Fresh Living
Friday, December 6 2013, 12:54 PM MST
Holiday Party On A Dime
(KUTV) Jana Francis shares her holiday party planning tips for those on a budget.

It’s that time of year again when many of us open our homes to friends and family to celebrate the holidays. But throwing a great party isn’t about the food or decorations, it’s about having fun and enjoying the time spent with guests. Here are my favorite tips to entertain during the holidays without breaking the bank:

1.Plan Ahead. I always believe that when you have the time to think of ways to save money, you’ll save money. We often fall into the trap of spending more money because it’s convenient or we can get something quicker. If you want to throw a holiday party, create a budget and start planning for it now. Put a dollar amount for how much you want to spend on it and stick to it!

2.Make your Own Invitations Don’t fall into the trap of buying a bunch of invitations when you have all the supplies you need in your home to make a festive invite! Get crafty with seasonal colors to match your party theme. Since I’m a big scrap booker, I always have plenty of supplies lying around my house, but don’t feel bad borrowing some of the kid’s supplies too! Anything from glitter, to colorful tape, and ribbon on your invites are sure to get your guests in the joyful spirit!

3.Make the Main Dish and Have Guests Bring the Sides:  Throwing a pot-luck style party brings everyone together and will save you time and money! As the host, take care of the main dish, and prepare your own menu for side dishes and desserts. Then, give each guest a specific dish to bring so they feel involved with the party planning process! And since they’re so many handy travel containers these days, it’ll be easy for your guests to transport their dishes!

4.Use What you Already Have: Find new uses for old dishes in your cabinets. Impress your guests by displaying your hor' dourves on your unused Cake Plate or Pie Plate! Serve homemade trail mix in large vases with a serving spoon or use colorful cupcake paper cups or doilies for a bite-size finger sandwiches.

5.Use Gift Tag Printables:  Don’t forget to send your guests home with homemade party favors filled with cookies or hot chocolate mix! And rather than going out to purchase a nametag for each one, find free gift tag printables online to include on each goody bag! designed six free gift tag printables for you to attach to every favor under the tree. Simply download the file, print on cardstock, cut out, and attach to your wrapped favors for an inexpensive and adorable gifting solution. Find them here:

You can find everything you need this holiday season at: 

(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group.) Holiday Party On A Dime

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