Holidays are great; they’re also expensive. However, with our tricks and tips, you can throw a cheap holiday party that’s elegant and classy.
Here are 13 easy ways to spend less on your holiday party.
Host your holiday party at home.
It may be tempting to rent out a hall or space, but hosting at home is the easest way to instantly save a lot of money.
Pick a theme.
That may sound more expensive, but picking a theme saves money. Whether that’s green and silver, How the Grinch Stole Christmas or Mr. and Mrs. Clause, it makes you stick to very specific types of decor and food. You won’t make random, unneeded purchases if they aren’t a part of the theme.
Choose cost over convenience.
At the grocery store, it’ll cost far more to buy cut up fruit or pre-made treats than to prepare or make them yourself. Just roll your sleeves up and put in that extra time. It’ll save a shocking amount of money.
Don’t serve a 3 course meal.
There’s no need to do a party with appetizers, a full dinner entree and multiple dessert options. Just pick one or two genres of food. We recommend doing some fun finger foods and sweet treats. (This will also be less time consuming than cooking a full on dinner.)
Feature Image by Victor Hanacek on PicJumbo
Print and display the menu.
Nice restaurants don’t offer a million options; they have a smaller, more concise menu. Display your party food the same way by printing out what you’re serving, then putting the menu (example: mini quiche, spinach & artichoke dip and assorted veggies with hummus) in a cool picture frame or on a piece of holiday-themed wrapping paper. Prop it up near the food table. Instant class.
Put fruit in your water.
Instead of putting out plain water, put in sliced lemons and cucumbers or berries. This adds instant je ne sais quoi and costs almost nothing.
Go to a bakery within a grocery store.
Bakeries that are housed inside grocery and wholesale stores, like Costco, Safeway and WalMart, often offer great and beautiful cakes, breads and treats, but they are much less expensive than independent bakeries.
Don’t send out fancy, paper invitations.
Set up a Facebook event. Shoot everyone a text. It might be fun to get gorgeous invitations, but they are very expensive and time consuming. (Remember, you’re not just buying or making them, you also have to get everyone’s addresses and mail them out.)
Require an RSVP.
It’s important to get a most accurate headcount as possible. If you think 40 people are coming, you’re going to spend money on food and games for 40. However, if only 20 people show up, you’ve spent twice as much as needed.
People often ask, “Do you need me to bring anything?” Your instinct might be to say no and take care of it all yourself, accept the help. Let a couple other people bring wine, if you want alcohol. Let others bring dessert if you want to do appetizers. Friends and family are usually grateful you’re taking on the responsibility of hosting such a big event in the first place; bringing just one dish or drink for them is easy!
ALWAYS go to the Dollar Store first.
If you don’t shop at dollar or discount stores now, you need to start. You’ll find a lot of things you need at much cheaper prices. You don’t need expensive paper plates; the solid ones at the discount store will do the job of holding up food great.
Image by Victor Hanacek on PicJumbo
Remember: People are the most important part, NOT decorations.
You don’t need to spend a lot on fancy decor. When it comes down to it, some decor is fun (remember to stick to your theme!), but people are there for the company – not expensive lights or Santa statues.
Do something really unusual: Wait.
The way to maximize the most savings? Throw your part AFTER the holidays are over. Everything will be marked down at the stores, so you’ll have major party savings. This can also be a good option if many of your friends or family or traveling elsewhere before and during the holidays. Plus, it keeps the holidays going longer!