Family, feasting and football are the trifecta of holiday fun, but none of the festivities should break the bank. Simplify, spend less and enjoy more when planning your holiday party this year.
When I cut the cord with cable TV using a Mohu Leaf Curve 50 HDTV antenna, I gained $100 a month. That’s $1200 a year I cut from my yearly budget, without a loss in entertainment during the holidays.
Planning a holiday party on a budget entails considering how you’re going to spend your money on the 3 basic elements of a holiday party: food and drink, decorations and entertainment.
Holiday Party: Food & Drink
Holiday party fare should be tasty and fun!
Quite possibly my favorite part of holiday party planning is figuring out what snacks, sides, main dishes and drinks will be served.
However, prime rib tastes on a hamburger budget can thwart even the best laid plans. Consider these fun ways to cut your budget and still throw a fantastic holiday party.
Option 1: Make your holiday party a potluck.
Send out a festive, free Evite invitation which can layout your plans for the evening and ask your guests to contribute one main dish. Consider making it a theme party, or offering suggestions to some who can bring ‘sweet’ dishes and others who can bring ‘savory’ offerings.
You can provide the snacks and sides, and offer a theme with guidance as to what you’d like them to bring to the party. You’ll cut your food budget significantly, and provide your guests with lots of tasty treats!
Option 2: Provide your guests with a festive holiday punch and ask your guests who want to drink alcoholic beverages to bring their own to share with the other party guests.
Adult beverages can really add significant costs to your holiday party planning efforts. Since most people have their favorite beverages, this is an easy way for your guests to have what they like and allow them to share their holiday spirits.
Option 3: If someone says “What can I bring?” – tell them!
Your friends and family want to share in the celebration, and many will offer to bring something like rolls or a salad to Thanksgiving dinner. Let them do it, and mark it off your list. You’ll save money and your sanity by accepting these generous offers.
Holiday Planning: Decorations
Holiday party decorations don’t have to be overly elaborate or expensive to still be perfect for the occasion.
Decorating for holiday parties on a budget is really pretty simple.
First, declutter and clean your house in the areas where guests will travel. Next, consider what you already have that can be re-purposed for decorating. Finally, consider natural elements you can bring inside to act as decorations.
For example, assorted votive candle holders. If you have a lot of them not being used, get an inexpensive bag of votive candles or burn-free battery operated votives to put into the holders and spread them around the party space. Sprinkle a bit of confetti around the table near the votives to finish off this simple look.
White or colored mini lights are a go-to decorator item for me that I pick up at my local Dollar Store. I put them around mirrors, and at floor level to reflect light upwards, and then I turn down the main lighting sources to get a soft glow all around the room.
Don’t be afraid to go outside and bring a cool looking natural element in for party decorations.
You can make an impromptu backdrop to a holiday buffet with fresh evergreens, pine cones, or an interesting branch laced with mini lights.
Making decorations can save you money and add a personal touch to your celebration. Check out these: 28 Great DIY Decor Ideas For The Best Thanksgiving Holiday for inspiration or go to Pinterest for even more great holiday decorating ideas.
Holiday Planning: Entertainment
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and fantastic NFL football games are being broadcast for FREE in high definition over the air on Thanksgiving Day.
On Thanksgiving morning you’ll have the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC. A holiday favorite, it’s a great FREE HD programming option for all ages!
In the afternoon and into the evening, enjoy your favorite NFL football games via your Mohu HDTV antenna, which is picking up over-the-air TV programming in HD for FREE!
The Thanksgiving Day 2014 TV schedule includes back to back NFL games, which include:
Andrea Polk hails from Oregon and is a wife, mother, writer, Amazon Top 50 Reviewer, and more. She’s also the author of the Simple Guide to Over-the-Air Free TV as well as the avid deal-seeker behind SavvySleuth.com, where she scours the web for the best online deals.