How to Save Money While Hosting The Holidays
The holidays are fast approaching and for some reason, you’ve been charged with hosting your friends and family for some yuletide festivities. Whether you were stuck with the job by lottery or you volunteered (Pinterest looks SO inviting this time of year!), you have to host the horde this holiday season.
While the task is ultimately rewarding, it can also be pricey. However, there are a ton of ways to save money and avoid the despair of a dwindling bank account. Here are a few simple tips on how to save money while hosting.
Thank goodness for the internet. Not only are there a ton of resources online that are ready made for knocking out your household needs, everything you’ll need for your Thanksgiving meal is likely cheaper online.
In other words, grabbing your holiday decorations and supplies online eliminates both the time you’d spend braving the holiday crowds and a big portion of the money you’d expend.
The best way to save money on wine or beer is to have your guests BYOB, but if you’re being extra-nice, purchase boxed wine or keep your bottle options below $15. Here is a list of cheap and satisfying red wines. Here are some inexpensive white wines.
While charcuterie boards are a fantastic hors devours, they can be expensive, over-filling, and fat filled. Save a little bit of money by replacing with quality bread and butter. Idea: Whole Foods always has rosemary sourdough loafs in their fresh-baked section, for about $5. Purchase plain ole’ butter or make whipped Rosemary Garlic butter (all it takes is a food processor). Less money spent, but still a unique and festive appetizer.
You’d be surprised how willing your friends and family will be to chip in with a meal or a chore if you just take the time to ask, especially on Christmas. Don’t silently take on all of the responsibility of planning and executing a holiday single-handedly. That can be a nightmare. Instead, have your guests bring some food or even some paper products with them.
Trust us, the average person understands the complexity of what you’re trying to pull off, and they’ll gladly buy a sleeve of cups if it means they don’t have to cook a turkey.
Also, remember that there may not be a need to book hotel rooms if you have family flying or driving in. If you’d rather get a few hours of peace to yourself at night, you might still book those rooms. Otherwise, just remember that you don’t need a bed for anyone but the adults to still qualify as a good host.
Gifts & Wrapping Paper
If part of your tradition includes gifting, you can still save money. Some thoughtful but inexpensive gift ideas include:
- Homemade cookies
- Bootle of wine (inexpensive options included above)
- Custom-made 2017 photo calendars (Cashback link here)
- Thoughtful holiday greeting cards
- Custom Christmas ornaments (Cashback link here)
For wrapping your gifts, use paper or treat bags from Current Catalog. They have cute paper and accessories on the cheap.
New Year’s Eve
There are a lot of different tricks and tips you can use to save some money and still feed an army on New Year’s Eve. If you’re hosting a party, be sure to get your decorations online. There are plenty of options available, and nobody wants to empty their coffers just to decorate for one evening, right?
Food Vs. Drink
Know your audience. If you’re friends and family aren’t drinking the night away, spend more on food, less on alcohol. Simple wine and beers pair well with almost any type of food- whether you’re doing a traditional holiday feast or a modern fondue party.
If you’re planning to pop bottles, spend your money on higher quality liquor and save on food. Since your guests will be drinking more, choose light but carb-friendly snacks like Cheezits, trail mix, veggie platters, etc.
You just need to make sure you plan ahead, do a little homework, and don’t be afraid to ask for help!