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3 Ways to Throw a Holiday Party for Less

The holidays are fast approaching, and so are the holiday parties. But what if you’re hosting and suddenly running low on funds? Regardless of the pressure to be the “host with the most,” holiday parties don’t have to be expensive.

If you want to throw a party this holiday season but don’t have the usual funds to make it happen, use these fun holiday party ideas to stay within budget.

Focus on a Low-Cost Theme

One of the most expensive parts of any party is the food. You’re almost sure to spend more when you make it about the food. Instead, make the party about a theme that generates a fun atmosphere.

For instance, ugly sweater parties are popular because they create instant conversation and are easy to make or find at second-hand stores. It’s inexpensive for guests to participate, and it takes the pressure off of the host to find other ways to entertain their guests.

Tacky Christmas parties are also popular because anything goes. You can use almost anything around your house as decorations - think coffee canister serving dishes, mix-and-match cups, paper-link decorations, homemade paper hats with funny sayings, etc. It takes a bit more effort to get creative, but it’s guaranteed to be fun and less expensive.  

Make it a Potluck

A potluck party is the easiest way to manage food costs, and people usually don’t mind contributing to the party spread. It’s also a lot less hassle for the host in preparation and cleanup.

Consider choosing a food theme by country/region, food group, or cook’s choice where everyone brings whatever they want.

As another option, make it a dipping party where you supply the dips, and your guests bring interesting sides for dipping. Dishes like cheese, chili, veggie, or dessert dips make it fun for guests to come up with creative sides and snack on while tingling.

For instance, Midwesterners like to eat their chili with cinnamon rolls. Maybe that’s like those folks who dip their fries in a frosty? At the very least, everyone gets to try exciting food combinations they’ve never had before.

Set Up a Full Beverage Station

The other expensive part of any party is beverages. It’s common for party hosts to ask their guests to bring something to drink and share, so don’t shy away from the ask. You can take this up a notch by contributing a drink station complete with stirrers, shakers, candied straws, drink mixers, fruits, herbs, rim garnishes, and glassware. You may already have some of these mixers and garnishes in your pantry, and you can find inexpensive glassware at the dollar store or thrift store.

If you’d rather keep it simple, you could ask your guests to bring their beverages while you supply a large batch of a signature cocktail for everyone to enjoy. This keeps beverage expenses low, and beverage needs throughout the evening are covered.  

And there you have it! Try using these suggestions for hosting your next party on a budget. Oh, and don’t forget the music! It’s the least expensive way to keep the party going.