Everyone likes getting together, having some drinks and sharing some laughs, but going out to a restaurant or bar is incredibly expensive. Hosting parties at home still presents a cost, but much lower than going out.
If your party includes alcohol, a good way to limit the amount needing to be spent is to make a large pitcher of one drink. Most guests don’t mind contributing one bottle of alcohol when attending, so with a couple bottles, soda pop and some other flavours, an inexpensive but delicious night can be had. I recommend ensuring your alcohol has been in the freezer for a couple hours and that the pop is cold to help keep the pitcher cool longer without as much ice. Also investing in re-usable solid cubes can keep the pitcher cold without watering down the drink.
If you have a knack for baking, no one will turn down brownies, cookies or cake. Generally the cost of making a couple plates of food is much lower than ordering pizza. I like to do a variety of foods so that everyone can enjoy no matter their diet. We do a veggie plate, a wrap plate (deli meats with cheese and sauce wrapped up in a tortilla and cut into bite sized pieces) and a treat plate. If you are expecting extra guests, a bag of chips is never a bad idea. Depending on your guests, flex your cooking skills and be creative!
Contrary to what films and TV show us, it is very unlikely that a dance party will break out throughout your home, what is more likely is that people will mill together and have conversations while others will sit quietly alone. To even it out for everyone board games, video games like Super Smash Brothers and trivia can help bring everyone together and make the night more fun. If it is an adult party, drinking games and beer pong can also bring people together. If you don’t own board games, chances are one of your guests will, so ask around and most guests are happy to lend.
Across the year we host for many events and holidays, each of which I try to build a theme for. New Years is always a fun one to decorate for with white and gold balloons from the dollar store and hanging golden stars. We get paper plates for each holiday which sit under $5.00 a pack and a table cloth which is usually $3.00. All together we decorate our home for under $20.00 and it is great fun. For more complete holidays like Halloween, the basic table cloth and paper plates are also included, and for around $10.00 I can cover the entire house with spiderwebs. Add a couple balloons and some theme matching desserts to complete the look.
Have A Plan
Having a rough idea of where the night is going to go and have a back up plan. If you are planning a board game night and not enough people show up, make sure you have back up entertainment available. Should more people show up than expected you should have a bag of chips or extra food available to be able to feed everyone. Think ahead and try to expect the needs of your guests.
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Prepare Your Home
The basic cleaning before guests come over applies, but beyond that, have an extra roll of toilet paper easily reachable so that a guest isn’t in the uncomfortable situation of calling out for assistance. Remove sensitive information from common areas and ensure your from closet has room to accommodate the outerwear of your guests. Set out extra seating before guests arrive and have food items ready before the start time of the party. Have clear marked out of bound areas or make sure to inform guests rooms or areas of the home that should not be entered during the festivities.
Your guests can tell when you aren’t happy or comfortable during the party. Planning ahead of time and having food and drink easily available to your guests will reduce the stress of trying to get drinks and get items for your guests. The more “self serve” you set things up, the easier your party will be and you will have more time to have fun with your guests, rather than constantly trying to be the prefect host. Don’t forget to enjoy this time.