11/19/2010

The Holiday Party Blues: How to Have a Great Party on a Budget

As we try to keep the holidays frugal and festive, there comes the question holiday parties. The idea is to have a great time with family and friends, but it is very hard not to overspend. The easiest ways to save is to create a budget, stick to it, and limit the number of guests attending the party. Ask each person to RSVP ahead of time, a day or two before the party, so that you are aware of the number of guests that are attending.

If you want to minimize the food costs, have a gathering at a time of the day when people have already eaten, such as mid afternoon and you will only need to provide snacks. How about an appetizer or dessert party? These ideas keep your food requirements to a minimum. Plan on making most of the food yourself to cut costs on catering. Or better yet have a potluck and have each person bring an item to the party!

You can also send your invitations via email. There is a great website, http://www.evite.com/, where you can create an online invite and email everyone on your list for free.

Kids ADORE the goodie bag, but there is no reason for sending out or bringing home a plastic bag full of items that broken or forgotte, in in seconds--and having to pay for it! It is  100x more worthwhile to give out one nice, memorable item. However, this item does not have to be expensive.

Doubling a craft as a favor is a great idea. Photographs make great party favors. Snap shots while at the party and have each child make and decorate their frames. Here are how-to links for popsicle stick crafts, which are inexpensive and fun to make- Craft Stick Picture Frames, Santa Ornaments, and Penguin Pals Ornaments.

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