Throw A Great Party and Enter to Win our *$50 Giveaway*

You may think that throwing a party is too hard. Especially if you don’t have space or money, and don’t know where to begin.  That’s where we can help: in conjunction with Apartment Guide, we here at My First Apartment are participating in the “Small Space, Savvy Budget: How to Host a Pint-Size Party.”  We’ll be giving you tips on how to host a small party – and, in fact, I will throw a party as an example (see disclaimer below) and, if you give us your party tips, you can sign up for a chance to win a $50 Target gift-card, which can go a long way towards hosting a party of your own.

For my small party, I’m going to host a dinner party. Now, it may seem like a dinner party is a lot of work, but, even if you have a small space and a limited budget, it has several things going for it:

1) Making food at home may be time intensive, but it’s also cheap. Very, very cheap. Especially if you have a dinner party for six, which I’m doing. Think about it: assuming I don’t cook filet mignon, I would estimate that I could easily make a delicious dinner for under $40 for six people. Would that be possible if you went out to eat? Hmmm … maybe if you went to McDonalds or Subway. But if you want a decent meal out, you’re going to pay more than $6.67 per person (especially if you factor in tax and tip).

2) When you make the food, it’s easy to ask people to bring drinks. And they won’t mind, either. That’s because people are impressed when someone cooks for them. Don’t underestimate this. It is rare to get invited to someone’s house for dinner, so when it happens, people remember it and enjoy it. And, if your friends bring the drinks, you’ll get a winning result: a nicely cooked meal, good friends and a few drinks.

3) Cooking at home has practical application. I’m a big proponent of eating in. It’s cheaper and it’s usually healthier. If hosting dinner parties becomes your foray into the world of cooking, all the more power to you. It’s a great lifelong skill.

If you know you’re throwing a dinner party, you need to plan a well-timed menu. This may seem trivial, but it can drastically affect how frenzied you are when your guests arrive. What you don’t want to do is prepare a dish that requires a lot of time and energy right before you serve it – remember, your guests will want to talk with you, so if you’re frantically tossing around oregano and spatulas instead of sipping wine and chatting, you’ve had a bit of a fail.

Far better to have something that just needs to bake for a few minutes at the end, and then to be done with it. My recommendation is to make one side dish that can be prepared well in advance (like a fancy salad, for example, which will keep fine covered in the fridge) and one large entrée that has several components to it – i.e., something like enchiladas, or a casserole, that can also be prepared in advance and that can easily be slid into the oven for the final step.  You’ll be relaxed and your friends think it’s magic when you step into the kitchen for a minute and reappear with ready dinner.

Sitting around the table with good friends and good food and drink is usually entertainment enough, but for additional entertaining tips, check out Apartment Guide’s budget-friendly ideas for people in any sized home on Moving Today and the Apartment Guide blog. They have tips for entertaining and making the most of your space on a budget. Also, if your space is so small that you’re looking to move, ApartmentGuide has the photos, floor plans, features and tips to help you find the perfect apartment community.

As for entering our contest, here are our rules: write a comment below telling us about your favorite dinner-party dish. Then, make sure to “like” Apartment Guide on Facebook and follow them on Twitter and also to “like” My First Apartment on Facebook! Then you’re set. The deadline for entry is March 30. Next week, I’ll check in with you and let you know how my dinner party went. Shortly thereafter, we’ll announce the randomly-selected winner on our website! Best of luck – and we look forward to hearing your tips and ideas!

Disclaimer: Apartment Guide and owner Consumer Source, Inc. partnered with bloggers such as me to participate in their monthly blogger programs.  As part of that program, I received compensation.  They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the products used, and believe that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Consumer Source’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

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Author My First Apartment

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Alex has rented in Minneapolis, Queens, Brooklyn, and now Chicago. He can kill rodents and roaches when required, and loves picture-hanging projects. If you're ever in town, give him a shout.

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Comments (18)

  1. Avatar Samantha Funk

    The best dish that always gets eaten at any event I attend or put on is my “wannabe chicken cordon bleu”

    *Take Pillsbury crescent rolls, and fill with Dijon mustard, Swiss cheese, deli ham, and either left over grilled chicken from the night before, or deli chicken. Roll them up and bake for the length it takes the dough to cook all the way through. An instant hit!!!!

    1. Followed on Twitter
    2. Liked apartment guide
    3. Liked my first apartment

    • Sisko Sisko

      Hi Samantha,

      This giveaway is over, but thanks for sharing your favorite party recipe. MFA editors

  2. Avatar Deanna G.

    1. I like Apartment Guide & My First Apartment on Facebook. (Deanna Cali)

    2. I follow Apartment Guide on Twitter. (@calidreamin87)

    3. I love cheese balls! :)

  3. Avatar Rachel Travis

    I love “pigs in a blanket”… :)

    I liked and followed Apartment guide on facebook (rachel sweeps travis) and twitter (@markandrachel) and liked my first apartment on facebook!

  4. Avatar Chris Ziegler

    I forgot to tell you that I did everything that you wanted.
    FB- Tristan Ziegler (Liked both pages)
    Twitter- @ChrisZiegler6 (I am following)

  5. Avatar Laura Royal

    My favorite dinner-party dish is artichoke dip…it’s so yummy! I like both pages on fb as Laura Royal and follow on twitter as @laroyal06
    Thanks! [email protected]

  6. Avatar Cindy A.

    Fondue! You can’t go wrong with a vintage themed fondue party. Thank you so much for offering such a fun and generous giveaway.

    Facebook: Cindy A.
    Twitter: @normawatson

  7. Avatar Chris Ziegler

    I love to make Spaggieti and Sausage as my dinner party special! It tastes wonderful and is really good as the sausage is spicy! My guests just cannot get enough of it!!! Love your blog… chrisziegler69 (at)


  8. Avatar Tabathia B

    I enjoy chicken wings
    Liked my first apartment on fb (michelle b)
    like apartment guide on fb (michelle b)
    follow apt guide on twitter (chelleb36)

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  9. Avatar ♡♥♬ Louis ♬♥♡

    I love making Tapas

    Thank you for hosting this giveaway

    pumuckler {at} gmail {dot} com

  10. Avatar Mary Happymommy

    I forgot to include my email address in case I win and you need to contact me!

    mami2jcn at gmail dot com

    Thanks again!

    • Sisko Sisko

      Our system picks up your email address when you comment, so you don’t need to give it separately.

  11. Avatar Mary Happymommy

    I’m a sucker for pigs in a blanket as a dinner party dish.

    I like Apartment Guide on Facebook and follow them on Twitter (mami2jcn). I also like My First Apartment on Facebook.

    Thanks for the chance!

  12. Avatar Jessica F

    I love sausage stuffed mushrooms! They’re a great appetizer. I like and follow Apartment Guide on facebook and twitter and I like My First Apartment on facebook!