You shouldn’t have to refinance your home to cover the costs of hosting get-togethers at your home. When I first started inviting groups of people to our home I spent WAY too much money. I remember one time in particular that I spent close to $300 for one evening of food for about 12 friends. WHAT?! Looking back on that I can’t believe that I spent that kind of money on a few hours of hosting/entertaining.
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Number of People
The first thing that you need to decide when hosting a party/event at your home is how many people will fit comfortably in your home. Do you have a large outdoor space that could be utilized? Can you move furniture around to create more open space in your kitchen/living room?
When it comes to decorating for your party/event, it’s always best to keep it simple (see some of my favorite decorating tips here). Use items that you already own. If your party has a theme then raid the Dollar Tree and Target Dollar Spot to enhance the cohesiveness. Don’t overdo it! You can also check websites like Oriental Trading for themed items. *Don’t forget to add to the ambiance by using a sound bar or docking station with a good music playlist. 🙂
Making the Menu
When it’s time to create the menu for your event then I suggest choosing several items that can be prepared ahead of time and then cooked right before the party if needed. For some tips on how to spend less at the grocery store check out these posts ($150 budget for 2 weeks and $75 budget for 2 weeks) Some of my favorites are:
mini reuben sandwiches
Check out my appetizer Pinterest board for more ideas! 🙂
Don’t be afraid to use store bought food. Of course homemade food is awesome, but you can use good quality pre-made food as well.
Some of my favorite ways to mix homemade items with store bought items is to make homemade cocoa in a slow cooker and bake the break-apart cookies from the refrigerated section of the grocery store. Yum!
Budget beverages are easy to do. These are a few of my go-to beverages for parties:
infused water (strawberry, mint, orange, lemon)
gallon of tea
gallon of lemonade (country time)
slow cooker full of cocoa
small group-bottled drinks on sale at Kroger
Let Others Help
It’s OK to ask close friends/family to help set up if you can’t do it ALL. If someone offers to bring something then let them bring something! I used to turn down help, thinking that I could do it all myself. Now I welcome the thought of a few helping hands in the kitchen before a party.
If you are working with a small space like I am then you have to get creative in the ways that you utilize your space. Here are some small space saving ideas:
turn the dining table into a serving/buffet table
make eating places in living room
remove unneeded throw pillows
utilize your outdoor space (patio, deck, yard, etc.)
rearrange your furniture to have more open space for mingling
Don’t be afraid to use paper/plastic plates
Did I just say that it’s OK to use paper/plastic plates? YES! Dress it up with a cute cutlery holder like this one:
It doesn’t have to be fancy. In fact, most people don’t expect fancy! People are usually just happy to be in good company and not having to cook a meal for themselves for a night. ha!
Now if you are hosting a super formal event then by all means use the fine china, but most of the time it isn’t necessary.
Party Theme Ideas
Some of my favorite party themes were the simplest to put together. All of these themes can be achieved on a budget.
cocoa, cookies, and caroling for Christmas
nautical fish fry
patriotic BBQ (grilling)
Harry Potter (fall party)
chicken and waffles brunch
taco Bar for kick off to summer or anytime
Follow my party ideas Pinterest board for more themed party ideas. 🙂
Do you have any budget tips for hosting at your home? Let me know your secrets in the comments!