Entertaining on a Budget

Ah, the holidays.  The mistletoe, the cold air, the smell of peppermint and vanilla everywhere.  But with all the family gatherings, holiday parties, and shopping sprees.  How can you keep your holiday party under budget?

Tip 1) Cut up your own cheese and veggie platters.

While its so much easier to go to the store and buy the assortment of cut up cheese and veggie platters, you can get much more for  your money when you buy the cheese in blocks or whole veggies and cut them up yourself.  You can get 3 cucumbers, 3 peppers, a bag of baby carrots, a bag of celery, broccoli and grape tomatoes for less than $15.  And you have enough for 3 tray fulls, if not more.  When you buy the store bought veggie platter, you spend almost $30 for just one tray!  That’s double the price, for a third of the food!

Tip 2) Buy Wine Online

Buying wine at the liquor store can be very expensive! There are plenty of online wine sites that are much cheaper, because they don’t have as much overhead.  Plus, if you order enough, you can get shipping for free.  Who needs to carry 6 bottles of wine, when they can just show up at your house?

Another option is to buy cheap wine (in a box is fine)  and make cocktails with it.  White Sangria with some cranberries is both festive, inexpensive and delicious.

Tip 3)  Buy ready made dips

While its cheaper to make your own veggie platters, dips, like spinach and artichoke or french onion are cheaper ready made.  Spinach dip can cost up to $20!  You have to buy frozen spinach, sour cream, mayo, veggie soup mix, all of which are not cheap.  A ready made dip can cost $3.99.  Much cheaper to go the store bought route in this case.

Tip 4)  Buy color themed paper goods, not  Holiday themed.

Instead of going out and buying paper plates or napkins with ornaments or dreidals on them, you should opt for Blue or white napkins, or Green/Red paper plates.  It makes it much easier to reuse if you have left over plates for a kid’s bday party or St. Patty’s day, etc.

Tip 5) Buy one item in bulk, and serve in a few ways

You want to make sure there’s food at the party, but food can get expensive.  You can buy inexpensive hearty items, like pasta, and serve 3 different ways.  One with mariana sauce, one with olive oil, parmigiana cheese and salt and one with vodka sauce.  With so many options, people won’t realize you are serving one dish.  You can also make 3 different salads with 1 type of lettuce.  The key is, variety, not just a lot of one item.

If you bought bread in bulk, sprinkle some olive oil and salt/pepper and bake it.  Serve next to the ready made dips.  You can have some dipping oils for the fresh bread, and also, some next to the cheese platter you cut up.

The holidays are a fun time to get togehter with family, they’re not meant to break the bank.

What are some of your favorite entertaining on a budget tips?








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