Wednesday, May 05 2010
The backyard will be the summer entertainment hot spot as Americans seek affordable ways to spend time with family and friends. But your outdoor party can be spoiled quickly if unwelcome insects show up.
More than half of backyard revelers have moved a party indoors due to mosquitoes, and 46 percent have left a party to escape the pests, according to a new survey from the makers of OFF! PowerPad Lamp and Lantern.
Create an unforgettable party within a tight budget with these five tips from Natalie Ermann Russell, author of “The Outdoor Entertaining Idea Book:"
1. Keep decor simple: Save money on decorations by making the most of the greenery and foliage that surround you. Simple potted plants as center pieces create an elegant setting at little cost, and they’ll last much longer than cut flowers.
2. Set a realistic menu: Give yourself a break by creating a menu that is realistic for your budget and your schedule. To get the best prices, focus on foods that are in season and check out your local farmers’ market for deals. Using produce from the farmers’ market also makes for less work -- the flavors of these foods are so intense and beautiful, they’re at their best when prepared simply. For example, a pasta primavera with blanched farmers’ market veggies can be assembled quickly, and is super colorful and so delicious.
3. Invite guests to pitch in: The beloved potluck is making a comeback. Your friends and family will enjoy contributing to the event, but be sure to be specific about what you need so that you end up with a good variety of foods. And establishing a theme can make it even more fun. For instance, call it the Fresh from the Farmers’ Market Potluck, where each person brings a dish to highlight a different fruit or vegetable that’s in season.
4. Keep away mosquitoes for less: OFF! PowerPad Lamp can repel mosquitoes from an area of up to 15 by 15 feet -- the size of an entire patio -- for less than $10. It would take 15 citronella candles at a cost of up to $60 to protect this same area.
5. Plan right: The fear of running out of food often drives hosts to prepare twice as much food as they need -- at twice the cost. Know your head count beforehand and shop accordingly. A general rule of thumb is to plan for six to eight ounces per person of the main protein (e.g., steak, fish, chicken) and one to two ounces of a side dish like rice or pasta.
Use these simple and affordable tips to entice your guests to linger at your next outdoor party. For more information about how to combat mosquitoes, visit www.offprotects.com.
Courtesy of ARAcontent