The holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year… but maybe not for your budget. Between gifts, travel, and other expenses that inevitably pop up is it feasible to also host a Christmas party without accumulating consumer debt? The short answer is yes. Here are some tips on throwing a budget-friendly Christmas party:
Budget-Friendly Party Food
Food and drinks can quickly become the most expensive part of any party. If you’re feeding a crowd of people a full meal, plus alcoholic beverages, that’s going to cost a pretty penny! Luckily, there are ways to cut down on these costs. You can assume responsibility for the main dish and side dish, but for the rest of the sides, desserts, and little snacks ask your friends to bring something too.
For the main dish, check what’s on sale. This time of year, you may be able to find a lot of sales on different meats, such as ham and pork shoulder. If you can’t find a good sale, try to at least find a coupon to help cut down on the cost. As for the side dish, a cheap and easy seasonal side could be honey glazed carrots or mashed potatoes.
Instead of buying both beer and wine, just pick one and make it a special holiday drink! You could choose to make gluhwein, a popular warm wine beverage served at German Christmas markets. With gluhwein, you can get away with buying some cheap red wine and then adding orange slices, cinnamon, and cloves to it as it heats up on the stove. It tastes like Christmas in a cup!
It’s a good idea to pick up some non-alcoholic options too. Keep a couple two-liter bottles of soda on hand so your friends who don’t drink alcohol have something too.
Budget-Friendly Christmas Party Decor
The great thing about hosting a Christmas party at your house is you probably already have enough decor! If you have a Christmas tree, some wreaths, and garlands strung up around your house, that’s probably sufficient. If you find you want to add extra decor for your party, check out your local dollar store to see what you can buy cheaply. Additionally, you can jump on Pinterest for some ideas.
For a fun party game, find some Christmas movie trivia questions online. See which of your guests knows the most about holiday movies! This won’t cost you anything. Another fun and frugal idea is to find some photo props, such as Santa or elf hats, which can be found at any dollar store. Finally, to set a perfect holiday mood, hook your phone up to some speakers and find a holiday music playlist on Spotify or YouTube to get your guests in a jolly mood!
If you struggle to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Call 800-769-3571 to speak to a certified credit counselor