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Hosting a Holiday Party on a Budget

Posted by MoneyKey on November 16, 2015
A table set for formal dining

Hosting a holiday party can be stressful and expensive. Don’t spoil a wonderful event by worrying about money; follow these easy tips to host a holiday party on a budget.


This is the most important piece. Set a budget and stick to it. This will allow you to host a wonderful party without the worry about overspending.

Make a List

Now you have a budget you can make a list of all your wants and needs. Calculate up the costs of the needs and see how much extra you have. You can then choose which wants will fit within your budget.


This can eat up a lot of the budget so finding savings here can be a huge help.

  • Pot-lucks are a great option for a more intimate event with close friends and family, people who you don’t mind asking to bring food. Make it easier for your guests by telling them what to bring and providing optional recipe ideas.
  • Stay in season. Go for recipes that contain ingredients that are in season this time of year, as the produce will be fresh and less expensive.
  • Serve expensive food as hors d’oeuvres versus the main course so you’ll need less of each ingredient. If you cannot afford to make a lot of something, pass a tray around yourself versus leaving on a buffet table. When sampling from a passed tray, people most often consume much less.
  • Here’s a full Thanksgiving menu for less than $7 per serving


This can be a silly waste of money if you’re on a tight budget so get creative, DIY or recycle decorations from previous years. If you’re buying, stick to a color theme and remember a little can go a long way. Focus on decorating the rooms you’ll be entertaining in (front hall, bathroom and dining room table).


Save on invitations by sending an e-vite through or Facebook. Creating a Facebook page for a potluck makes organization much easier and gives everyone a place to offer suggestions.


If young children are attending, keep them entertained with low cost activities:

  • A movie night with all the classics: It’s a Wonderful Life, Elf, Home Alone, etc.
  • Host a dollar store secret Santa with a $5 cap.
  • Find free streaming holiday music on platforms like Songza.

Holidays and holiday parties are a time for celebration not a time to stress over money. Planning ahead can help you make smart choices and save when hosting a holiday celebration.


Disclaimer: This article provides general information only and does not constitute financial, legal or other professional advice. For full details, see MoneyKey's Terms of Use.

Posted in: Holiday Tips

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