What’s the question on everyone’s mind this holiday season? How do I party like Santa and save like Scrooge? Well, here are 10 ways to help you do just that. The money you save will be like a present to yourself.
Create your own “happy hour”: Skip the pricey meals and opt for heavy hors d’ oeuvres instead. If you do, it will almost cut your food costs in half. This is perfect for an after-work gathering or a casual affair.
Avoid alcohol: For a real cost savings, skip the alcohol altogether and serve non-alcoholic eggnog or a festive punch. Guests should purchase hard alcohol and mixed drinks on their own, which are typically more expensive.
Perfect pot luck: Consider providing the main meat, like a turkey or ham, and having the guests bring the side dishes. Or, create a fun potluck theme, like Christmas Around The World, White Trash Christmas Party or have all the dishes revolve around one ingredient.
Party With Limits: Giving guests a 2-3 hour window to celebrate is plenty enough time to party, especially during the week. Having to work the next day, guests will be glad to call it a night early anyway. However, be sure to state the beginning and ending time on the invitation so that guests won’t be offended when you turn up the lights.
Affinity Affairs: We double coupons and carpool, so why not do the same with our parties? Share the costs of the venue, food and entertainment with another group. This works well with professional organizations, small-to-mid-sized companies, associations and friends to help defray costs, while expanding your social network.
Entertain Yourselves: Forget the big band and the pricey DJ, and entertain yourselves with games, a Christmas play, decoration contests, scavenger hunts and even a Christmas Carol Sing-off.
Trade Holiday Trimmings: You’ve had the same decorations for years. Spruce them up by organizing a holiday swap meet to trade them with family and friends. You’ll have a new look for your party without having to spend money on décor. You can even turn it into a Trim-A-Tree Party and ask guests to donate an ornament that can be used to decorate a tree at the party or holiday décor that can be used in the home.
Penny-Pinching Party Favors: Send guests home with one of these holiday party favor ideas that look as though you splurged, but didn’t: Candles, Silver-plated gifts (like bottle openers, letter openers, etc.), Trinket boxes, Personalized ornaments, and Festive bottle stoppers.
Start A Re-Gifting Revolution: Haunted by the gifts of Christmas’ past? Have a re-gifting party for your family and friends (just make sure that the original gift giver isn’t going to be AT that party!) Everyone brings something and everyone saves. Or, gather the items and create a Santa Shop for kids or underprivileged families to come and “shop” for free.
Negotiate: It’s always the best way to party like Santa and save like Scrooge. It never hurts to ask for a discount. And, in this lean economy where every money-making opportunity counts, you’ll likely get it.
Karen Sullen is a writer for www.FavorAffair.com, a premier online resource for party favors and gifts for all life’s events, from birthday party favors and baby shower favors to bridesmaid gifts and girls’ night out. She enjoys inspiring party planners with decorating tips, unique party themes, and ways to save money and time.