It’s always fun to open our home to family and friends.  Unfortunately, it can be expensive, too.  However, hosting a great gathering doesn’t have to break the bank.  In fact, there are plenty of ways to entertain on a budget.  If you’re looking to add a few low-cost tips to your entertaining arsenal, look no further!  

Email Your Invitations

Today, everyone has an email address.  Rather than mailing out traditional paper invitations to your party, save on postage by inviting your guests via email instead.  There are plenty of free services online that offer beautiful templates and also help to keep track of RSVPs.  That means less money – and less work, too!

Host a Potluck

Instead of preparing an entire menu yourself, why not provide the main course and ask guests to bring their own favorite appetizers, salads, or desserts?  That way there are fewer ingredients that you need to buy, but still plenty to eat.  Choose a one-pot dish for your main, like lasagna, to get the most mileage out of the ingredients that you do purchase.

Serve Seasonal Foods

Using fruits and vegetables that are in season to prepare your meals is generally always a cheaper option.  That’s because they’re usually grown locally, and cost less to produce.  They’re also fresher and cheaper, too!  Maximize your savings by buying produce whole, and taking the time to chop or peel it yourself.

Freeze Ice in Advance

Purchasing ice in bulk at the last minute can be costly, so freeze up a bunch of ice in advance – more than you think you’ll need – in the days leading up to your party instead.  Planning ahead can help to ensure each of your guests has a cold, refreshing drink in hand without having to spend a fortune.

Find Your Centerpiece

Don’t feel that you need to purchase an elaborate table centerpiece just because you’re hosting a large party or event.  Get creative instead!  Search your cupboards for cute knickknacks that can be placed on the table, or gather branches from your backyard and arrange them into modern showpieces.

Ditch the Disposables

Paper plates and plastic forks are often the go-to for parties.  While they may make clean up convenient, ultimately they’re just an extra expense.  Use your own dinnerware and flatware instead.  It’ll make your guests feel more at home – and if you have a dishwasher, it’s not that much extra work.  Just be sure to empty the dishwasher before your party for an easy stack and clean up afterwards.

It is possible to host a great party on a budget.  By employing a few of the simple cost-cutting techniques we’ve shared, you can enjoy the company of family and friends with out breaking the bank.

Happy Entertaining!