Before you know it the stores will be full of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and flurries will be in the air. Are you already thinking about hosting your next holiday party and getting nervous about the cost of it all? Here are 9 frugal tips for planning your next holiday party.
9 Frugal Tips for Planning your Next Holiday Party
1. Have a Budget in Mind
Before getting started on your party planning, create a budget on what you plan to spend. Then stick to it. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in planning (and buying) and to find yourself spending more than you would like. Keep track of your recipes to ensure that you aren’t going overboard.
2. Shop at the end of the Season
If you host a party each year, then at the end of the season begin planning for the next year. When holiday plates, napkins, etc. are being closed out, stock up for your next party. Do you ring in the New Year during your party? Then look for items that simply say “Happy New Year,” rather than including the year.
3. Host at Home
Holiday parties don’t have to be hosted at a fancy venue. If you have room in your home, make your house the location for your big event. All you need are a few tablecloths, dimmed lighting and soft music to make it the perfect location for your gathering.
4. You be the Chef
Yes, when planning a party it’s easier to hand the cooking over to a caterer. If you’re looking to save, however, preparing the food on your own will mean less money spent on your holiday gathering. If you don’t want to spend time in the kitchen during the party, prepare the food before guests arrive and serve in slow cookers or using warming trays. If you’re looking for some slow cooker inspiration, take a look at “20 Freezer to Slow Cooker Meals.”
5. Stick to Appetizers
One great way to cut costs is to make a meal of appetizers. Finger foods are great for holiday parties as they allow your guests to mingle, rather than have to be seated for a more formal meal. There are plenty of great recipes out there (online and in cookbooks) that will provide limitless possibilities of appetizers to try.
6. Shop in Bulk
When party planning, shopping at Costco, Sam’s Club or other wholesale stores will help you save. Not only will you find cups, plates and napkins at bargain prices, but you may find some foods that you want to serve, as well.
7. Ask Guests to Bring Something
You may want to ask your guests to contribute to your party fare. An example would be to have all of the food available, but to ask your friends to bring a favorite beverage. By asking each guest (or family) to bring something to share, you’re able to cut down on the expense of hosting.
8. Go Online for Décor
If you wait last minute and head to the store for decorations, you will, undoubtedly, spend more at checkout. Going online and searching for your perfect touches will give you more opportunity to shop around and will provide you with a greater range of prices. The only downside to online shopping is that you have to plan ahead.
9. Consider Informal Attire
When you think of holiday parties, often you think of formal dress. Consider toning down the formality of your gathering. Not only may your guests be more comfortable, but they will also expect a more informal (and less expensive) atmosphere.
Do you have other tips for planning your next holiday party? What are some of your favorites?