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Brandi P

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Whether it’s hosting your family for a traditional holiday meal, preparing an appetizer to share at the potluck party or just getting a wholesome dinner on the table for your household, the busy days between Thanksgiving and the New Year pose a culinary challenge for us all.

Thankfully, the Internet is chock-full of helpful sites that provide inspiration and recipes for weekday dinner winners and fancy fêtes alike. Without further ado, here are a few of our favorites:

Taste of Home proves easy weeknight meals on a budget are possible, rounding up 40 Family Dinners for Under $10. Throw the ingredients for this stew into the crockpot on your way to the office holiday party and let your babysitter take care of the rest. Or, gather your busy family around the table for a new twist on Fiesta Friday with this enchilada casser-olé!

Between the office and neighborhood or extended family get-togethers, potluck parties abound. It can be challenging to come up with new and different ideas to answer the age-old question of “what can I bring?” Tbsp.com has 22 Christmas Potluck Recipes That’ll Earn You Mad Respect. From classics like spinach dip in a bread bowl to cowboy caviar dip, these ideas will help you raise your potluck game. Chowhound is another great resource for answering covered-dish conundrums.

Hosting the holidays at home?  The Food Network is a treasure trove of ideas, including 5 Tips for a Quicker-Cooking Holiday Dinner. We love these simple, easy-to-follow recipes and ideas like assembling salads in advance and substituting Cornish hens for turkey.

Finally, some might say that leftovers are the best part of a holiday meal, and we’re not going to argue with that. Check out 24 Delicious Ways to Use Leftover Ham at Delish.

But let’s not forget that in order to step up your cooking game, you may need to step up your appliances game as well. Get the cooking tools you need to prepare these delicious delights at PurchasingPower.com

Happy cooking (and eating)!

Do you have caviar dreams of hosting a holiday party but don’t have the budget to make it happen? The good news is, the best and most memorable gatherings are more about a festive mood and making your guests feel welcomed, which really doesn’t cost a thing. Whether you’re serving with plastic utensils or a silver service fit for the Queen, the most important thing is to relax and have fun.

Here a few other tips for hosting a holiday party on a budget:

Embrace a theme, like a dessert bar (instead of loads of appetizers or a sit-down meal) or hot chocolate station (instead of alcohol, which can be very expensive).

Play games. Ask guests to bring a small wrapped gift for exchange, or consider a cookie exchange where each guest brings a dozen cookies to share and gets to eat and/or take home everyone else’s. Bonus – your party snacks are covered!

Candles are your friend. Everyone looks good in candlelight, they hide a multitude of décor sins and they can instantly make a room feel dressed up and festive without pricey decorations.

Host a “we survived the holidays” party. December calendars are jam-packed already, so chances are your friends will enjoy the opportunity to attend a party later in January when life is less crazed. Plus, you can scoop up lots of decorations and party supplies on sale!

But sometimes you still want to have a little something new just for the holidays. That’s why we created this Holiday entertaining guide to help you host the best holiday party of your friends and family on a budget.

Now, please don’t forget to invite us!