Evelyn Romans | 

10 Clever Ways to Save Big on Your Holiday Party

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According to a recent report, Americans are expected to spend about $1,455 each this season, according to Deloitte’s latest study (per CNBC). And on top of buying the hot new toys for kids and holiday decorations, hosting guests during the season can be a big expense in itself. That’s why I found the best hosting hacks to save you even more money during this fun — but stressful — time of year. Here’s the best ways to save money at your holiday party.

For more savings tips, text HACKS to 57299.


1. Buy instead of rent tablecloths and glassware, then resell them on Craigslist or eBay.

a holiday table setting

Rental prices for tablecloths and glassware often cost nearly the same — if not more —as buying them yourself. Consider purchasing them, then reselling the items on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. Better yet: Ask in your local Facebook Buy Nothing group to see if anyone has any that you could borrow. I found free table cloths last summer for a baby shower, and I returned them once the shower was done!


2. Buy Trader Joe’s Two-Buck Chuck or use Ibotta offers to save on alcohol.

charles shaw two-buck chuck wine bottles in cart

There are so many wine and beer offers on Ibotta, you shouldn’t have to pay full price for alcohol these days. And as far as Trader Joe’s $2 ($3 in some states) goes, it’s way better than some of wines that cost quadruple its selling price!


3. Host brunch or lunch instead of dinner.

orange-cranberry rolls for holiday brunch on table

Even if you serve alcohol during brunch, you’ll still see savings. We have all the food coupons!


4. Turn Christmas lights into party lights with decorative disposable cups or used K-Cups.

party lights using red solo shot cups

Dixie Cups and empty K-Cups make cheap, but extremely cute, party lights. Just slit the bottom of each cup and slip over a mini light bulb.

Get detailed instructions here. Dollar Tree has 22 cups for $1.25!


5. Ask your guests to bring a favorite ornament to hang on the tree or set on a table.

a christmas ornament being hung on a tree

We did this at a Christmas party last year, and it was a great conversation starter! You could even use them for an impromptu game of “guess whose?”


6. Skip the paper goods — use real plates and cloth napkins instead.

green holiday cloth napkins and place setting at table

You’ll be saving trees and money this way. Plus, they look better than paper serving ware — even if you do have to use mismatched pieces.


7. Serve ready-to-drink cocktails instead of making your own.

person pouring an uptown cocktails chocolatini pre-mixed drink at home

If you’re planning on serving a signature drink at your party, you’ll save big when you buy a store-bought cocktail instead of purchasing the boozy ingredients separately. For example, if you wanted to make a batch of chocolate martinis, you’d need to pick up 750-ml bottles of vodka, chocolate liqueur, and Irish cream. At Total Wine, you’d pay $16.99 for a bottle of Tito’s Vodka, $27.99 for Godiva Chocolate Liqueur, and $21.49 for Bailey’s Irish Cream. That’s $66.47, or $6.68 per martini.

But a 1.5-liter bottle of Uptown Cocktails Chocolatinis is made with real cream and costs $10.99 at Total Wine. Each bottle has 8 servings, which breaks down to just $1.37 per cocktail – 83% less than if you’d bought the ingredients separately. Plus, now through Dec. 31, you can get a $2 rebate* when you purchase any 750-ml or 1.5-liter bottle of Uptown Cocktails. That brings your price down to $8.99 a bottle or $1.12 per serving. Other Uptown Cocktails flavors include Caribbean Punch, Blue Hawaiian, and Piña Colada, and you can find them at stores like Kroger, Walmart, Target, and Food Lion. Click here to get the rebate offer and here for the Uptown Cocktails store locator.


8. Buy sparkling wine (prosecco or cava) instead of champagne.

someone pouring sparkling wine into a glass at a holiday table

Sparkling wine is basically champagne not bottled in France. It’s also much cheaper and works perfectly well as a mixer.


9. Buy plain candles and brew your own scent.

person brewing a diy potpourri on the stove with apple, lemon peels, and cinnamon

You can pick up plain unscented party candles at any craft store for less than $1 per candle. To add scent, use orange, apple, and/or lemon peels in a pot of simmering water and add some cloves or cinnamon and let the scent waft through the house.


10. Buy pre-made cookie dough and customize.

decorated christmas cookies on counter

Snap up a great coupon for premade cookie dough and jazz it up for your party theme— you can use extracts, cookie cutters, dried fruits, edible sprinkles or even a bit of holiday liqueur and end up with super-cheap gourmet cookies you’d pay $3 per cookie for in stores.


*Purchase required. Items must appear on the same receipt. Offer expires 12/31/2023. Purchase must occur between 10/01/2023 – 12/31/2023. Receipt must be submitted by 12/31/2023. Limit one rebate per day per mobile device. Limited quantities available. VALID ONLY TO LEGAL RESIDENTS OF AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, ID, IL, IA, KS, KY, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, VT, VA, WA, WI, WY AGE 21 YEARS OR OLDER. Void where prohibited by law. This rebate may not be combined with any other offer. Proof of purchase must accompany rebate submission. Receipt photo must include retailer name, date & time of purchase, product name or item code for required purchase item. Rebate payment sent via PayPal or Venmo. If you do not have a PayPal or Venmo account, you will receive an email notification from PayPal or Venmo with instructions to create a PayPal or Venmo account and must accept the payment via PayPal or Venmo within 30 days or rebate funds will be forfeited. This rebate is void if assigned, sold, transferred, duplicated or reproduced in any way. Tax remains the responsibility of the consumer. Requests from groups, clubs, organizations or any other group purchase will not be honored or returned. REDEMPTION OR HANDLING OF THIS COUPON NOT ACCORDING TO ITS TERMS CONSTITUTES FRAUD. Employees and officers of BuzzBallz, affiliated companies, licensed retailers, distributors and family members residing in the same household as any of the above are not eligible. BuzzBallz / Southern Champion reserves the right to require additional information/identification prior to honoring rebate requests and to reject non-conforming rebate requests without liability of any kind.
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