One of the best things about the holiday season is all the holiday parties and gatherings. It is fun to get together with friends and family and take a break from reality for a little while. The part that is not fun is the party planning. The reason it is not fun is usually because the cost of planning a party or even a small get together can really attack the budget. In a few weeks I am going to open up my house for a holiday party with friends and so the planning has begun. I am not stressed anymore as I have come up with a 10 step party plan that is also budget friendly.
- Set your guest limit. Be reasonable about how many people you can host. Also remember to factor in children if it is going to be a family party. As much as you want to have everyone over it is not necessary to invite everyone in your address book.
- Decide on your party theme. One of the easiest ways to save money when planning a party is to plan a potluck. You as the host do the main dish and beverages and have each of your guests bring a side dish or dessert.
- Plan your menu. Choose budget friendly dishes that involve in season fruits and produce. Make a few dishes meat free or substitute with beans.
- Decide if you are serving desserts. If you are going to serve desserts don’t feel the need to buy expensive desserts or make time consuming desserts. Create a dessert tray you can make ahead of time with Great Value Sugar Cookies, Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Cinnamon Rolls. If you want something a little fancier use the Great Value Sugar Cookies, Chocolate Chip Cookie, and Cinnamon Roll dough as an easy base to create your own desserts.
- Send out invitations 2-3 weeks ahead of time. Save time and money but using email, facebook, or an online invitation service such as “evite”.
- Plan your party decorations. Think of ways to reuse items you already have in your house. For a Christmas Party-Wrap picture frames in wrapping papers and decorate as presents. Fill Glass bowls or votive holders with colored tissue paper, holiday candy, or colored water and floating candles. Bring in clippings of flowers, twigs, or pine-cones to create unique display.
- Download your music playlist to your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Don’t pay for expensive CDs.
- Plan to send leftovers home with attendees so you and your family won’t be eating them for a week. If you don’t want to worry about getting your dishes back, pick up baggies and/or reusable storage containers at the dollar store. There is no need to buy expensive brands. You can also wash and save butter tubs, sauce jars, lunch meat containers, etc.
- Do not worry about having gifts for those that bring you a hostess gift. This is a gift to you for doing all the work. Instead be prepared by doing up generic thank you cards on your computer. Don’t forget to leave a small space to write a personal message. The next day just fill in the thank you cards and mail out.No need to pay full price at the store anymore.