Whether or not you’re ready to say goodbye to 2016, you’re likely looking for some way to celebrate New Year’s Eve with family and friends. Instead of heading out to a restaurant or bar with overpriced specials, consider hosting your own bash to welcome 2017! Just make sure you don’t let your enthusiasm for party planning and a fresh start cloud your judgement when it comes to spending; after all, you don’t want to start the new year in debt!
To help you plan a memorable New Year’s Eve bash on a budget, personal finance expert, Andrea Woroch, shares eight budget-friendly entertaining tips. Woroch is a money-saving expert who transforms everyday consumers into savvy shoppers by sharing smart spending tips and personal finance advice. As a sought-after media source, she has been featured among such top news outlets as Good Morning America, Today, CNN, Dr. OZ, New York Times, MONEY Magazine, Consumer Reports, Forbes and many more.
How To Host a New Year’s Eve Bash on a Budget
To host a memorable and inexpensive New Year’s Eve party, here are eight savvy tips to save you money.
1. Forget traditional paper invites
Avoid the cost of invitations and postage by inviting friends through free and festive evites from sites like Punchbowl, which offer an array of design options at no cost. Otherwise, send free invites via text through apps like HobNob or Invtd. You can also create an event on Facebook and invite friends and family that way.
2. Find a friend to co-host
Split your costs in half by asking a friend or family member to co-host the festivities with you. Not only will sharing party-planning responsibilities help you save on various expenses like food, booze and decor, but this tactic also reduces the burden of getting everything done yourself.
3. Host a dessert party
Since most people want to hang out until the ball drops in Times Square or the clock strikes midnight, starting festivities at dinnertime can make for a lengthy soiree. To save time and money, consider hosting a dessert party where people show up around 9pm. By then, most guests have already had dinner and you can serve inexpensive desserts and drinks.
4. Swap champagne for prosecco
You don’t have to spend a fortune to ring in the new year with a bit of bubbly. Prosecco is a trendy, budget-friendly alternative to champagne, with top-rated bottles going for $8 to $15 each for 750mL. If you’re hosting a big crowd, consider buying a case and ask the store manager for bulk discounts, or buy from warehouse club stores where prices are often 30% less than liquor and grocery stores. If bubbly isn’t your thing, check out 19 New Year’s Eve cocktail recipes from Delish.
5. Seek out savings on food
Create your New Year’s Eve menu based on what’s on sale and in season. This will help you cut costs while offering the freshest, tastiest delights to ring in 2017. Use Flipp.com to easily compare weekly ads between your preferred grocery stores, and then print grocery coupons from CouponSherpa.com for additional savings. Walmart shoppers should download the store’s app for the Savings Catcher tool, which scans receipts and offers store credit for food products and other items that are better priced elsewhere.
6. Recycle holiday decor
New Year’s Eve decor is all about sparkle, so keep twinkle lights and silver and gold decor from the holidays to decorate your party space. A centerpiece comprised of champagne flutes filled with small metallic holiday bulbs complements the bubbly you’ll serve, the components of which can be purchased for cheap at the dollar store. And a bag of metallic balloons is an inexpensive way to make a statement when you hang them from the ceiling at varying heights (no helium required!).
7. Stream tunes
No party is complete without music, and inexpensive streaming services like Pandora and Spotify make it easy to celebrate the year’s greatest hits. Both services release New Year’s-themed playlists, or you can customize your own. Amazon Prime members also have access to an extensive library of music.
8. Enjoy free games
A fun and free printable New Year’s Eve party game from Alice & Lois will definitely get the conversation flowing, and debates argued over the best song, movie, and overall moment of the year. You can also craft a game on your own, without the need of a printer; it’s called the New Year’s Resolution Guessing Game, where guests write their top resolution on a slip of paper, and then take turns drawing resolutions and guessing who they belong to. For more inexpensive game ideas, consult The Balance.