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This blog is the third of a three-part “Reduced Spending” series.

Since your home is decorated to the nines, you’re ready to invite people over to celebrate the holidays! Whether you are hosting or attending a party, all of the little purchases you need to make can add up. After you buy a gift for the host, bottles of wine for your guests or just party supplies, it can cost a pretty penny. Here are some ways to be a cost-effective party host or attendee:


1.     Hosting – preparation

Preparation really is key when it comes to a successful party! As the host with most, you’ll be providing the bulk of the food. Buuuut that doesn’t mean that your guests can’t bring something. Usually, partygoers don’t show up empty-handed, but you never know what they might bring so be prepared and ask your closest friends to help you out. If you’re cooking up a storm entrée-wise, ask someone to bring a side dish, like a salad or bread.

Quick tip – alcohol can be pricey, so asking your friends to BYOB wouldn’t be bad either!


2.    Hosting – food

Just like fine dining, you want to create a menu for the night – not so much for your guests but for yourself! List all of the ingredients that are necessary to prepare your meal. Double-check your refrigerator and pantry to see if you already have what you need. If not, swing by the grocery store and only get the items on your list. Tip: don’t go to the supermarket on an empty stomach, you’ll typically leave with a lot more snacks and treats than you need – trust us, we know from experience.


3.    Hosting – activities

Gathering family and friends together is always fun. To amp up the excitement, bring out some creative and engaging games for everyone to enjoy. Board or card games are a go-to for entertaining activities. Or get active and have some good ol’ competition with charades.

Having family or friends over in December? A gift exchange is a perfect way to spread a little love. Organizing a Secret Santa or a white elephant game will ensure that everyone gets a little present to take home. You can set a maximum price of $5 so you don’t have to throw down too much cash.


4.    Guest – food

Attending parties is the best, especially since you are spending time with your loved ones and enjoying delicious food. If you volunteered to make something, choose recipes that have few ingredients and a fast prep or cook time. Bring some breadsticks with a side of oil mixed with balsamic vinegar. Or you can bring a dessert because no holiday party can have too many sweets. Need some food-spiration? Check out this link!


5.    Guest – gifts (for the host)

It’s always nice to thank the host for opening up their home, so let’s show them some love. Stop by your local dollar store to grab a little something, like a holiday scented candle! A small gift goes a long way!