Five Tips to Save on Your Holiday Party

If you enjoy throwing parties during the holiday, you don’t have to break the bank to host a memorable one. Here are five tips on throwing a memorable, festive party on a shoestring budget.
Tip 1: Multiple Fiestas
Serving smaller crowds can help you control costs. You fix less and, therefore, have fewer left-overs to worry about.
Five Tips to Save on Your Holiday Party
Host one party early in the evening during the week for those who cannot attend a weekend party. Then host one on the weekend as well. Simply note on the invitation which one the recipient can attend, then plan your preparations based on the RSVP data they return. Or you can simply invite specific people to specific dates with two sets of invitations.
Tip 2: Stay in Food Season
Fresh vegetables and fruits that are in season at party time are always cheaper than hot-house selections that are out-of-season. Instead of strawberries at your winter holiday party, serve tangerines, for example. If your entre for your meal, if you have one, calls for an out-of-season ingredient, find an in-season substitute, like canned tomatoes in place of red peppers. The dish’s taste will differ, but so will the amount you spend.
Tip 3: Drink Uniformity and Selections
You don’t have to provide a full, open bar for your holiday party. Select a few bottles of wine for attendees’ choices, or you can make drinks in bulk, like a pitcher of a popular drink and serve from it.
If you opt for a less expensive wine, for example, serve each bottle from a decorative or attractive carafe, keeping labels out of sight.
Tip 4: Limit Decorations
Concentrate your holiday decorations in the rooms your party guests will use, such as the living room and dining room.
You don’t need expensive decorations for a successful holiday party. Scented candles, flowers or even dishes of candy often suffice to elevate the environment from ordinary to elegant. Just keep the bulk of them to the used rooms and avoid the kitchen, hallways or bathrooms.
Tip 5: Bulk, Potluck or Buffet
You don’t have to serve a meal. You can include on your invitation the note that hors d’oeuvres only will be served. That way your guests won’t expect a large meal.
If you want to make it a dinner party, you can still keep it simple and inexpensive for each party you give: You can present the main course, for example, and have guests inform you of what pot luck item they’d like to bring, or you might request on the pot luck invitation what type of food dish you’d like the guest to bring. Coordinating in advance can help avoid four dishes of the same food.
If you like the buffet idea, remember what restaurants do and place bread items next to the plates and meats at the end of the line. Guests often add the cheaper filler food to their plates first, and by the time they reach the end of the line where the more expensive meats are, they have less room on the plate and take less.
Try any or all of these five tips to enjoy a festive yet inexpensive holiday party without needing a quick loan. Saving money needn’t mean having no holiday fun.

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