The following is a post from our sponsor, SavingStar.
I’m a party girl. Always have been. Always will be.
And once I grew up and got a house of my own, I vowed to have a big party every year. Sometimes it’s a holiday party, sometimes it’s a birthday party, sometimes it’s a backyard barbecue. And sometimes, when I’m feeling really industrious, I’ll have all three.
But parties can be your own worst enemy, financially.
If you’re anything like me, you still have that frat party mentality -- the more, the merrier. I start by inviting 40 of our closest friends, then add the peripheral 20, then another 10, then 5 or 6 more that I barely even know. Just in case. After all, there’s nothing worse than throwing a party when no one comes.
By the time party day rolls around, I’m looking at a guest list of half-a-hundred or more. And because I can never really trust an RSVP, I prepare for a full 75.
I cook, I clean, I shop, I shop some more. I buy more crackers than I can use in a year and cook more spinach balls than can possibly be consumed. At the last minute I think I need more mixers so I run to the local convenience store because, well, it’s more convenient.
I’m wise enough not to save the receipts, nor discuss them with my husband, but between you and me and everyone else who is reading this, I can spend half a mortgage payment, or more, on my annual bash.
This year, money was a little tight (as opposed to last year, and the year before that, and the year before that). So, I made a conscious effort to tighten the purse strings. Here are a few party planning tips that can help you save a bundle:
- Check your cupboards! I guarantee you’ll find a jar of artichoke hearts or a can of crab meat that you can use for an appetizer.
- Make a list! After you survey your kitchen for what you have on hand, make a list of what you’ll serve.
- Make another list! Never, ever go to the store without a list. You’ll end up buying more artichokes because you will have forgotten that you found a jar in your cabinet.
- Don’t give in to impulse. If you see those $29.99 per pound jumbo shrimp staring you down, don’t do it, unless you previously planned for it.
- Don’t go back. At least not today. When you realize you’ve forgotten something, review your menu again. See if you can do without.
- Use coupons! Saving money is easier than ever when you use sites like SavingStar. It isn’t about clipping coupons anymore; it’s so much more convenient. Not only will you earn cash back for purchases, SavingStar keeps you on target!
Next time you’re planning a party, and your budget is bursting, don’t panic. Instead, take some time to think it out, make some lists, check out SavingStar and put the savings into NEXT year’s gala event!
How do you make your parties more affordable?