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5 Impressive Wins for Hosts on a Budget

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A host doesn’t need to be rolling in the dough (or be Martha Stewart) to pull off a great party. However, a little creativity is definitely in order. Before cancelling that cocktail party or nixing that eight-person dinner date, try out these 5 impressive wins for budget-minded hosts.

1. Check the Poison

Here’s the thing: it’s absolutely crucial that, if hard liquor is being served, it be at least middle-shelf. That’s expensive, and no guests deserve to be served Burnett’s vodka that costs eight dollars. However, opting for wine both improves the class factor and can be scored for a great deal. Visit wine stores and ask for advice on a great wine for under $10. There are a lot of them out there and guests won’t know the difference between a good $10 bottle and a $50 one (even if they’re wine snobs).

2. Shop Seasonally

A host might get a certain menu stuck in their head, but depending on the ingredients it can be really expensive. Instead, consider what’s in season and look for substitutes. Shopping seasonally and locally is a great way to save money. Those mangoes flown in from overseas might sound good, but at what cost? The customer is the one who ends up footing the bill for that plane trip.

3. Explore Discount Stores

When it comes to decorations like napkin rings or new vases for centerpieces, don’t pay top price. Instead, start looking at the clearance racks of discount stores or even thrift shops for great deals. Nobody’s going to know if a host spent $80 on that blue vase or it was a steal for $5 at TJ Maxx.

4. Timing is Everything

There’s no getting around the fact that a full-blown dinner is going to be more expensive than a cocktail party. However, when a party is thrown dictates the amount of food and beverages that will be expected. To side step creating a big dinner, make the party either earlier or later in the evening. This suggests to guests that they’d better figure out dinner plans on their own.

5. Don’t be Afraid to Potluck

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a potluck. Asking everyone to bring a dish inherently makes the party less formal, but it also saves hosts a lot of money. Just make sure the invites (whether they’re via Facebook or traditional) clearly states what kind of party it is so there’s no confusion.

Anyone can throw a great shin dig without breaking the bank. Set a budget, stick with it and get ready to dust off those dancing shoes.

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