8 Simple Ideas for Spending Less on Your Holiday Party
Hosting a holiday party is a fun way to show the people you love a festive time—but if it cuts into your gift-giving budget, it’s time to re-think your plan. While it’s fun pulling out all the stops, it may not be necessary. In fact, 79 percent of people plan to host a holiday party, and more than half of those people spend less than $100, according to a 2018 Holiday survey.
Check out these super simple ideas if you’re ready to spend less on your holiday party.
Begin with your budget.
It’s important to know exactly what you have to spend before you begin planning. It’s easy to buy this here and buy that there, not taking into account the total cost.
If you’re not great at sticking to a budget, try the envelope method. The process is simple: You put only the money you’re allowed to spend into the envelope. Once that money is gone, your budget is gone. All cash, no credit card—ensuring that you don’t go over with an extra swipe or two.
Consider the timing.
If you’re paying for a venue, as opposed to having the party at your home, you can save money by hosting it after the holidays, in January. Bien Venue says that the benefits of a January holiday party exceed just budget, including:
- Greater vendor and venue availability
- Increased attendance
- Spend less
- More design options (less restricted to red, green and white)
Who says you have to have a big fancy meal? Make it a low-key affair by ordering pizza or making a big crockpot of meatballs with plates of cut fruit, veggies, cheese, crackers. Buffalo wings are another crowd favorite, and inexpensive to buy and make—just be sure you have plenty of napkins on hand. This idea comes from experts at Living Well Spending Less and they explain:
“Have an appetizer party. Prepare an assortment of traditional crowd favorites like mozzarella sticks, crockpot dips, meatballs, and breadsticks. Bonus points if you line up a menu that doesn’t require flatware.”
Let the guests pitch in.
Don’t be afraid to ask your guests to bring something for your holiday party. Set it up as a potluck and have everyone bring their favorite holiday dish, or if you’re happy with providing the food, ask guests to bring their beverage of choice.
Remember: guests are often happy to contribute, and many like to show off their favorite holiday dishes—it’s not a burden, but a challenge to see who can cook the best meatballs!
Save on party décor.
If you’re hosting the party at your home, you’ll likely have much of the decorating in place from your own decorations. If you still want to take the party atmosphere up a notch, consider shopping at the Dollar Store or your local thrift store. Money experts at Nerd Wallet explain:
“Take advantage of low prices and discounts at dollar stores and craft stores for inexpensive streamers, balloons, hats, noisemakers and everything else to adorn your place. You can also scour your local thrift store to find decorations in good condition.”
Just start shopping a few days early, in case you need to visit a few extra stores to get what you need.
Instead of buying all your decorations, cut costs even further by making them yourself. Sit down with a cup of coffee and Pinterest and find your favorite DIY ideas and then get ready to craft. Check out some of Martha Stuart’s favorite Quick Christmas Decorating Ideas to really channel her expertise as you craft.
Find a co-host.
Cut the costs of your holiday party by co-hosting with a friend or group of people. Sharing the co-hosting duties is a great way to not only save money but divvy up responsibilities, leaving both of you with more time to do other things with your family in this already busy season. The key is prepping ahead of time with a list of to-do’s for both of you, so nothing is forgotten.
Provide your own music.
While the atmosphere of a DJ or band can elevate the festivities, this is an easy task to handle on your own. Create your own playlist or find a pre-made holiday playlist from Spotify and then hook up your phone to a set of speakers. Better yet, have a Caroling sing-off, so your guests can be the entertainment instead.
Host Your Holiday Party on a Budget
Hosting a holiday party doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. Use some of these simple ideas to cut costs, while throwing a holiday celebration to remember. The best part: your guests won’t even know you were on a budget.