4 Money-Saving Ideas for Holiday Parties
This season isn't complete without a holiday party, but with all the food and Christmas decorations, the cost of hosting can really add up. Here are 4 ideas to cut down on costs for your holiday party.
Put Out the Fire
Most holiday decorations can be used again and again, but the one thing that brings a joyful glow to a party is also the one item that can't be used again: a candle. Tea lights are darling, but they only last five or six hours. Instead of candles, consider draping string lights along the ceiling, or use LED candles and tea lights to give your home warm winter radiance. They can be used multiple times, and you only have to buy them once! They're also much safer than real candles. If you forget to turn them off, there isn't much danger in the house catching fire. As a bonus, if you have kids, LED candles are also a fun way to light up their holiday crafts.
Cook for a Crowd
Avoid individual snacks and cut down or skip the pricy meat and cheese trays. You can economize by making large quantities of dips and spreads at home. Combine the right recipe, a slow cooker, and a good baguette, and you can please a crowd while saving money. These types of snacks also do well the next day, and if you make too much, they won't go to waste. In addition to saving you money, a good dip in a slow cooker also saves you a lot of time.
Let your guests bring some of the food and drinks. You don't have to go so far as to ask them to bring a treat, but if they offer, suggest they bring something on your list of edibles. If you don't want to do dessert, ask a few friends to bring their favorite holiday sweets so you can put together a cute cookie tray. If you're running out of time and you need more warm appetizers, have someone bring a slow cooker of their favorite cheese dip. Friends are always willing to help out. Having friends contribute makes the party more of a collaborative effort and creates a bonding experience rather than the ordinary drop-in holiday party.
Please with Punch
Rather than setting up a full bar, make a signature punch to serve alongside beer and wine. With punch, you dilute the cost of alcohol by mixing it with ginger ale. Plus, you reduce the risk of someone being over-served. It's also your chance to get creative—there is no end to the ways you can serve a holiday punch with your own twist of mint, ginger or bitters. If your guests are the cocktail types, let them know in advance what you plan to serve and leave it up to them to bring liquor and mixers.
With all the presents and travel, the holidays can get expensive, but that doesn't mean you have to skip the parties. If you set a budget, there's a way around just about any high cost activity.