With the holidays on their way, you might be on the hook for a lot of parties. Perhaps you’re throwing a Halloween party for your friends or hosting your family for Thanksgiving. Either way, you may be looking at spending a lot of money on entertainment. But that doesn’t have to be the case! There are tons of great tips and tricks for keeping your party inexpensive.

1. Make your own decorations

Instead of breaking the bank at Party City, consider getting some construction paper and hot glue to make your own snowflakes or jack-o-lanterns. Pinterest has tons of great DIY ideas, such as:

  • Making a “chandelier” from a spray-painted umbrella and Christmas lights
  • Homemade wreathes (you can get some Styrofoam and stick it with decorated coffee filters, evergreens, and tons of other things)
  • Making silver pumpkins by spray-painting a basketball
  • Building a centerpiece out of a hand-painted vase and some fresh cut flowers

2. Be thrifty with your foods and dishware  

Research upcoming sales and coupons before deciding on a menu, and try to make dips yourself. You could also opt for cheaper cheeses, which you can make fancier by adding some herbs and honey. (Remember, when plated nicely, everything looks gourmet.) Finally, pick one signature cocktail for the event, instead of blowing your budget on tons of different alcohol varieties.

If you don’t want to use your own dishes, check out the Dollar Store for great deals on paper plates and plastic silverware.

3. Reduce the course load

Instead of serving a 5-course meal, pick a one-food theme. For example, maybe you host a cookie decorating party or a cocktail party. That way you are only on the hook for one style of food.

4. Ask for help in a fun way

You can always use food as an ice breaker! Have friends bring their favorite cookie, favorite wine, or favorite cheese. You can then use their gift as an ice breaker at the beginning of the party. Plus you don’t have to pay for all the extra food and prep!

If you threw a party recently, what were your money-saving tips? Let us know in the comments below!