How to Host a Last-Minute Dinner Party

This post is sponsored by the “Stock Up” promotion at Publix. The opinions and text are all mine.

I always meal plan every week and purchase only items we need for meals and (never-ending) snacks for the week. But, once a month, I stock our pantry with items I know I will use on the off chance we aren’t in the mood for a meal I’ve planned, or we have friends over and need food for a dinner party!

When I am at Publix, I stock up on shelf-stable items that I know I can use in my weekly meal plan or if we have a last-minute change of plans. I always have a stash of  La Famiglia DelGrosso Pasta Sauces (only $4.99/ jar!), Libby’s Vegetables, and Tabasco Sauce on hand (what can I say, I’m a hot sauce kind of girl *wink*). 

This week, we had a last-minute change of plans and had friends over. So – spaghetti night to the rescue! 

I had almost all of the ingredients on hand, thanks to my recent stock up shopping trip at Publix, so switching from a pre-planned meal for me and my husband to a small dinner party with friends was no big deal!

I used La Famiglia DelGrosso Pasta Sauce, spaghetti noodles, Publix frozen meatballs, and Libby’s canned green beans to make an easy, semi-homemade meal to share with friends. 

One thing I have been making a point to do each week is grab some fresh flowers. Sometimes I buy the clearance flowers or the pre-made bouquets, but this week I treated myself to 4 different kinds of flowers/greenery and made my own little bouquets. It’s such a simple thing that brings me so much joy!

When I have time, I love to make pasta sauce from scratch. But, in a pinch I love using pre-made sauce, like the La Famiglia DelGrosso Pasta Sauce I got from Publix! It’s so tasty the way it is, but I like to give my dishes a fun twist, so I added a little bit of sugar and a dash or two of Tabasco sauce. I know – it sounds weird, but please don’t knock it til you try it! It will elevate your spaghetti dinner to the next level, I promise. 

The temperatures here are juuuuuuuuuust starting to cool down and be more fall-like, so dinner on our deck was a must! 

I paired the spaghetti with frozen meatballs and a can of Libby’s green beans. All you have to do is heat a can of Libby’s green bean in a pan on the stove (or in a microwave-safe dish in the microwave), and season with your favorite blend of herbs/spices, and you have an easy, tasty side dish that took less than 10 minutes to make. 

This whole meal took less than 30 minutes to make from start to finish, thanks to stocking up at Publix! 

One thing I enjoy doing is creating a pretty tablescape. This is definitely not necessary, but I feel like it gives our dinner parties an extra special touch.  For this dinner, I brought out a few of my favorite thrifted items – my brass candlesticks, glassware and my thrifted wedding china I got from a flea market for $5 almost a decade ago. My point is – things don’t have to be expensive to be beautiful. This entire setup of dishes, glasses, and accessories cost less than $10 total!

You can stock up on these deals and more at Publix from now until November 22! Be sure to  visit or head to your local Publix to grab the in-store 11/6 Extra Savings flyer to see a complete list of product savings included in the Stock Up promotion so you can restock your pantry.

 If you don’t see the Extra Savings flyer in the kiosk at the store’s entrance, ask customer service for a flyer and look for the at-shelf signs located throughout the store which highlight the savings during the promotion.

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