During the holidays, many things vie for your ever-shrinking wallet, and throwing a party may seem impossible. But you really can afford to do it up right, using these money-saving ideas.
Great parties don't have to
break the bank.
- Appetizer parties are a great way to entertain a group, especially if you are short on seating space, time, or resources. Although you'll want to allow about eight hors d'oeuvres per person, they needn't be expensive or complicated to taste good. Grilled, bacon-wrapped chunks of vegetables and fruits are always popular. So are halved tiny baked potatoes filled with sour cream, bacon, and chives or chili and cheese. Another favorite offering is fried stuffed ravioli or tortellini served with marinara sauce.
- Rather than serve expensive whole shrimp, smoked salmon, or beef tenderloin, extend them by combining with spicy dressings, cream cheese, and vegetables for easy spreads. Accompany spreads with crackers and breads, or use them as fillings for puff pastry shells, wonton wrappers, or rolled tortillas.
- Don't feel obligated to offer a full bar or even any hard liquor. Beer and wine are usually sufficient, or stick to one hard liquor drink in keeping with the seasonal theme, such as a punch bowl of eggnog or hot rum toddies.
- Use snow in ice buckets to chill wines, soft drinks, or beers. Snow chills better than ice, looks nicer, and saves you the cost of purchasing crushed ice.