Celebrate with ALDI! This post is sponsored by ALDI. Opinions are my own. Always have been. Always will be. I recently hosted a Mexican inspired dinner party. A dinner party doesn’t have to be a big giant stressful affair. All you need is good food, good company and a little creativity. My secret is planning and prepping. I do as much work up front as I possibly can so that I can enjoy myself when it’s time to actually sit down for the meal. How did I pull this party together? That’s simple. ALDI. I’m able to get the quality ingredients that I need, at a price I can afford. I’m in and out of the store quickly and efficiently and on my way to party prep. Here are a few tips and tricks to hosting dinner parties that I’ve learned over the years. Step 1: MENU/GUESTS. Decide on your theme and create a menu. You’ll want to check with your guests to be sure they don’t have any food allergies or restrictions in advance (good news, ALDI has food to fit every lifestyle). I decided on Mexican. Almost everyone loves Mexican, and I love the ease of preparation. My final menu included: Margaritas and Sangria Guacamole and Chips Gazpacho Tacos al Pastor Mexican Street Corn Rice Tres Leches Cake TIP: Welcome your guests with a celebratory drink and appetizer upon arrival. Freshly made margaritas and sangria helped set the tone for me. I used an award-winning red blend – Dancing Flame Ojos del Salado for the Sangria and paired it with some of ALDI’s fresh fruit. We noshed on homemade guacamole and chips while we chatted and I finished preparing the main courses. STEP 2: SHOP/PREP. Create your shopping list and shop a day or two before your actual party. The night before your party, prep as much of the food as possible. You’ll thank yourself for doing this step. For this dinner party I made the Tres Leche Cake (as it needs to sit overnight as is). I marinated the meat for the tacos, made the salsa verde, sliced/chopped garnishes, made the gazpacho, and made sauce for the corn. Day of the party, I made the sangria a few hours prior to the party (the flavors need to mingle before you do), set the table, and got all the pots/pans/utensils out that I would need to cook with. I didn’t want to be clanking around the kitchen looking for pots/pans. That’s no bueno. TIP: Knowing exactly how long and what prep each dish needs is key – this will help you plan your time accordingly. STEP 3: CLEAN/DECORATE. A few hours before your guests arrive, tidy up your party area, set your table, and remember to get yourself ready, as well. TIP: Craft paper is inexpensive and makes a fun table runner for more casual-themed parties like this one. You could even write the names of the dishes or guests on the paper itself. One of the stars of this meal was the Tacos al Pastor. I have a local taco truck that I adore, and I knew I wanted to try and recreate these tacos at home. If you haven’t had them, Tacos al Pastor is made from a pork and pineapple mixture. They’re perfect for parties because you prep everything the night before and then simply cook the meat prior to serving and assembling the tacos. The pineapple breaks down the protein in the pork and makes it incredibly tender. I was able to purchase the pork loin at ALDI for an amazingly low price. Corn tortillas, cilantro, radishes, and select spices. Check. Celebrating with ALDI couldn’t be easier. I hope you’ll give them a look for your next shopping experience and see for yourself. They have so many stores in so many locations there’s bound to be one close to you. Be sure to comment below and share your own great ALDI experience for a chance to win a $250 Gift Card to ALDI! a Rafflecopter giveaway xo!