Ahhh fall. It's in the air. It's about time for colorful leaves, football rivalries, and warm soups and ciders. And after browsing my Facebook newsfeed the other day, I realized it's also time for something else: the season of high school dances. Oh, high school.

Remember the stress? Must find the perfect date. Must make sure his tie matches my dress. Definitely must not be caught in the same dress as someone else -- the horror! Must decide: corsages and boutonnieres or no? And whose parents are least embarrassing and could drive us...I don't get my driver's license until next month. :/

Wow, I'm a little stressed just reminiscing.

Yet among all the chaos, my high school friends and I did manage to make one thing easier on ourselves: the pre-dance dinner plans.

One year, we discovered that instead of blowing an entire month's worth of our minimum-wage salary on one meal before a big dance, we'd eat in.

One friend had a brother-in-law who loved to cook, and another friend had a dining room table big enough for our party. It was as easy as that. Before boogieing the night away, we gathered ourselves at one house and enjoyed a delicious dinner of steak, potatoes, green veggies, and cheesecake.

The total bill? Just the price of groceries (which I think came to somewhere around $7 a person).

So, the next time little Susie or Bobby has a big school dance coming up, consider casually throwing this idea out there. At first, they may not think it's the hippest idea to have Mom and Pop cater dinner, but when they think about their wallets, they might just think again.

For restaurant-style dinner on a budget, try these delicious recipes from All You that each provide the price per serving.

The Main Dish:

Easy Sides:

Delicious Desserts: (or just pick up a pie or cheesecake at your local bakery)

Have fun!