Are you hosting a Labor Day party but low on cash? Don’t worry; entertaining on a budget on Labor Day weekend is very doable because Labor Day celebrations are usually held in your home or backyard. There’s no expectation that hosts will break the bank for these casual parties. Still, you want to avoid buying any unnecessary supplies so your party stays within its budget. Here are some areas where you can save money as you get ready to entertain.
Have a Potluck for Part of the Meal
Ask each of your guests to bring an appetizer or a dessert. This cuts down on your costs because you only have to provide the main dish, side dishes, and drinks. And knowing that all your guests will have something they like at the meal gets rid of the temptation to buy lots of extra items in order to please everyone.
Make Your Own Condiments
Purchasing meat rubs and barbecue sauces can be a waste of money, especially if you won’t have much use for the leftovers after Labor Day. As Real Simple notes, you can make most of your favorite barbecue condiments yourself with a tomato base and a few spices. You’ll spend less, and since you’ll make exactly the quantities you want, you won’t have to throw out any half-full bottles when the weekend’s over.
Choose Bulk Ingredients, Not Prepared Servings
Buying party food that’s been prepared or divided into individual packages is more expensive than buying food in bulk. Thus, you should avoid store-bought party platters when you’re entertaining on a budget. Buy bulk packages of the basic ingredients you need, then do the work of preparing and dividing up servings yourself. Instead of premade hamburger patties, choose ground beef or turkey. Skip the single-serving bottles of lemonade; instead, buy lemons and sugar to mix your own, then serve it in plastic cups. Head to a farmers market to stock up on whole ears of corn or to get a bag of potatoes for homemade potato salad.
Don’t Buy Party Decorations
Decorations are marked up in price before any holiday weekend, and many party decorations aren’t budget-friendly because they can’t be reused. Don’t feel that you have to buy them simply because you’re entertaining. Homemade decorations are just as much fun. You can make your own bunting using string and construction paper, and decorated jam jars can serve as candle holders. Another option is to skip the decorative centerpieces and to fill the empty table space with board games or card games that guests can play while they eat. After all, guests are going to remember the party for the great time they had, not for the number of decorations you bought or how much money you spent.
Image source: Flickr
Consumer Education Services, Inc. (CESI) is a non-profit service provider of comprehensive personal financial education and solutions for all life stages and for all of life’s milestones. Our goal is enhanced economic security for everyone we serve.
CESI is NOT A LOAN COMPANY