Five ways to cut the cost of Easter entertaining

1. Only buy own brands

If you only ever buy brand name products you're probably wasting quite a bit of money. If you're then shopping for a bigger group of people for Easter lunch you'll soon see the cost rack up.

But you can save pounds without losing any quality by buying own-brand items. Take a look at some basics - a loaf of Warburton's Danish bread is 75p but a loaf of Asda's own Danish bread is just 53p. At Tesco, a 170g jar of Bisto gravy granules costs 78p whereas a 500g jar of Tesco's own gravy granules is just £1.

2. Make the most of offers

Call them marketing ploys if you will, but around Easter or any of the big holidays most supermarkets will be luring us in with some great offers. Make the most of them.

For example, Marks & Spencer is currently offering a case of six bottles of Louis Chaurey Champagne at £81, down from £162. Meanwhile Sainsbury's has cut the price of Blossom Hill Signature Rosé by 50%, from £8.99 to £4.49.

3. Have people pitch in

Just because you're having people over doesn't mean you have to provide everything. Don't be shy in asking for help - most reasonable guests will gladly chip in a dessert or side dish, especially if it means they're not hosting. You could even try your luck with a 'pot luck meal' and get every guest to bring something sweet or savoury along.

4. Get your friends to bring a bottle

Alcohol can be one of the biggest expenses when it comes to entertaining. Don't carry the burden alone. You are not being rude or a poor host by asking guests to bring a bottle with them, plus it means guests can drink their usual tipple without you having to stock up with more alcohol than your local off license.

5. Have a buffet lunch

If you've got six or more guests coming over, the chances are feeding them is going to prove costly. But you can save cash by serving a buffet lunch rather than a sit down meal. A buffet will also make for a friendly, informal atmosphere.

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