How to Throw a Holiday Party on a Budget

Are you ready to save money on your holiday parties this year? This time of year can already be so expensive with travelling, buying gifts, decorating your home, and finding a big enough ham for Christmas dinner. It’s also a great time to get together with friends and family for your annual holiday party.

If you’re lucky enough not to care about how much you spend during the next month or two, then this article isn’t for you. For those who budget holiday spending, here are a few tips to throwing a fantastic party – and impressing your mother-in-law at the same time – without spending next month bills.

Less Really Is More
The theme to keep in mind this Christmas season is that less is more when it comes to hosting people. It starts with your mindset. Unfortunately, like most big events, your guests are not really going to notice all the little extra things you went out of your way to do to make your party special. No matter how cute they are, you do not need to individually place everyone’s silverware is those mini red stockings!

Save yourself some time and money by deciding not to ‘go all out’ on every detail of your evening. Not only will it cause you to stress over the little details, you’ll also feel disappointed and, possibly, a bit irritated when your guests don’t notice all the work you put into it. Plus, it’s more expensive and that’s why we’re here in the first place. So, take a deep breath. Put down all the burlap. And let’s get to work to make this year’s holiday party the best and cheapest one yet!

Let’s Start at the Beginning
There is no need to spend an unnecessary amount of money printing off individual invitations. Do people use print invites anymore? We don’t know. But opt for email invites or a Facebook event instead. It gives your guests the opportunity to RSVP easily online instead of having to call you and go through the awkward small talk. That’s what your party is for anyways, isn’t it?

Don’t Go Crazy with the Food
You will automatically save money in one of the biggest areas in party planning–food–just as long as you don’t overdo it. Keep the options light and easy for your guests. Too many choices can be overwhelming. They don’t need a 5-course meal to have a good time and, chances are, they won’t eat as much as you’re planning anyways. No one loves a heap of leftovers and after guests politely say, ‘No, thank you’ to your offer of bringing home the dip, that’s exactly what you’ll be left with. You have a lot going on during this time of year. Why not make it easier on yourself?

Finger food is gold. Instead of hand-wrapping those garlic butter prosciutto wrapped asparagus that you found in a fancy magazine, stick with some cute Grinch-themed kabobs using grapes, strawberries, and banana slices on a stick. You could also throw together some popcorn with red and green m&ms to make a festive and generally enjoyable snack.

Finally, head over to Aldi or another discount grocery market and buy off-brand food products to save even more dough. After all, this food is basically only going to last one evening.

Definitely Don’t Go Crazy with the Drinks
Similar to what we discussed about food, you should also try to limit your drink choices – especially if alcohol is involved, which can be outrageously pricey if you’re not careful. A bar for hot chocolate is cute, easy, and includes a beverage that’s loved by almost everybody this time of year. If you plan on having alcoholic drinks, stick with one signature cocktail or a punch.

Also, keep it down to two or three wines and one beer. Generally speaking, people who like wine can either enjoy a simple red or white. In the same way, most beer-drinkers aren’t all that picky either. If you have a picky guest, then maybe they’ll have to accept their role as Designated Driver.

Party Décor and Entertainment Doesn’t Have to be a Chore
Thrift stores and discount stores such as Big Lots, TJ Maxx, and Walmart are the place to go if you want to find relatively inexpensive but simple and attractive decorations. If you’re a part of those families who put up bigger-than-your-house inflatable snowmen and Christmas minions well, then, there’s no help for you here. But we bet your house looks amazing!

Another good tip when it comes to decorating is not to buy all new serving dishes for one party. Work with what you got! You can tie some holiday ribbon around serving bowls or silverware. You can use those mason jars piling up in the top cabinet with cotton balls for fake snow and tea lights for a warm Christmas glow.

Finally, instead of getting favors or goodie bags for every guest–which we know you’re going to spend too much time hand-tying ribbon across the top of every single one–stick with one grand gift or prize. Play a holiday game with your guests and the winner gets the prize. You can also do a gift exchange, still only causing you to worry about one gift.

Have fun!
The choices are endless and there are countless ideas all over the internet if you want to spice up your holiday parties this year without taking out a small loan to do so. But whatever you decide to do, whether it’s a massive gathering or a small get together, all of us at First International Title wish you a wonderful holiday season.


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