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Dining with Friends On A Budget

Home > Everywhere > Breakfast | Dinner | Food and Wine | Fun Things To Do | Lunch
by Zarah (subscribe)
Write because you want to, not because you have to.
Published October 19th 2013
Never go hungry or broke again
It's always a good feeling to spend time with friends after a long day (or week).

If you're a social butterfly like me, then you will easily relate to one of the most common struggles of catching up with each and every one of your special friends - it is expensive!

Fret not, my fellow mates! This article basically gives you an insight on hosting a small gathering of friends over at your place without costing you an arm and a leg.

As the saying goes, Go Dutch! Ask your friends to bring one item of food/drink so that the expense is evenly spread out.

OPTION A - Breakfast

A king's breakfast indeed!
A king's breakfast indeed!


Breakfast - the most important meal of the day. It's the meal that gives you the energy to survive the day's happenings in the most positive light.

All you need is:
a couple of slices of bread for toast
some eggs that can be poached, boiled, scrambled or made into an omelet
bacon for the true Aussies in all of you
a refreshing cup of tea/coffee

That's all it takes - and all these ingredients will add up to about $10 or less!

OPTION B - High Tea
High Tea
High Tea


Want to have friends over for a cuppa? Why not visit your local Salvos and buy a cheap but beautiful tea set and serve some classy tea in it?

I often buy tea from T2 - one of the best tea flavours you can get are in that heavenly store. Choose a flavour that is bound to wake you up and have a refreshing aura. Agreed that they are a bit pricy, but they are so worth it.

If you're not much of a baker, you can easily get a pre-mix cake packet of whatever dessert you like (I love cupcakes, which is why they are in the photo above) for about $4-$6 and bake it in the oven for about 30 minutes.

Voila - now you can treat your friends to a sophisticated gathering right in your abode!

For your friends who don't eat sweet delicacies, you can always have the option of serving dried nuts on the side - almonds, cashews and pistachios would be an ideal pick.

OPTION C - Mexicana lunch
Chicken quesadillas
Chicken quesadillas


This is such an easy meal to make and doesn't take too long to wipe off the dish. I have listed a recipe for it here:
Chicken Quesadillas

Alternatively, if you would like a more messy but delicious outcome like the photo, I'd recommend spreading the filling over the tortilla wrap, on a layer of nacho/hard tortilla chips. And there's no need to have the dips separate - just dab them on top of the chicken filling!

Either way, it'll be a hit with your friends, so go ahead and try making this tasty Mexican delicacy!

OPTION D - Winner winner chicken dinner
Roast chicken and veggies
Roast chicken and veggies


This is a no-brainer. I know it sounds really cheap, but it also tastes so good!

All you need is a 1kg roast chicken from your local deli/supermarket for about $10.
Cook it in the oven for about 20-30 minutes.

Serve with some stir-fried veggies on the side - you can choose either a frozen packet of vegetables that you can quickly whip up in a frying pan, or fresh vegetables like capsicum, beetroot, onion, tomatoes, beans and spring onions that are chopped and cooked in under 10 minutes. It's that simple!

OPTION E - Dessert
chocolate, fondue
Chocolate Fondue


OPTION F - Cheese Platter
Cheese Platter


Similar to the high tea idea - why not include your best choices of cheese, coupled with crackers and grapes? Throw in a cup of tea and you'll have an excellent variety of nibble food!

It's one of those dishes for which we often flock to the best dessert places in town. But, one needs to remember that this dish is super easy to make (have) and can be enjoyed right in the comfort of your home, without having to spend a whopping $22 on it!

Chop up some fresh fruit - you can choose from oranges, strawberries, apples, bananas and peaches.

Get some chocolate melts from Coles or any other grocery store, and heat over a saucepan of hot water till well melted.

Serve the melted chocolate sauce in a dipping bowl and enjoy the sweetest, most delicious dessert ever!
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Why? Because it's possible to have a king's meal on a budget
When: Meal time!
Where: Your place/your friend's place
Cost: $
Your Comment
I'd do a cheese night over night out at a restaurant any day of the week!
by Carly Ogborne (score: 3|4626) 1759 days ago
What a tasty collection, well picked Xarah!
Now you've made me think about brunch already...
by Dave Walsh (score: 4|10958) 1761 days ago
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