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How to Save Money on Holiday Parties

Updated on September 10, 2012

Money Saving Ideas Will Make the Holiday Get Together Enjoyable for You and Your Guests

Throughout the year, as the various holidays approach, you may be enlisted or volunteer to host the festive meal for family and friends. This holiday meal can end up being costly, yet there are money saving ways to create a wonderful holiday meal.   Whether it is a national holiday like Thanksgiving, or the traditional and religious holidays that bring people over to your home, or a special event like The Super Bowl, Valentines Day, or Halloween, having people over can be fun, it can be costly, but there are many money saving tricks that will make you a savvy hostess.

Use Money Saving Coupons Whenever You Can

Here are some money saving tips to help cut down on the costs of having your get together with little stress and an enjoyable gathering occasion:

  • Think ahead about your get together. Early preparation will help create a smoother running event, and is a great money saving tip. Figure out what you want to serve and write up a list of items you need to purchase and a to do list to set up for the day. This will allow you to work backwards and calculate how much time you need to prepare everything, and to set up a budget. After you have done this, you can look for specials for food you can freeze, and paper goods you may need.

  • Look for deals on products that are non perishable like sodas, canned goods and items that can be frozen. Buying the food as they go on sale is another money saving strategy that can help you save a significant amount of money. Spreading the cost of the food over a longer period of time allows you to not bear the brunt of the cost of the holiday all at once.

  • Remember to use coupons. Go to sites like,, and just to name a few that have printable coupons. Make sure your supermarket accepts internet coupons. Some grocery stores only accept magazine and newpaper coupons, and manufacturer coupons that came in the mail. The money saving value of coupons is a smart tool to cut down on your costs. When you do use coupons, try to coordinate it with the stores offer of double or on occasion triple coupon days.

Set Up a Budget for Your Time and Your Money

  • Some stores run loyalty promotions and when you spend a certain amount, you can get a free turkey or other free offers.  Check the supermarket flyers for their advertising promotions. Buy what is on sale and as long as you meet their minimums to get the promotion, the freebie is another easy money saving technique that will help considerably in reducing your cost of the event.  

  • Holiday meals don’t have to be strictly traditional. Sometimes you might find it fun to add something new to the traditional dinner.  Let your budget and your imagination guide you and you may just surprise your guest with what becomes a new tradition.

  • Be mindful about what you are spending and try to eliminate wasting money by watching where you need to spend your dollars. Money saving ways take efforts, but the reward is a well put together party that didn’t cost you as much as it would have, if you didn’t put in the time and strategy. Ask yourself about your decor. Do you really need all the table decorations you were thinking of using?  What decorations can you make yourself?  Who can you ask to bring the desserts instead of going to the bakery and spending more money than you need to?

  • Setting a budget will help you tremendously in saving money.  Sticking to the budget will actually save money on the meal.  So be flexible in what you purchase, but be disciplined in your money saving routine, so you have the satisfaction of knowing you made the get together everything you needed it to be. Entertaining your guests and serving a nutritious meal can be a shared activity among everyone who comes.

Think of Smart Money Saving Ways to Make the Holidays Easier On Your Wallet

  • It is okay to ask for help.  You don’t have to make everything yourself.  You can have people bring dishes, desserts, appetizers, etc, or you can  even set up a potluck dinner.  Decide what gives you the most satisfaction, and be realistic about what you can spend. That way you will have a better idea of what you are doing for the holiday meal.

  • To avoid waste, buy a turkey that will feed the correct number of people.  

  • A frozen turkey will keep for a year in the freezer so if you the turkeys are on sale at a very low price or free, get an extra bird and keep it in the freezer for the next holiday.  

  • If you choose to make just turkey breast for the white meat, buy a turkey breast with the bone in to save money and to be able to make soup from the bone. Even though turkey breast is more expensive than whole turkeys, you will have less waste if your guests don’t like dark meat. This is another great way to save money.

Prepare Early and Save Money

When you have a get together there are 2 things you need to budget for.  You need to budget your money and your time. Whatever food you can make beforehand and put in the freezer, will save you time for the holiday get together.  Very often you can make soup and freeze it, just thaw it out a day before and heat it up to serve. Mashed potatoes freeze well also. Piecrusts whether home made or bought on sale freeze very well.  These are simple and practical  money saving strategies.

Should you choose to have everyone participate in the holiday meal, a potluck dinner is a great money saving way and still make the party a great success without skimping.  With a potluck dinner, everyone brings their specialty dish they made at home to the get together. The different foods make for great conversation during the dinner and people usually enjoy sharing their recipes with the other guests.

Money saving coupons used properly allow you to buy the items you need at a lower cost.  Save money with coupons that you will find in newspapers and magazines. If your supermarket accepts internet coupons, you can go on line to print out coupons and save yourself some money on the holiday food.

Another aspect to helping you stay within budget is to eat a little less expensively a week or two before the get together.

As you put your party together, make your menu up and then give it another look. There probably is some food you can take off the list and it won’t even be missed.  Doing this money saving technique will help shave a couple of dollars off the entertaining bill.

Do You Prepare Food In Advance of Your Holiday Get Together?

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    • sherrylou57 profile image

      sherrylou57 6 years ago from Riverside

      Thank you for adding me and this is great tips on how to save on holiday meals! Blessings to you.