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Group of friends toasting with glasses of red and white wine

friends toasting at a holiday partyThe holidays are a wonderful time to gather friends and family for a celebration. Unfortunately, it’s easy to go overboard and bust your budget when throwing a holiday get-together. But with a little extra planning, some savvy shopping and a willingness to ask for help, you can throw a bash that won’t break the bank. Read on for the best cost-conscious holiday party tips. 

Morning, Noon or Night?

A party doesn’t have to happen after dark. Rather than a traditional cocktail or dinner party, consider hosting a brunch, midmorning coffee or luncheon. You’ll save on both liquor and food costs. And since many people’s evenings fill up quickly this time of year, a holiday party held earlier in the day will be a welcome change of pace.

Save on Stamps

Rather than spending a portion of your holiday party budget on invitations and postage, send them electronically via evite or Facebook. It’s fast and free! On the off chance some of your attendees may not be online, give them a call and invite them personally. Be sure to ask for an RSVP so you can plan accordingly and avoid over-buying.

Beauty on a Budget

Holiday party décor doesn’t have to be fancy to be festive. Get creative and use what you already have so you can stretch your holiday party budget

  • Gather a collection of colorful ornaments and place them in a glass bowl
  • Group together pillar candles of different sizes and arrange them on a platter surrounded by a string of twinkle lights
  • Look to nature and create an arrangement with evergreen boughs and pinecones spray painted silver and gold.

If you feel you must have something new, dollar stores are overflowing with budget holiday decorations just waiting to be put together in unique and unexpected ways.

Festive Food

The following tips will help you save on the most important part of any holiday party – the food!

  • Divide the cost. One of the easiest ways to plan a holiday party on a budget is to ask your guests to bring a favorite holiday dish. Keep a list of what everyone is bringing so you can fill in the blanks and ensure the selection is balanced. You don’t want to end up with all appetizers or just desserts.
  • Shop early for frozen and non-perishable items. Purchasing in advance allows you to jump on the good deals when you see them. Don’t forget to use coupons and price match when available.
  • Plan for leftovers. Design a menu with foods you know you and your family will enjoy should you end up with extras. Rather than putting out all the food at beginning of the party, refill items as needed to preserve freshness.

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