holidays are a time to be with family and friends, which can mean schedules
chock-full of get-togethers. If you find yourself playing host to a party this
season, read on to learn tips for minimizing the cost and maximizing the holly
Make it a Potluck
The biggest costs at a typical party are food and drink. Limit your largest expense by asking everyone to bring something to eat. Most guests appreciate an opportunity to feel helpful and share their favorite holiday recipe. Plus, this way everyone has at least one food item they will enjoy.
You can’t know whether spending is getting out of hand unless you create a budget and track spending. Base your budget on the amount you usually spend on meals out or fun activities and put a chunk of it toward the party instead.
Write Down a List
Make a list to be sure you stick to your budget and don’t forget anything. Recipe ideas and food selection should be based on what’s on sale at the grocery store and ingredients that you already have on hand. Minimize your purchases of new decorations – what you already own is a better deal than any decoration sale you see.
In an effort to make the party feel more festive, you might be tempted to decorate every inch of your home. But once the guests arrive and plates and cups are set down on all available surfaces, decorations will start to feel less festive and more invasive. Stick to decorating a few select areas such as the dining room and entryway and let the rest of your home be space for guests.
Party in the Off-Hours
Hosting a party during dinnertime means there’s an expectation that you will provide dinner. If your party is in the afternoon or late evening, most people will expect little more than finger foods and maybe dessert. It’s not just a way to lower your budget, but to give you more time with your guests instead of prepping, serving and cleaning up food.
Turn Down the Heat
Assuming you have the oven on and you’re inviting more than a handful of guests, your home is going to get very warm, very fast. Save money on your energy bill and save your guests the embarrassment of sweat stains by turning down the heat a notch.