By Mary Sue Somyak. Hosting a holiday party can be a daunting undertaking. While it’s fun to dream up all of the little details, those small projects can turn into emptying your paycheck before you finish purchasing your gifts. The pressure to make your party as perfect as the pins we all admire on Pinterest is high. Now I’m no cheapskate, but I’m certainly not rolling in extra Benjamins, especially around the holidays. However, what I lack in funds I make up for in holiday spirit. So what’s a jolly yet sensible gal to do? While my digital mind is drawn to Pinterest to inspire me to craft and host to my heart’s desire, the pins can be deceiving. Sure the decorations, food, punches and outfits look cute, but are they manageable for my money? I think it’s possible to throw a party with all of the Pinterest flair and keep a few pennies in your pocket. Here are five tips for hosting a holiday party, or festive fête if you will, without breaking the bank.
- Quit looking at Pinterest. Honestly, quit pinning and start thinking. You have your own mind, your own creativity and your own friends for bouncing ideas. You don’t want people to walk into your party and say, “Oh wow this party looks like a Pinterest Board,” do you? Personally, I’d love for people to have a great time, notice a detail and say, “Wow this is clever! I haven’t even seen it on Pinterest!” Free your mind from the pressure of making your party Pinterest perfect and you’ll probably find yourself impressing your friends more than stressing about the details.
- The Dollar Store – or Dollar Bin – is your friend. Every time I pass the Dollar Spot at Target I am amazed with some of the little trinkets tossed in the welcoming baskets. You can find some gems in there that can add a little bit of silliness to your party. The Dollar Store can be your source for essentials, too: toilet paper, trash bags, paper towels, maybe some extra serving trays…you get the picture. Save your money for décor that you can use in years to come rather than on things that will literally go to waste.
- DIY if it doesn’t require many “ingredients.” Beware of the DIY projects, my friends. I have spent many a dollar at Michael’s on card stock, glitter, shadow boxes, ribbons, frames, jars, candles, Modge Podge and more. Sure it all looks cute and I will use them for years to come, but the initial sticker shock was, well, shocking. I could have saved a project or two for another year.
- Consider cheap themes – and plan ahead. Potlucks, game nights and ugly sweaters all make for low price tags and good times. Want to host more of a classy affair? That’s possible, too, with a little creativity and a little help from your friends. The best way to save some money for any theme, though, is to plan ahead. If you decide on Friday to host your first fancy party on Saturday then you may spend more than you like. Planning ahead ensures you can find deals, save up and flex your creative muscles!
- If people offer to bring something, let them. Don’t try to do everything yourself if you don’t want to! If you have friends who are known for their dips, cheese balls, or cupcakes and offer to bring them, say yes (or even ask them! They will probably be flattered!). No matter the level of fancy at your party, be willing and grateful to receive a little bit of help.
While the holidays often have situations with hefty price tags, your party does not necessarily have to follow suit. The best parties involve good people, regardless of the picture-worthy decorations or food. Get fun guests in your door and the rest will take care of itself. Now that’s something worth pinning!
Did I miss any tips? What have you done to save money while ensuring your holiday party is fabulous? Tweet at us at @_HoneyGood!