The holidays can be a whirlwind of activity, with plenty of parties and gatherings. Entertaining and being entertained is the most wonderful part of the most wonderful time of the year, but expenses can mount as you host friends and family and get multiple invitations to events. With a little planning and a few money-saving tips, you can host lavish events and enjoy the season without going overboard with your holiday spending.
Save on holiday decor
One of the best places to find inexpensive décor is at your local thrift store. When people move, they sometimes part with some real treasures. A recent search of a local Salvation Army store yielded everything from strings of lights to artificial trees, hand-blown vintage glass ornaments from Europe, pillar candles and stands, plus Santas of all shapes and sizes, giant candy canes and loads of other seasonal items, all at prices that beat the dollar stores.
Host a holiday potluck
The holidays are a time when people genuinely love taking the time to cook and bake for friends and family. Having a potluck is a great way to share the work and expense while still being able to enjoy your friend’s and family’s company. In your invitation ask guests to bring a certain type of item so you don’t get too many of one thing and not enough of the other.
Make it brunch instead of dinner
Everyone likes to open their doors to friends and families during the holidays, but careful planning can ensure you don’t have a debt hangover come January. If you’d like to serve a meal to guests, serving brunch instead of dinner means you can serve less expensive egg-based dishes, provide baked goods and spreads and not break the bank. You won’t need to serve cocktails or wine or create a multi-course menu, and many brunch dishes can be prepped ahead of time, allowing you to enjoy time with your guests.
Make your own hostess gifts
During the holidays you’ll get invited to a bash or two. Save money on hostess gifts by bringing something you’ve made yourself, like a pot of jam, a box of homemade cookies or a festive flower arrangement. Your hosts will appreciate the personal touch and, if it’s a food gift like homemade salsa, they can put it to use at their own holiday gatherings.