Budget-Conscious Party Tips

Hosting a holiday party can be expensive. However by creating a budget and following these party planning tips, you can have a fabulous, frugal holiday party that won't break the bank.

Christmas cocktail party

Robert Strasser, private dining manager at Salt Creek Grille restaurant, offers these budget conscious tips for planning a holiday party.

1Book early…or late

In an effort to boost holiday party bookings, many restaurants are offering great incentives such as gift cards and money back for companies that book early in the season. Getting a jump on your planning could save you more than you bargained for. And not to worry if your chosen restaurant isn't offering an incentive. Mention deals you've seen in other place and chances are they'll be able to give you a comparable deal. January is also a great time to book if you're looking for some post-holiday savings, since many restaurants slow down after the December rush.

2Consider cocktails instead of dinner

Cocktail parties are often a great alternative to a full-on holiday lunch or dinner, so consider hosting a one- or two-hour affair. Some may even appreciate the extra free time! Still feel strapped? A cash bar is always a less expensive option and can considerably lighten the financial load.

3Opt for take out

Your holiday party doesn't have to take place in a restaurant to be special. Many local eateries offer delicious catering options which can be much less expensive than the regular restaurant menu items.

Teri Gault, mother of two, wife, California native, avid coupon clipper, and CEO of TheGroceryGame.com has mastered the art of saving time and money. She offers these helpful holiday party planning tips. Gault recommends taking advantage of pre-prepared food to save both time and money when making dinner.

4Cheat with pre-made pasta

Stouffer's Family Size Lasagna with Meat & Sauce is a great product that is often on sale and can make life a lot easier when feeding hungry guests. Simply add some hot pepper flakes, fancy cheese, pesto or a squeeze of lemon juice to create your own personal touch.

5Save with salad

Salad is also another great way to "cheat the system" when it comes to entertaining hassle free and for a low cost. Simply use a bag of salad, which often is on sale, and add a little blue cheese crumble or feta, maybe some olives or plum tomatoes and cucumbers for a quick fancy fix.

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