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How to Save Money on Holiday Entertaining

written by: chesanekc•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 6/29/2011

The holidays are a joyous wonderful time, but it can be extremely costly. Planning holiday entertaining can be fun but can be very stressful because it can cost the host a pretty penny. Here are some ideas that may help you have a fun party within a budget.

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    Money Saving Tips for your Holiday Entertaining

    There is something about the holidays that really brings the kid out in us: the music, the decorations, the gifts! However during the holidays people can really spend a lot of money, especially when they are planning a holiday party. As fun as holiday entertaining is, it really can be costly to the person hosting the party. But holiday parties can be glamorous and fun, without costing hundreds of dollars.

    A great idea to help save money with holiday entertaining is to have your guests help you with the expenses. Instead of cooking or buying all the food yourself, ask your guests to bring their favorite dish. This will save you a tremendous amount of money. Tell your guests you are having a potluck style dinner and everyone is required to bring one dish. This way the host will only have to worry about the decorations and the drinks. The best part is everyone will be able to try each other's favorite and prized dishes that they bring.

    If you are not fond of the potluck idea, no need to worry. As the host, you can buy and make all your own food. But instead of making a three-course meal for your guests, make some appetizers instead. You can make a variety of appetizers that will allow your guests enough food, but will save you some money. Search through your cookbooks or the Internet and find some recipes that do not ask for too many unique ingredients. If you have most of the ingredients already, that's also a plus. Finding recipes for appetizers that do not call for expensive ingredients and call for ingredients that you already have or already need to use in another recipe that will save you money for your party.

    Another great idea is to ask your guests to bring their own drinks. They do not have to bring anything expensive or elaborate, but instead should just bring something that they really like and want to share with the rest of the people at the party. Asking your guests to bring their favorite bottle of holiday booze is an easy way for the host to save some extra cash. Instead of the host having to try to make sure to buy all the different types of liquor to fit all the guests different tastes, everyone can bring their own. This way all the guests will be able to drink what they want and to also try their friend's favorite as well.

    Now the plates and accessories really depend on how many people you are having at your holiday party. If you are having a small crowd you can use your regular plates, but if you are having a larger amount of people opt for the paper plates so that it is an easier clean up. The only problem with many holiday decorated paper plates is that they can actually add up and be costly. So the best idea is to buy the plates and the silverware in bulk. These are usually cheaper and will give you more for your buck.

    Holiday entertaining can be expensive and stressful, but don't let that get the best of you. Enjoy your party by trying some easy ways to save some money while you entertain. You, along with your guests will have a great time and you will not have to worry about all the money you spent putting your party together.