I’m excited to shared that I was featured on the awesome, and hilarious, podcast Stacking Benjamins today with my tips on “Holiday Parties That Won’t Break the Bank.” Head on over to hear the holiday party tips I share while visiting Joe’s mom’s basement. Don’t forget to stay for Doug’s trivia!
If you have found my little blog via the podcast… welcome! I hope you stay for the party. 😉 Learn a little more about me and this corner of the internet on my ever growing “About Me” page. Learn more holiday tips below!
How to Throw an Affordable Holiday Party this Season:
Hosting a party needs to be fun for your guests, but it also needs to be fun for you as a host! When hosting a party becomes an obligation rather than a privilege, it sucks out the fun for everyone. When putting together a holiday soiree think about what is most important to you and ways you can decrease your stress.
Outsource what you hate!
My blog is all about finding affordable ways to celebrate life. However, there are times when where you need to save is less about saving money and more about saving sanity. This might have been something that has come with age, but I think it is really important to figure out what you need to outsource to make hosting an event enjoyable to you as well as your guests. When looking at a limited budget, think about outsourcing areas that really stress you out will go a long way to helping make for a successful event. For instance, if you hate cleaning, consider renting out a venue or hiring cleaners for your home. If cooking isn’t your jam, hire a catering company or order out. You can re-plate a lot of foods to make them look like a million bucks without all the stress of a day in the kitchen cooking. Order flowers from a florist rather than styling your own. A well placed gorgeous bouquet can do the job of decorating for a party without a lot of effort!
Limit options when it comes to beverages and food.
This will go a long way in cutting back stress, but also allow you to better stick to a budget.
Beverages: Guests don’t often need a multitude of beverage choices to enjoy a party.
Instead of investing in several bottles of different choices of red and white wines, pick a house favorite single red and single white wine to serve. Same with beer. Pick one or two favorites. Don’t worry about stocking up a full bar, instead, create one to two signature cocktails— punch bowls and batch cocktails are awesome ways to limit your expenses and keep yourself from having to tend bar all night long. Always serve non-alcoholic options as well, but again, limit the options. I always love to have a carafe of water elevated with fruit, mint, or cucumber as an affordable and refreshing non-alcoholic option. I generally estimate 1.5 drinks per person per hour for a dinner party event and 2 drinks per person per hour for a cocktail party event. Day-time events generally go with an estimation of 1 drink per hour.
Food: A few well selected food items can go over better than a bevvy of choices that aren’t well-thought out.
Cocktail Party: For a cocktail party event pick three to five appetizers and make sure there are around three to four pieces/servings per appetizer per person. Have them strategically placed around the room or passed out on trays. As a host this is a perfect excuse to make it around the room to see how everyone is doing without being pulled to stay for a long conversation with one guest. Put a tray in your hand and deliver food to your guests! (Check out these awesome holiday appetizers from some of my favorite blogs!)
Dinner Party: I am a big fan of large dinner parties with several courses, but when sticking to a budget I generally stick to a menu of 3 to 4 courses at most. (How to throw a Multi-Course Dinner Party)
Potluck: Potlucks are incredibly popular during the holiday season and I’m a BIG fan. The way to make potlucks more guest-friendly? Make sure you are upfront in the invitation that it is a potluck and what type of item you are expecting guests to bring. When guests do bring items to a potluck, don’t forget to have ways for them to label their foods so that your guests with allergies or food aversions can pick out items that fit their needs and tastes. (Free holiday potluck printables.)
My thoughts on DIY
Obviously, my blog is all about ‘crafting’ a great experience. I’m a HUGE fan of DIY. A great way to decrease the expense of a party is to DIY! But, when doing it yourself causes great stress, it is more important to allocate your funds in a way that will make the event enjoyable to your and your guests. Go ahead an purchase some pre-made appetizers or desserts. Put it on another plate and go! Limit the DIY projects to one or two even if you are a pro DIYer. The great thing about holiday party decor is that it is sort of already built in with your general holiday decor. Get more easy DIY projects and free printables from my “Natural Green and White Holiday Party.”
More holiday party tips
- Great last minute decor and serving tips in video form- “Last Minute Holiday Party Tips“
- Throw a New Years Eve Game Night for friends. Tips and printables: “Classic NYE Game Night“
- More tips for hosts & guests
- Dress up your hostess gift with these free printable wine gift tags