11 Frugal Tips for Throwing a Holiday Party That Won’t Leave You Broke

I love hosting, and nothing is more fun than hosting a holiday party! But don’t let your tight budget keep you from hosting a great party. Here are some ways to make a holiday party on a budget!

It is that time of year again; the holidays are almost here! This time of year always brings about the same question. “What will I do for a party?” Of course, you want to make sure not to go overboard spending, but you don’t want to skimp on the festivities either. Believe it or not, there are plenty of ways to have a memorable party without breaking the bank.

This is a  time of year many people spend a lot of money on gifts, decorations, and food. We often think of the holidays as a time when we can make up for all the party invitations we couldn’t attend in the past year. That’s why hosting a holiday party might be a significant financial burden on some households. Luckily, this doesn’t have to be the case!

Bringing together friends and family during the holidays while also keeping your wallet closed is possible!

Make It at Home

multiethnic large group of friends sitting on cafe table restaurant eating a muffin making faces. diverse people celerating sweet breakfast together enjoying happy holidays.
Image Credit: blackandbrightph/Shutterstock.

The minute you start looking at venues, restaurants, or caterers, then you start adding up those dollars. Host your party in your home and do as much cooking and planning yourself as you can. Cook early and freeze so you don’t leave yourself a lot of work for the day of the party.

Let Guests Help

Grill and barbecue cook. Chef with BBQ cooking tools. Barbecue and grill. Picnic barbecue party. Chief cook with utensils for barbecue grill. Barbeque on holiday picnic.
Image Credit: Volodymyr TVERDOKHLIB/Shutterstock.

Not everything needs to be on you! Ask any of your guests if they can bring a small item or activity to help share in the cost.

Split the Costs

Young hispanic businessman smiling happy holding mexican 500 pesos banknotes at the city.
Image Credit: Krakenimages.com/Shutterstock.

Split the hosting with another friend, couple, or family member. Split the work and split the costs! This can also cut down on the number of parties everyone will have to go to!

Make Cheap Foods

Healthy food: rice with red beans in a bowl close-up on the table.
Image Credit: AS Foodstudio/Shutterstock.

Nice foods can be cheap and expensive foods aren’t necessarily delicious. So be creative in what foods you serve. For example, you can make a soup bar or serve bread and dips. These are filling items that are not so expensive to make and will have everyone thrilled with the offerings!

Shop Around for Expensive Items

online shopping.
Image Credit: Kaspars Grinvalds/Shutterstock.

While it is not exactly practical to shop around for the best deal on each ingredient – pick the most costly item and work hard to find a deal on that. Are you serving alcohol? That usually is the most expensive part of any party. Spend some extra time making sure you get the best deals on the most expensive part of the party.

Cut Down on Drinks

Studio portrait of surprised student female in grey singlet over blue background drinking organic mint water looking at camera with excitement.
Image Credit: UfaBizPhoto/Shutterstock.

Soda, punch, and juice will quickly to your party budget. Consider serving water or homemade lemonade, or sumac juice to cut down on costs. Some lemon slices or fresh mint in a pitcher of water make a festive addition to your table with minimal cost.

Go Dry (Or Serve Very Little Alcohol)

woman standing with glass of water in front of face.
Image Credit: SNAB/Shutterstock.

What is a party without alcohol, right? No! Buck the trend and cut down on the spirits. Instead, serve a few nice bottles of wine or pick one type of punch to serve (if that is your crowd’s preference). Otherwise, limit the alcohol, and you will limit the price tag on your holiday party. Everyone’s headaches will thank you the next day!

Do as Much as You Can in Advance

Funny chef perplexed and angry because stuff is burning food.
Image Credit: cookelma via DepositPhotos.com.

You can’t do everything in one day, and homemade food and decorations take time to prepare. If you want to save money, do as much as you can in advance. Not only will you be happier and calmer, but you will save yourself any last-minute budget hiccups.

Find Free or Low-Cost Decorations

Pinecone Wedding Decor.
Image Credit: kylepostphotography/Shutterstock.

Pinecones, vases filled with cheap flowers, a light tablecloth with some glitter sprinkled about- all these are extremely low-cost or free decorations that can make your holiday party look absolutely beautiful on a budget. Also, ask friends and neighbors if they have any party supplies they don’t mind sharing (and don’t forget to return the favor).

Have the Kids Pitch In

Happy kids doing arts and crafts together at their desk.
Image Credit: wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock.

One of the best mom hacks around is to use your kids to create a really fun decorated house and take the pressure off you! When the kids are decorating, you can get away with decorations that are, how do I say this? Less than picture-perfect. Have your kids do any of the millions of holiday crafts to decorate the house and table.


Grilled chicken breast, fillet and fresh vegetable salad. Healthy lunch menu.
Image Credit: nelea33/Shutterstock.

It goes without saying (but we are saying it anyway)- save leftovers. Take the time after your exhausting day to properly pack up and fridge or freeze leftovers. Don’t leave all food to be eaten the next day. Instead, freeze some dishes to keep for those days when supper is just not happening. Instead of ordering pizza, pull some leftovers out, and you will be grateful you took the time to freeze it.

There are a number of ways to make a holiday party on a budget. From choosing less expensive decorations and invitations to making your food, there are many options to help you save money while still being the perfect host!

Read More:

Winter portrait of young beautiful brunette woman wearing knitted snood covered in snow. Snowing winter beauty fashion concept.
Image Credit: NinaMalyna/Shutterstock.

Hi! I am a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. I have always been “into” personal finance but got inspired to start my blog after a period of extended unemployment. That experience really changed the way I viewed my relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education.

Leave a Comment