Simple tricks to save on your holiday party

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WASHINGTON — Of all the expenses racked up during the holiday season, the holiday party is not one that needs to cost a fortune.

That’s according to Mainstreet.com, which offered tips in a November article on saving money while still throwing a memorable bash.

There is no need to over think appearances. This has a twofold application: First, scrap spending extra on holiday decorations. A Christmas tree or Hanukah candles more than suffice to inspire holiday spirit. Second, don’t spend a fortune having your house cleaned before the guests arrive. Straighten up a little, and save the major cleaning effort for after the party.

The same goes for entertainment. There is no need to hire a band or plan a complex Secret Santa gift exchange. Guests will appreciate the simplicity of holiday music with the volume turned up, as well as not having to spend money on a gift.

When it comes to alcohol, buy cheaper liquor and ditch the labels. Or, make a holiday punch that helps mask the taste of less expensive booze.

Also, shop your cabinets. When it comes to food and utensils, chances are you already have a lot of what you need. Instead of choosing recipes that require a lot of additional ingredients, let what is already in your pantry inspire the food you cook.

Or, make a bisque for your guests. Soups can be both inexpensive and plentiful, so serve clam chowder or tomato bisque along with fresh bread. As an added benefit, soups can be made in advance, which can lesson the stress of the pre-party hours.

Let your guests pitch in. Prepare a main course and drinks, and let others bring a dish of their own.

Finally, if there is money left over, splurge on something special to make your party memorable, like a professional Santa to entertain the kids or a bartender from a local bartending school to serve drinks.

WTOP’s Max Smith contributed to this report.

Follow Max Smith and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)


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