Save money by keeping away from meat, fish, and alcohol. Pasta, soups, homemade breads and desserts, beer, wine, lemonade, and iced tea are all great, and much less expensive, alternatives. It’s not fun for you if you break the bank every time you entertain.
Make parties BYOB whenever possible. People understand how expensive liquor can be for a whole party. When someone asks what they can bring, say, “How about a bottle of wine?” Then make sure to point it out to others. Inform your guests that “Sally and Bob brought this wonderful wine.”
Add your own decorative touches with little effort and money. Add a dusting of powdered sugar and some fresh fruit like grapes or cherries, instead of icing, to a cake. It’s healthy, too!
Make a couple of alcoholic punches instead of serving cocktails. It will save you a lot of money. Here are just a few to try.
1 quart cranberry juice
1 quart orange juice
1 quart club soda
Float an ice ring in the bowl that has fresh cranberries and orange slices frozen in it to help keep it cold and to add a decorative touch. For a variation, you can use pineapple juice and orange juice, or grapefruit juice and orange juice with the appropriate fruit in the ice ring.
Hot Mulled Cider
2 cinnamon sticks
12 whole cloves
½ teaspoon allspice
1 gallon cider
Make a small gauze bag filled with the spices. Place the spice bag in the cider and heat until hot. Let simmer for 30 minutes so that the spices can permeate the cider. Serve piping hot.
Inexpensive, easy-to-make mixes such as brownies, cookies, cakes, and puddings are great for dessert. Keep them on hand. Potluck is a great way to cut costs. People love to bring their specialties, and this way one person doesn’t need to spend a lot of money to feed everyone. By asking each guest to bring a different course, you can easily have a full meal, complete with entrées, salads, and desserts.
Try having guests for meals other than dinner. Breakfast, brunch, and lunch can be easier, less expensive, and a bit more casual, but just as much fun.