Save money with these holiday party ideas

I love our family gatherings during the holidays.  This is a time to bring in some brightness and share some fun with friends and family. But as I learned, between the outfits, the drinks and the food, holiday parties can be costly.  

So, if you are hosting a party, all it takes is a little creativity and adjustment to save on your holiday spending to make it a memorable one. Here are ways to save while you celebrate.

- Keep it small. Invite everyone who made 2016 memorable for you. You’ll not only save money on food and drinks, but you’ll have a one-on-one time with the people who matter the most to you. Make sure that you let your guest know that this is a small party and a plus-one won’t be necessary. 

- Save on invitations. Invite your guests via Facebook or email instead. You'll eliminate the expense of postage, the cost for the cards, and the time it takes to write out or print individual invitations. Plus, it’s a lot easier for guests to RSVP via email.

 - As a host you don't have to make everything. If you cook the meat, make a list of side dishes, and ask guests to choose one dish from your list to bring to the party. Holidays are about family and friends, get them involved.  People love giving during this time of year so don’t be shy! Ask and it shall be given. And when you shop, purchase only what you’ll need for the party to avoid sending everyone home with leftovers.

- Alcohol can be expensive. Be creative with drinks. Depending on the crowd, let your guests know what kind of drink options will be on hand and encourage them to bring their own favorite beer or wine. Rather than stocking a full bar, create a simple signature cocktail that fits the party’s theme. Choose a crowd-pleasing recipe with spirits you can easily mix, such as vodka or rum. 

- There's no need to buy anything new to set your table for the dinner party. If you stick to an all-white palette for dishes and serveware you can elegantly and seamlessly mix & match styles, still being able to add colorful or patterned accents to switch it up and keep it interesting and festive for various events but without needing to have 3-4 entire sets of dishes. And eating off real dishes with real cloth napkins adds a touch of class, even if the menu itself is simple. Don't overlook trays, mixing bowls or soufflé dishes, which can do double-duty as serving dishes. 

- Depending on your guests, choose a good playlist and game to set the mood for a fun party. Choose a wide mix of songs you know your guests will enjoy. You can choose holiday-themed music to get everyone feeling festive; instrumental tracks that won’t distract from conversation or dance beats if you want your guests to get on their feet. 

- You don't have to buy a new holiday outfit: Focus on affordable accessories to add sparkle to your basics. Spending a little money on cosmetics to get glamorous for the festivities is an investment for the rest of the year. 

The holidays are the perfect time to celebrate with your loved ones. By following these simple tips, you can alleviate the financial strain of the holiday season. 

How do you save money during the holiday season? Let me know in the comments!

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