Wednesday, May 1, 2013

6 Tips to Save Money When Entertaining at Home

As school lets out for summer, suddenly you find yourself entertaining family and friends more often as everyone tries to make the most of the warm weather and longer days. While it's wonderful to share a meal with your nearest and dearest, playing hostess with the mostest can get expensive quickly. Avoid blowing your vacation budget before July 4 by using these six tips to help you spend less as you entertain more:


Prepare for Overnight Guests


Whether your in-laws will be staying with you for a long weekend or you need to accommodate a friend who overindulged on sangria at your backyard barbecue, you'll need extra pillows, blankets and bedding. Outfitting your guest room can get expensive, but you can find great deals if you give yourself some time. Sign up for your favorite local department store's email list to keep up-to-date on last-minute bargains. Once you've found bedding that you like, do a quick search to see if you can find a good deal. Often you can find a better price for bedding items online such as a Macys mattress or duvet cover sale; some stores even offer price matching.


Plan a Potluck-Style Menu


Do you dread the expense of hosting an elaborate dinner party al fresco? Instead of trying to do it all yourself, delegate! A potluck dinner will cost a fraction of the price and be less stressful to host. Try picking a theme for the meal, such as Mexican or Italian cuisine, and then assign each guest a specific course.


Dim the Lights


Save money on electricity and skip the unflattering overhead lighting in favor of candlelight. Candlelight provides instant ambiance to create a relaxing atmosphere. Opt for unscented white candles for dinner parties, because the strong fragrance of scented candles can be overpowering and intrude on the meal, according to the the Edmonton Journal.


Serve a Signature Drink


Skip trying to please everyone with an expensive full bar. Opt for a signature cocktail, a single type of beer and a pitcher of water flavored with fruit. Select a cocktail that fits the theme of your menu or party. Try refreshing signature drinks such as margaritas, sangria or mojitos.


Simplify Starters


Instead of going wild on Pinterest to find appetizers that are more complex than your main course, keep it simple with a loaf of rustic bread, a variety of cheese and some fresh fruit and vegetables. To avoid spending a ton on fancy European cheese, Real Simple suggests you stick with affordable domestic varieties of Parmesan, Gouda and cheddar, which you can find at a local grocery store for less than $10 a pound. Don't worry about serving everything on a fancy platter – instead, arrange it all on a wooden cutting board to add some rustic charm.


Get Creative With Decor


Find decorating ideas and craft projects online to save money on decor by re-purposing things you already have. Try working collected seashells from your last trip to the beach into place settings to create an extra summery table setting. Create a table arrangement with pillar candles and fresh flowers for effortless elegance.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Join 1000's of People Following 50 Plus Finance
Real Time Web Analytics