the entertaining basics (according to megan)

Google “entertaining basics” and you won’t have a hard time finding lots and lots of comprehensive lists telling you what goods are necessary to throw a great party. But a quick glance at those lists will tell you they were not keeping a tight budget in mind. I thought it might be fun to share a boiled down list of what I have deemed my “entertaining basics” which won’t cost you any pretty pennies or spare body parts! These choices are meant to be timeless and compliment any additional décor you might be using (for themes or special occasions).

Here we go:

1. Candles & Candle Holders. Candle light makes everyone (and every room!) look better. Clear candle and votive holders and white candles set the party mood in no time. A few clusters around the room and you’re ready to go. Numi Candle Holders from CB2 -$4.95 each.

2. A Great Wooden Cutting Board. I chose this because it is a versatile purchase! You can use it to prep the meal and/or display cheese and crackers as appetizers for easy guest access. The wood makes everything look a little classier and using it to create a food display just saves you from ‘having’ to buy one more serving platter specifically for whatever you’re serving. Grand Epicure Butcher’s Block Cutting Board from Target – $29.99

3. Basic White Dinner Plates. Now, keep in mind, this is just what I deem as my entertaining basics. I happen to think that white dishes are beautiful and super versatile but really it’s up to you and your style. We snagged our white dinner plates (which are almost an exact match to the ones pictured) from the Dollar Tree for, you guessed it, $1.00 each! I bought them about four years ago and they are still pristine. Aurora 11″ Dinner Plates from Target – set of 6 for $34.99

4. Small Bowls. Again, these are a really versatile purchase. We use small dishes like these for dips/sauces, desserts, or even to set out any ‘fixin’s’ your meal might have (like lettuce, tomato, and corn for tacos). Great for a party but also for daily use.  Square porcelain bowls from Crate & Barrel – set of 6 for $14.95

5. A Glass Pitcher. Simple and classic. A clear glass pitcher lets your drink choice stand out. Whether it’s sangria with gorgeous fruit slices or even sweet tea with lemon; it’ll look beautiful in one of these. Plus, setting out a pitcher lets your guest get their own refills if you’re busy with something else Caspar Pitcher from Crate & Barrel – $29.95

6. Cloth Napkins. This was a purchase that made me feel so grown up! Cloth napkins just up the class of any party. I think that is undeniable. A quick search on pinterest will show you some gorgeous and easy ways to incorporate cloth napkins into your table setting. You could choose a neutral color like white or the gray ones pictured or go with something more color. Heck, for the price of these napkins from World Market you could snag a few colors and mix and match! Gray Buffet Napkins from World Market – set of 6 for $9.99

There is certainly no one list that should be regarded as the be-all-end-all list of entertaining needs but I thought the blogosphere needed one with the budget conscious in mind. I mean, just because I can’t afford a $130.00 ice bucket doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be able to throw a party. (No, that’s not a joke. This advice is out there!)

What’s on your entertaining must-have list? Share below!

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