It’s party season folks, and I’m ready to get down! Jeff and I have hosted quite a few parties since we’ve been together. I love hosting parties and, as you know, cooking and eating food. I’ve gathered some of my “infinite wisdom” to pass on to you. 😉
1. Set your budget.
This seems like it doesn’t need to be stated, but there have been many times that I haven’t done this, and a party can very easily cost more than you expected. So make sure you set your budget, and stick to it.
2. Use the dollar store to your full advantage.
You most likely won’t get a whole lot of use out of those decorations you bought, so make sure that they are at least easy on your pocket book. Unless you have Christmas year-round at your house. In that case, you have my permission to buy your decorations at Pier One. The dollar store has a seasonal section, and it’s a great place to get those marbles that look great around your candle display. Or don’t use decorations at all. Less clean up later.
3. Make the food yourself instead of buying it from a store.
If you can’t do that, go to Costco. You can’t beat the price on their veggie trays compared to Walmart. We will have a mid-week post on curry chicken salad, bruschetta, and candied apple walnut salad (pictures posted below), which were served at my bridal luncheon. I found the idea for the ice cubes on pinterest. Jeff put lemon slices in a muffin tin, filled it with water, and froze it. These were great with Moscato. As the ice melted, the tart lemon flavor mixed with the sweet wine.
4. Have a potluck.
Even better, make it a theme potluck. Bam. By asking your guests to chip in with the noshings, you’re easing the effect on your pocket book even more. Yes, I just made up a word. They should be more than happy to bring a dish. The key here is to specify the type of dish, so you don’t end up with 10 desserts. Although that may be ok too. And the theme is up to you. Personally, I would choose high tea. That’s why you’re not letting me pick your theme.
5. Ask your guests to bring their own drinks.
I’m no stranger to having a fully stocked liquor cabinet and fridge, and sharing is a part of hosting. But this is one department where the tab really starts to add up. As a guest, I have no problem bringing my own drinks as long as I know in advance. And your guests shouldn’t either. (If they do, you might want to think about the type of relationship you have with them—just a thought.) A plus–your guests will get to bring exactly what they want to drink. No more mind reading! Unless you like that kind of thing.
6. The location for your party is also important.
Why spend money on a venue when you can have your party at home—which will not cost you a thing. Unless someone spills red wine on your carpet. In which case, I don’t know what to tell you. I hope you have a good carpet cleaner. Sorry, I don’t have any suggestions. And here’s a plus: if your guests drink too much, you can offer them a place to stay. This is really important to us. It should be to you too. It’s a good deed. Karma will repay you.
Ok, my wisdom wasn’t infinite. But you knew that. We hope that you have a wonderful party season filled with festivities and joy, and if you need a few money saving tips, we hope this advice will be useful to you. Remember to stay tuned this week, as we share a few of our favorite party recipes. Until next time SPFers, stay happy and healthy!
Crystal is the founder of Simply Playful Fare. She has been in the kitchen for as long as she can remember. She has a degree in English with an emphasis in creative writing.