Dinner Parties on the (Ultra) Cheap

Three budget bashes for eight

By Emily Matchar

As the Dow dips and dives like a wayward crop duster, and people begin to whisper about things like bread lines and hiding money under the mattress,

spending $500 on a dinner party smacks of Marie Antoinette and gold-plated toilets. But we firmly believe that no matter how much is in your pocket, eating and drinking with friends is always vitally important. Here are three dinner-party menus for eight people that will cost $30, $50, and $100, respectively. Note that common spices or basic pantry staples like sugar and olive oil are not included in the totals.

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