Want to shake those winter blues? There's no better remedy than pulling together some food and friends for a little soiree. If you spent a bundle on the holidays and that tax return is too far off to count on, you can still host a delightful diversion with a few inexpensive party ideas, courteous of SignUpGenius.com.
Favorite money-saving party tip: Co-host your party with a friend and "divide and conquer!" It's always easier and way more fun to plan a party with somebody else. If you're lucky, maybe your friend will even agree to open her home for the event and you can put off scrubbing those toilets a little bit longer.
Give it a twist: Say yes to the potluck. When people ask, "What can I bring?" send them to a party sign up list of ideas on SignUpGenius.com. Give the potluck a fun twist and assign each guest a recipe. For those whose thoughts wander to cooking only while watching Rachel Ray on TV, let them bring wine, beer or a bag of ice. It helps split the cost and all the harrowing last-minute details.
Party Menu Hits: Three cheese fondue and maple-glazed walnuts.
Favorite money-saving party tip: Skip the expensive cheese and smoked meat platters and plan an impressive main course that costs a lot less. Think roasted ham or turkey sliced alongside a heaping basket of biscuits or rolls. Or prepare a brined turkey breast served cold.
Give it a twist: A bowl of pasta may not sound exciting until you choose two or three different kinds and make it a Little Italy party. Choose a party theme like Soup-er Salad Celebration and toss a couple of salads to serve alongside crockpots full of tasty stews and a basket of Texas toast.
Party Menu Hits: Tomato basil soup with grilled cheese bites or spinach and goat cheese salad with bacon maple dressing.
Favorite money-saving party tip: No matter how fancy a sit down dinner sounds, most people prefer to graze when they’re at a party. So serve a buffet and save yourself the expense of a several course meal. Another upside to a buffet is that people tend to eat lighter while they’re chatting.
Give it a twist: Load the buffet table with make-ahead casseroles. Who doesn’t love a good portion of these comfort foods? Since they can be prepared in advance, you don’t have to stress about menu details at the last minute, and, even better, casseroles are very economical.
Party Menu Hits: Lasagna, macaroni and cheese and scalloped potatoes.
Favorite money-saving party tip: Give your guests what they love, the chance to choose their own toppings with a taco or potato bar. At a sit-down dinner, the usual rule of thumb is about a half pound of meat per person. With a taco bar, a quarter pound of meat per person is more than enough. You can even use a slow-cooker to make the party prep easier. With so many allergies and food restrictions from one person to the next, this is a surefire way to please all of your guests with your menu.
Give it a twist: Include a dessert bar with a make your own sundae option. A five gallon tub of vanilla ice cream with various toppings will go a long way.
Part Menu Hits: Serve corn tortillas alongside the flour ones at your taco bar to give your gluten free guests an option. You can also include a bowl of spicy rice and one of yummy beans to share with your vegetarian guests.
Whether you’re hosting a couple of friends or the whole neighborhood, enjoy these inexpensive party planning tips and ideas from SignUpGenius.com and make your next gathering loads of fun!