Want to throw a holiday party, but your budget is extra tight this time of year? You can still throw a great party this season by following these budget tips.

Pare Down The Guest List

It's just not realistic to invite a lot of people if you're on a budget, unless you plan on having a potluck. Every new guest adds to the cost of your party, and a bigger party can also add to your stress levels and the time it takes you to prepare for the party and clean up afterwards. What tends to happen in a big parties is that not everyone will get to chat with everyone else anyway, so keep it intimate and everyone will probably have a better time.

Rethink The Menu

Want to wow your guest with a huge glazed ham or amazing seafood platter? For that kind of food, you can expect your party to cost more than $100-200. Instead of planning your party around a fancy dinner, why not plan it around appetizers and drinks or desserts and coffee? These two food groups are much cheaper than dinner, and the guests will not mind the food served as long as they know ahead of time. Do be mindful to host the party before and after regular meal times to give others a chance to eat if they choose to do so.

Save on Decor

Turn your home into a winter wonderland by using twigs and pine cones that you found outside. You can then spray them with white, gold, or glitter spray paint. A can of pray paint will cost you anywhere from $6-10, depending on the paint. However, you can use the paint to give a new and united look to other items, such as old or thrift store find picture frames, vases, ornaments. For example, spray glass food containers for a new look and use them to hold utensils, candles, and twigs.

You can also re-purpose the Christmas decorations you already have. Put ornaments in a vase or a wreath for a centerpiece or use garland as a table runner. There are even several Pinterest ideas out there that give ideas on how to up-cycle trash into cute holiday decorations. I just saw a cute white wreath made out of used K-cups and a Christmas star made from an old cereal box. You just have to get creative! Remember, you can also ask a friend or family member to borrow decorations or place settings.

Set A Theme

Setting a theme for your party is fun, and it can also save money. Some fun and affordable themes include:

  • Ugly Sweater
  • White Christmas
  • Christmas Cook Off (where guest vote for their favorite dish and the winner wins a prize)
  • Crafting Party
  • Sock Exchange
  • Christmas PJ Movie Night
  • Pinterest Craft Exchange (Everyone brings a craft they made inspired by Pinterest to exchange)

In the end, what you don't want to do is to blow your budget by throwing a party trying to impress others. This will only suck all the fun out of your event and leave you with a mess and big bill after the festivities end.

Written by Ashley Eneriz for MoneyNing and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@getmatcha.com.