If one of your New Year's Resolutions is to entertain or host people more often, but your wallet isn't quite agreeing, we have some suggestions to help lower the cost of hosting a party.
One of the biggest costs at any party is typically food. You, of course, want to make sure that your guests get fed, but making some minor changes to the menu can make a big impact. One suggestion is to focus on the veggies! Meat tends to be one of the larger costs of the meal, so if you can switch to a mostly vegetarian offering you’ll probably be saving a couple of dollars.
Another suggestion is to serve appetizers instead of a full meal. Most people will be happy spending the evening munching on little bites, just make sure to increase the number of appetizers you’ll need based on the fact that you aren’t serving any other food.
Finally, if you feel like you really need to serve a main course, try to focus on large one pot or bowl dishes. Dishes like soups, salads, and even pasta dishes can be pretty affordable to make in large quantities because the base of the dish is so affordable.
Another option is to ask guests to help out to distribute some of the cost. I don’t mean asking for money at the door, that’s the best way to kill any mood before the party even starts.
One simple option is to ask guests to bring alcohol. This can be as simple as BYOB, but I prefer to ask guests to bring a bottle of wine to share or a six-pack of their favorite beer that way there is still a communal aspect to the alcohol. Another option is hosting a potluck style meal. (I have a couple of blog posts about how to make potlucks run smoothly).
My favorite option is to share the hosting responsibilities! If you and your friend group have decided that you want to get together more, consider planning one of you hosting once a month or every other month, that way you get to enjoy parties regularly without having to host too frequently.
The final thing that can really be a budget eater is décor. I love party décor more than the average person, but it really isn’t a necessary part of a party. You don’t need to throw the concept of decorating out the window, but you can create a great tablescape with unmatched dishes and grocery store flowers. Trust us, with a couple of drinks in them, your guest won’t know the difference.
Let us know in the comments if you have any money-saving tips for hosting or if you have any other hosting questions. We hope this has inspired you to take on a party or two this year.