Calling all ladies with little time for party prep! Your busy schedule and fast-paced life does not have to come between you and an awesome summer soirée. Want to know how easy it is to plan an entire party in your spare minutes? Read on! You’re sure to be surprised by the many possibilities.
Step 1: Create a guest list.
The best parties are planned around a guest list. This is not just because it tells you how much food, or how many beverages and eating utensils to prepare. Knowing your crowd means knowing how to keep them happy – or more importantly, how to save time and money on things that won’t interest them. While your beer buddies won’t mind if you only pick up a selection of cold brews, wine lovers might wish they were home instead.
Step 2: Plan a menu.
Since the point of most parties is to reconnect over good food, what you serve is extremely important. During one ride home, ask yourself three questions:
• What’s your party budget?
• How much time do you have?
• Do you want to cook?
Ladies with a little more time or those interested in home-made meals have plenty of options. You could find inspiration on free online recipe boards. You could stop by Checkers and pick up a few Ready-To-Cook mains, sides and desserts. Or, you could simply serve canapés, whether you make them yourself or set up a DIY food station with all the ingredients guests need to make their own.
On the other hand, if your budget’s looking bleak, time is non-existent and ‘home-made’ is not an option, go for fuss-free foods. What are those? Anything you can simply buy from your nearest supermarket and serve.
Most guests are perfectly fine with classic party snacks, like chips and dip, mixed nuts, dried fruit, biltong, chocolate and sweets. If you want to serve something more substantial, grab a few of your favourite Heat & Eat meals while shopping for snacks.
Alternatively, with a 24-hour notice, you could order ready-made platters. This is no-cook convenience at its best with home-made appeal, and Checkers is one supermarket with a wide variety of offerings, from fresh vegetable to mixed meat platters. Best of all, you can order them online. Simply click on the platters you want and collect them in-store the next day.
Step 3: Don’t forget the drinks.
One stop at your local LiquorShop after work can take care of this. You don’t need a full bar – refer to your guest list. If your friendship circle consists mainly of beer drinkers, get a variety of those. If they’re more of a wine crowd, order your favourite wine by the case.
Summer also means it’s cocktail season. Why not try something new and mix up a signature drink you can serve. Ice-cold and fruity beverages are highly recommended.
Step 4: Play some music.
Music is a mood maker and very important, whether you turn it up loud or play it in the background. Avoid having to take multiple trips to and from a stereo by adding your favourite songs to a party playlist you can simply select to enjoy. Or, enlist the help of a friend or younger sibling who can do it for you, or act as a DJ.
Step 5: Decorate.
Are decorations essential? No. You could skip them, serve finger food or choose paper plates. However, decorations do add to the – and it might help to remember that they don’t have to take hours to create or set up.
Yours can be as simple as a bouquet of freshly cut flowers or beautiful battery-operated lights – both available at Checkers stores. Guests care more about the connections they make than a perfectly decked table anyway.