Here are some more ways to save money on throwing a party:
Buy lots. For certain items, it is smart to buy in bulk to get them at cheaper prices. This works for things you will be using anyway, and not just for the party. If you a member of Costco or Sam’s Club or any of the bulk discount stores, you can take advantage of that. You can buy candles and decorations that you can reuse multiple times as well, so you have a stash of items you can use for your future parties.
Do It Yourself. It is great to be able to have the food catered, but that also adds to the cost. Design a simple menu that you can make yourself without too much work. This almost always works out cheaper. Vegetable trays can be made at home for a fraction of the cost of many store-bought trays. Another way is to go the semi-homemade route, assembling several packaged elements and making it your own. The trick to making the food yourself is to do as much as possible ahead of time so you’re not pressed for time –and stressed – on the day of your party.
Small works. If you’re hosting an intimate dinner party, keep your course portions small, and your ingredients simple. This will save you quite a bit of money and avoid a lot of waste. Besides, you don’t want you guests to be so stuffed that they have no room for the dessert you toiled over. Oh – and don’t try anything you haven’t successfully made before!
Keep it short. The longer people stay, the more they will eat and drink. One way to limit this and make sure you don’t run out of food or drink is to set an end time. Four hours is usually a pretty good time; you can make it shorter if you like, but no less than 2 hours. You want to leave people wanting more… Carbs are good. Unless you and your guests are all fastidious about your no-carb diets, carbs are a good way to fill people up at parties and inexpensively. Other good fillers include nuts and fiber-rich vegetables. You can get creative in designing your menu, with a focus on these elements and you’ll have a winner.