4 Tips for Entertaining on a Budget

Not everybody likes to be a host or a hostess for an event, but for those of us who do, it’s difficult to do so on a regular basis while still saving money. With holiday season almost upon us, hosting will be happening more frequently, and with Pinterest giving us bunches of great ideas for theme parties and events, we must be careful not to go overboard. Here’s some tips for having guests over that will help you not break the bank!

1. Keep it simple – decor wise.

Decorations don’t need to be specifically tied to your “theme” – because really, what are you going to do with $75 worth of miniature sombreros leftover from your Cinco de Mayo party? Get the theme decorations for events you host yearly, so that they’re worth your money. Every other time? Pick a color scheme! Match or contrast the food and drinks you’re serving to keep everything tied together and picture-perfect while investing in decor you can swap around for each event. Even simpler? Use all your favorite dishes that coordinate. Suddenly your color scheme happens and you didn’t have to buy a thing.

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2. Have guests bring something.

Probably the most obvious way to save some money as a host is to enlist your guests to bring one thing. Something small to combine into a recipe or to share with the other guests. This can also work with decorations – borrow a friend’s punch bowl or serving tray rather than buying your own.

3. Don’t get too fancy.

The best times with friends or family is when we get together to enjoy simple food. This doesn’t mean the food has to be boring! It just means save the crab legs and champagne for the really important celebrations that are worth splurging on, and make food you’ve already prepared before so you know what works and how long it takes. You don’t want to try something brand new and have to order pizza halfway through or  push back dinner because you didn’t realize something had to simmer for 3 hours. It’s also helpful to make things ahead of time, so you’re not spending your whole night in the kitchen.

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4. Remember why you’re hosting.

Any time I entertain guests, I have 2 goals. The first is to spend quality time with my friends and family, by eating, playing board games, or enjoying conversation. The second is enjoying a meal together. A meal that is prepared either by myself or together with my friends, and shared with one another. Everything else is just fluff, so don’t sweat it too much.

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What do you do to host while saving money?

Lydia Jane

Entertaining regularly? Things you might find helpful:

Dansk Fjord white dishes

Baking Illustrated (with recipe for that amazing apple pie)

Easy Pesto

Roasted Acorn Squash

Anthropologie Coasters

Tips for hosting (Via Lifehacker)

2 thoughts on “4 Tips for Entertaining on a Budget

  1. Wonderful tips!!! I love #3. When I FIRST moved out and wanted to host a dinner, I thought going full out was a must. Boy did that fail!!! Haha. Now it’s less about overdoing and more about gathering. Great post.


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