for a meal, and you want to show off your culinary skills, it is possible to rustle up a delicious feast without breaking the bank.

Here’s a few suggestions for tasty dishes that won’t put your bank card in the red.



Okay, so this is an obvious one, but for a starter you can’t beat a steaming bowl of soup and some fresh crusty bread. It might sound cheap, but a tin of tomato soup will easily feed two, and a loaf of bread from the bakery isn’t going to be expensive. Delicious!


The same can be said for this classic Italian dish. Again, bread is cheap, as are tomatoes, garlic, peppers. Throw on some balsamic vinegar, which most people have lurking in the back of their cupboard, and you have a classy but cheap dish.


Pasta bake

This is a classic and filling dish that is cheap and delicious. All you need is a pasta sauce, or you can easily make your own with some tomatoes, spices and peppers etc. Throw in some extra vegetables to bulk it up, such as mushrooms etc, and some pasta that you will no doubt already have in the cupboard. Sprinkle a little cheese on the top and throw in the oven. Simple, and this will feed several people if you make a large dish.

Spaghetti Bolognese

We’re sticking with the Italian vibe here, but most people love spag bol, and it’s so cheap to make. Mince is one of the cheaper meats to buy and it can be frozen, meaning if you make a large batch of Bolognese, then you can throw it in the freezer for another day, which again saves you money.



More Italiano! A few frozen pizzas will feed several people, and this is a quick and easy option to go to when you have a few people coming around for a meal. Throw some garlic bread into the equation and you have a feast.

Shepherd’s pie

This is another one of those dishes that you make and freeze, so it’s cost effective before you even start. Again, mince is cheap, and you only need potatoes and vegetables to go with it. Healthy too!

These are just a few ideas you can try the next time you have guests around for dinner, and they just go to show that you don’t have to head down and fill your shopping trolley with smoked salmon and other too expensive delicacies to create a feast that will fill their bellies!