Don’t let the cost of entertaining stop you from spending time with loved ones this year. The Budget Diet has your guide to the perfect buffalo chicken dip. This savory snack will turn any gathering into the perfect party.
Getting together with friends or family used to be a regular occurrence, but with the emergence of social media has also come the downfall of face-to-face get togethers. Many people find themselves only interacting with others online, rather than having old-fashion, but highly beneficial face to face interactions.
Entertaining friends and family is not only a lot of fun, it is a great way to improve your mental health. Social connections impact your health, happiness and your overall connection to society.
Those who isolate themselves from regular socialization could be faced with an increased risk of a wide range of issues including:
Poor self-esteem: While human trials are still pending, animal trials have indicated that isolation from friends and family can lead to a poor body image and low self-esteem
Depression: Those who do not socialize on a regular basis-especially those isolated for a day or more at a time can be more susceptible to depression
Increased risk of tumors: Long-term isolation can increase the risk of developing tumors and other abnormal growths
Shorter lifespan: Strong social connections can increase longevity.
Increased risk of dementia: One study showed that older women with large social circles were 26 percent less likely to suffer from dementia.
Entertain on a Dime
Now that we know the importance of regular socialization and entertaining, the real question is, ‘how can I afford to entertain?’
After all, having friends and family over often involves a meal, drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) coffee and dessert. These types of activities don’t often come cheap, unless you plan properly and know how to get the most bang out of your entertainment buck.
Choose the Right Menu
Just because you are entertaining doesn’t mean you need to serve a meal. Getting together with friends over food is a long-held custom in many cultures, but snacks or desserts can have just as much impact as a sit-down meal.
Another consideration for your menu needs to be the ease with which your guests are able to enjoy the food you provide. If your guests will be walking around and mingling, they need to have easy to enjoy foods.
Ideally, you want to provide foods that are easy to eat without a knife and fork and won’t get your guest’s hands too messy.
Chicken wings are a favorite snack food but can be costly for you and messy for your guests. Instead of taking this fun option off the table, consider capturing the taste in a buffalo chicken dip. This is a cost-effective way to enjoy the savory taste of chicken wings without the messy hands, a pile of chicken bones or a huge bill.
Saving money is often as easy as planning ahead rather than impulse shopping. When you have a looming deadline to purchase party items, you are at the mercy of the grocery store prices. You don’t have time to wait for items to go on sale, price match, or consider different recipe options.
Rotisserie chicken is a great example of a low-cost staple for your grocery budget. Whole chickens will often go on sale and can easily be frozen. In fact, its shelf life of a whole chicken in the freezer is about 12 months.
When whole chicken is not on sale, you can often purchase rotisserie chickens at about the same price as fresh. While this doesn’t save you money, it will save you time in a pinch if you need a fast option.
Many buffalo chicken dips use shredded chicken. Leftover chicken is perfect for an easy sandwich or to add to a salad and the chicken carcass can be used to make soup. Instead of a single dip, you can also get another meal out of this meat option.
If you prefer white meat only for your recipes, why not check out our recipe for cooking frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot?
Check the Sales
Many of the common ingredients in Buffalo chicken dip will go on sale on a rotating basis.
You can price match, look for coupons and even freeze some fresh ingredients to save money in your day to day recipes as well as your special occasion spreads.
When searching for the perfect buffalo chicken dip recipe, check to see if the ingredients can be frozen. Sometimes you can adapt ingredients. For example, a brick of cheese does not freeze well, but you can shred it yourself and freeze it if you see cheese on for a really great price.
Some thrift groceries stores will also freeze shredded cheese before its expiration date so you can get all the savings without any of the work!
Use your Coupons
Many of your favorite brands love to reward loyal customers by offering coupons on their websites or on their packaging. Often a parent company will own several different brands and offer a one-stop shopping experience for a variety of coupons. There are also a variety of coupon and cashback apps that can almost guarantee that you will never have to pay full price again. Here are some great sites to check out:
Ebates.com: While this site does not offer coupons, users are able to generate cashback by buying the brands associated with the site. All you need to do is upload your receipt to earn up to 40 percent cash back.
Coupons.com-Easy to remember, this couponing site is also an app available on android and iPhone. It is also the largest provider of digital coupons in the U.S.
SmartSource.com is a great way to get local coupons without searching through flyers. You simply submit your zip code and the website will look for deals in your area. You can then shop locally and print out your coupons. This site is also available as an app for Android and iPhone.
Retail Me Not is a great discount and coupon destination. Users can offer feedback on how well coupons work as well as submit their own. You can also sign up for their newsletter to always be the first to know about the best deals in your area. This site is also available as an app for Android and iPhone.
Red Plum The popular coupon book has gone digital! Consumers can easily search online for grocery items. Coupons can even be added directly onto your store loyalty cards to make shopping with coupons easier than ever.
Saving money on groceries shouldn’t just be limited to entertaining. All it takes is a few steps to make a big impact on your grocery bill. Now that you have the perfect way to save on groceries, why not stop those pesky drive-thru trips? Check out our easy ways to make your own fast food at home.
Find the Best Recipes
Fortunately for the modern aspiring chef, almost any recipe you could ever want to make is easily available with an easy internet search. While this is a far more convenient option that endlessly searching recipe book after recipe book, just because a recipe is online, does not mean it works. In fact, there is also no guarantee it will even taste good.
Imagine spending time and money on a dish that ends up more of a dud then a delight. Now that would be an unwelcome guest to any party.
Prepping for guests always seems to include some last minute cleaning and prep. Instead of worrying about oven temperatures and cook times, find some great crock pot options to let your crock pot do the work while you get party-ready.
Look for the Stars
There are a few ways to ensure that your time, skills and ingredients do not go to waste on a bad recipe. Many recipe sites will include a rating system as well as feedback. This type of information can be invaluable to prevent wasted money and resources. Often the original author will also add amendments to the recipe after the fact based on the feedback received.
One of our favorite sites that offers this type of ranking is All Recipes.com: This site offers an easy search bar to find the perfect recipe or get inspired by their easy to browse categories.
Another trusted source is Foodnetwork.com. They tried and true recipes have lots of professional photos to help guide you step-by-step in the kitchen.
Simply Recipes may be a personal blog, but it is a popular favorite for recipes. The author not only shows quality photos and great recipes, but also has sections for special diets such as Paleo.
Choose your Recipe, Choose your Ingredients
Another consideration when looking for the perfect recipe is the choice of ingredients. Look for a recipe that includes easy to source items that are readily available. Scan recipes for items that you can regularly pick up on sale, that you personally enjoy and that are lower cost to make this a budget-friendly dish.
Our Favorite Buffalo Chicken Dip Slow Cooker Recipes
When it comes to feeding a crowd, nothing seems as pleasing as a good dose of cheese. Gooey, melty and scooped up with carbohydrates seem to be universally appealing. Buffalo chicken dip recipes may vary from chef to chef and yet they all seem to universally include a large amount of cheese.
Keep it Simple
We love this simple recipe from the Salty Marshmallow. This recipe only uses a few ingredients and can be easily doubled for a larger crowd. With a base of chicken and cheese, this recipe could be made easily on a budget and leftovers would be wonderfully repurposed the next day on a sandwich.
Easy Buffalo Chicken Dip for the Crock Pot
Combine ingredients in crock pot and stir to combine. Cook on low for one to two hours or until bubbly and serve with chips, crackers and vegetables.
Or Kick it up a Notch
Fancy Buffalo Chicken Dip Crock Pot Recipe.
Here is an example of a recipe from the Chunky Chef. This recipe is not as budget-friendly but may offer a more authentic taste as it includes blue cheese. Only you will be able to decide if the pricey blue cheese addition is worth it in your dish!
Keep it Krafty
Another fancy option from Kraft Canada uses a few saucy ingredients like barbecue sauce and mayonnaise. While this recipe is written to be put in the oven, you can easily throw the ingredients in a Crock Pot and cook on low for about 1-2 hours or until bubbly.
This recipe calls for the ingredients to be mixed together lightly with about half of the cheddar cheese reserved to be sprinkled on top.
Cut the Calories
Just because you are indulging in a party spread doesn’t mean you can’t cut out unnecessary calories. We found a fun Buffalo chicken crock pot dip by Gimmie Some Oven that maximizes taste and minimizes calories.
*If you’re not a fan of blue cheese, feel free to leave it out.
So what recipe will you choose? With all the important reasons to spend more time with friends and family, it’s time to start filling up the calendar. After all, spending time with friends and family is not only a great way to spend your evenings, it also offers many benefits for your mental health as well.
While your mental health doesn’t come with a price, it is wonderful to know that there are ways to entertain for less. Picking simple yet crowd-pleasing recipes, sourcing ingredients on sale and using coupons are great ways to entertain on a dime.
With so many ways to save money on the key ingredients in these crowd-pleasing recipes, you may find yourself becoming the most popular house on the block. Luckily, crock pots are easily portable, so this is one that you can take with you to visit when you inevitably need a break from playing host or hostess.
Want to save money on your daily dining? Check out our six dinner shortcuts to save time and money!