Whether you’re spending a quiet New Year’s Eve with your family or throwing a party to celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of another, we have tips to help you save money on decorations, food, and drinks.
To save money on decorations, repurpose your Christmas decorations. New Year’s decorations are all about the glitter and glitz, and by using your clear Christmas lights around your place you can set a festive mood. If you’re crafty, make your own hats by using construction paper and lots of glitter. If you don’t have the time or patience you can get decorations are your local dollar store.
If you are having people over to celebrate, start the party after dinnertime and serve appetizers and dessert. Guests will know to eat beforehand if the start time is 7 p.m. or later, though it is always a good idea to let people know in the invitation that only light refreshments will be served. You don’t want crabby, starving people at your party. For budget friendly hor d’oeuvres, bring out platters of cheese and crackers, hummus and pita, and fruit. Remember to include traditional foods like lentils and grapes, especially since they are cheap. Check out Bargain Babe’s hummus recipe and my lentil recipe. Taking up offers from guests to contribute snacks and drinks will help your bottom line as well.
The bubbly doesn’t have to be expensive. To purchase champagne on a budget, head over to Trader Joe’s or BevMo, which have champagne, wine, and spritzers for less than $10. Warehouse clubs generally have good prices on alcohol, too. Stretch your buck big time by providing non-alcoholic beverages. Offer coffee or tea to drink with their desserts. If you are having little ones over you can also skip the alcohol all together and stick to sparkling apple cider. I like carbonated apple juice, but compare prices because it may be cheaper to add plain seltzer water to juice instead of buying sparking apple cider. You can also save by offering guests one special drink instead of stocking a full bar.