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Cocktail Party Ideas: Budget Entertaining

How can you entertain on a budget without coming across as cheap?

The key is to be resourceful.

Use what is readily available to you such as those pine cones laying in your yard or some of those bright red berries hanging on that bush outside your front door - these can be turned into very elegant decorations.

Here are some of my ideas:

Budget Entertaining and Cocktail Party Ideas

  • Use your best dishes and serving ware - it won't cost any more than using your everyday stuff, and your guests will feel special!

  • Have a potluck - let your guests share the expense and the work. Create a menu and ask everyone to bring a simple dish.

  • Make your own invitations. Hand deliver as many as you can to save on postage.

  • Have a small gathering with fewer people (the ones you really want to spend time with). Fewer guests mean less work and less expense. Maybe have a nice dinner party for 10 people rather that try to buy beverages and snacks for eighty.

  • If you want to use flowers, buy a large inexpensive bouquet at your grocery store and separate it into smaller arrangements.

  • In the fall or winter, berries or evergreen sprigs make nice substitutes for flowers.

  • Use groups of votive candles as decoration.

  • Instead of providing a full bar for your guests, serve punch, eggnog, or hot chocolate. If you want to serve alcohol, keep it simple with two or three choices. Consider buying boxed wine. A box contains the equivalent of for bottles of wine and costs less.

  • Don't feel that you need to have special holiday table clothes, napkins, and dishes. Simple, neutral colored table wear will look elegant for any occasion and can be dressed up or down to fit the occasion with centerpieces and accessories.

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