31 May, 2015

DIY At Home Brunch on a Budget

Brunch, hosting, events, graduation

Brunch, hosting, events, graduation

I may or may not have consumed 3 bagels throughout the duration of this day...
Who doesn't love brunch?  Mimosas, tons of carbs, fresh fruit, eggs, you name it.  Brunch is hands down the perfect meal -- What better to celebrate a special occasion?

My sister recently graduated from high school and wanted to do something nice to celebrate this exciting time in her life.  We decided to host an at home brunch for our family and friends to do something different and stay within a budget.  We all seriously enjoy going out for brunch, but taking 15+ people out adds up really, really quickly.

Brunch, hosting, events, graduation

All of our decorations were purchased at Party City, and we went with red white and blue to rep my sister's college in the fall.  You can find really cute, inexpensive plates, cups, and serving items, and they'll last you for a while even once your event is said and done!  We picked up some gorgeous red and white roses which looked great in the kitchen.

Roses, Red, White, Brunch, hosting, events, graduation

Brunch, hosting, events, graduation

Party City, Brunch, hosting, events, graduation

Brunch, hosting, events, graduation

We ordered the majority of the food from a local grocery store and made what we could at home.  This way, we saved a few bucks, had fun cooking in the kitchen, used what we already had in the house, and minimized cleanup.

We opted for a variety of bagels (and creamcheese, of course), an egg dish, tuna & chicken salads, and a kale salad.  We made pancake muffins (so delicious), yogurt parfaits, and fruit salad at home.  And of course, what's brunch without handfuls of champagne?

You'll find that this is where you can really save some money -- Just go to the store and buy ingredients to make some simple dishes at home, and go for dishes that are easy to make in large amounts.  We bought some large containers of yogurt (Siggi'svanilla is our favorite), a few bags of granola, and some fresh fruit to create the parfaits.  We used small mason jars for Target (around $15 for 12 jars) to create a pretty cute display.

Brunch, hosting, events, graduation

Mimosas, champagne, Brunch, hosting, events, graduation

Tip:  If you are making any recipes for the first time, give them a trial run before the actual date of your event.  If you think you'll need to double the recipe for a dish or are unsure of measurements, save yourself the headache and try it all out in advance.  I screwed this up a bit by running out of pancake batter when I was making a large number of muffins -- Luckily I figured out how to improvise and no one was left pancake-less.

If you don't already have champagne glasses (I know I didn't have more than a few when I was in college), don't break the bank.  You can find some glasses, plates, and silverware at the Dollar Store that will do the job.  Don't knock them till you try them -- Seriously, no one will know they were 1-2 dollars.

Hosting brunch at home is the perfect opportunity to host your family and friends, save some money, and just relax and celebrate!  What are some of your best tips for at-home hosting?  I still have lots of learning to do, so let me know!
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