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5 Ways to Save as a Holiday Party Guest

It won’t be long before the invitations to holiday celebrations start rolling in. If you typically attend multiple parties during the holiday season, the cost of being a party guest can really start to add up. Between the festive outfits, hostess gifts and potluck contributions, you can find your holiday budget stretched beyond its limits. That’s when the temptation to start paying with credit cards kicks in. If you’d rather avoid the holiday spending hangover, try these tips for saving money as a holiday party guest.    

Stick to One Outfit — It’s tempting to want to have a different look for every celebration you attend. But remember, you’re the only one who will know you’re repeating an outfit. Choose something simple and classic, like a little black dress or jumpsuit, and use it as a backdrop for a variety of different jewelry, shoes and accessories. Even if you end up seeing some of the same people at more than one party, they’re not going to notice or care that you’re wearing the same thing.

Buy Hostess Gifts in Bulk — You don’t want to show up to the celebration empty-handed, but buying a hostess gift for every party adds up quickly. Instead of shopping for gifts individually, decide on one type of gift, such as a bottle of wine or holiday decoration, and purchase several of the same thing. Not only will you save money, you’ll save time, too. Plus, having these gifts on hand, wrapped and ready to go, means you’ll be prepared to reciprocate for unexpected ‘drop-by’ gifts from friends and neighbors.

Choose a Signature Potluck Dish — If you’re making the rounds of several potlucks, take the same dish every time. You can stock up on the ingredients in advance and save by buying in bulk. If your specialty dish is freezer-friendly, make several batches and freeze them. Just remember to take out what you need in time to defrost. And if a last-minute potluck invitation leaves you without time to shop, whip up something you can easily make using pantry staples.

Include Party Costs in Your Holiday Budget — It might not seem like parties and budgets have anything to do with each other, but the opposite is true. You’ll get more enjoyment out of holiday get-togethers if you plan your spending and avoid going into debt. Be sure to set and stick to a spending limit for party outfits, hostess gifts and potluck contributions.

Know When to Say No — Although it feels great to be invited to a full roster of holiday parties, you don’t have to say yes to every invitation. If you find yourself feeling overextended in terms of funds, time or energy, it’s OK to RSVP ‘no’ now and then. And remember, there’s no need to feel guilty when you’re looking out for yourself.