Entertaining makes me feel all warm and holiday-spirited inside, and there's something priceless about seeing so many people you care about enjoying each other's company. However, hosting holiday parties can become pricey if we don't plan properly and have trouble editing our party vision to make it more economical.
Because so many of us have the tendency to go all-out in the name of the season, The Wall Street Journal asked Sarah Carey, the food editor at Martha Stewart Living, for her advice on throwing a bash on a budget. Here are her helpful tips.
- Replace the formal sit-down dinner with buffets of simple but tasty appetizers and dishes.
- Go potluck — make one main dish and ask guests to contribute sides and desserts.
- Scan your cabinets, freezer and refrigerator and consider creating a menu around what you already have on-hand.
- Give yourself more than a few days to shop so you can scout coupons ahead of time.
- Scope out the dollar-store for everything from cheap spices and cake mixes, to wine glasses and paper products.
To see five more money-saving party tips,
- Look for gimmicks from major retailers that offer short-cuts and discounts. BJ's, for example, has put together a menu for 20 people that costs less than $100.
- Cook and prepare as much as you can yourself.
- Serve a special cocktail or drink rather than stocking a full bar.
- Use dishes instead of paper plates to save money.
- Find low-cost or free entertainment, like creating a holiday playlist on your iPod.
What are your hostess money-saving tips?