Entertaining on a Budget
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Entertaining on a Budget

Entertainment Low Budget

With today's economy, most individuals are skeptical about going out to eat, let alone housing a party.  However, there are several simple ways to host an inexpensive yet elaborate party.  As a private caterer, I have been involved in dozens of private house parties wherein the host had to "cut corners."  Of course, it always helps to have in-home assistance to make a successful party.  However, there are many ways for the average person to throw a grand event in the home by following a few simple rules.

Rule #1.  Never order catered/prepared food from a local market or catering company.  Even as a catering agent, I can be honest in saying that most of your money will be spent on labor and not the actual product.  For example, a fruit platter from Sendicks will cost you $75-80 or 25 people when in reality the ingredients cost only $25.  In truth, how hard is it to cut up fruit?  You can also find great, inexpensive appetizer recipes on the Internet that require little effort.  I use them.  Therefore, buy all of your ingredients at the supermarket, and check for any weekly sales and/or coupons to make some great dishes at a low cost.

Rule #2.  It never hurts to ask your guests to bring a dish and/or ingredients to help out.  If possible, invite a friend over a head of time to help prepare the food.  You could have a wonderful opportunity to chat and accomplish tasks for the party at the same time. 

Rule #3.  Never use paper products.  While many people feel that paper makes a party easier, think of the money you will spend on plates, napkins, cups, etc.  Use whatever dishes you have on hand, and even ask your guests to bring items.  Yes, dishes are indeed a pain to wash.  However, think of the money you will save in the long run.

Rule #4. As for alcohol, if you do not want your guests to bring their own, then keep it limited to beer and wine.  Once you go into mixed drinks, it will get very costly.  Not to mention many stores have specials on close out selections.  Take advantage of the sales!!

Rule #5. Entertainment...Go for simple.  Music and conversation. 

Rule #6.  Don't even bother with decorations, candles, flowers, etc.  No will notice, trust me.  It's a waste of money.  All your guests will truly care about is seeing you and catching up.

In all, you can host a fabulous party without spending a fortune.  Yes, you will have to put in some extra effort.  However, it will be worth it, especially for your pocket book.

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Comments (2)

Great article. I hate feeling like I can't throw parties because of their effect on my wallet...this helps!

I enjoyed this article immensely! Although being a suckler for ambiance, I would incorporate candles around the party areas if it's an evening event (cocktail hours) or if it is a summer occasion thrown at dusk that stretches into darkness. Candles (even if they're to ward off mosquitoes!) are so romantic outdoors :)