Thursday, November 1, 2012

Entertaining for Less: Do You Host Food People or Beverage People?

If you're hosting a party this holiday season, think about the crowd you are hosting and ask yourself, are they food people or beverage people?
Once you answer that question, you can figure out ways to cut corners at your party without anyone ever knowing. 
I can tell you without hesitation that my family are definitely food people.  There's not usually many adult beverages at our gatherings and when there are, it's a $6 bottle of wine.  It's just not something my family cares about.  So if I was throwing a party with my family, I wouldn't worry about the adult beverages at all and I would focus on the food.  I may purchase a few inexpensive bottles of wine, or when someone asks me what to bring, I may just tell them to bring a bottle of wine.  It's not an area that I'm going to spend a lot of money on.
If your answer to the question was that your crowd is more of a beverage crowd and don't care as much about the food, then you focus on getting nicer wines, beers, liquors (depending on your crowd) and spend less money on the food.  You could just do cheese and crackers or a few light desserts.  Save your money on the food if it isn't going to be the focus of your party.  Or, if your crowd is really in to expensive wines or other liquors, when someone asks you what to bring, you tell them to bring their favorite bottle of wine/liquor.  That way, the pressure is off of you to purchase the expensive alcohol! 

You can even go further then just thinking big picture food or beverage - think about what is left over at the end of your parties and what isn't.  Does your crowd love dessert and usually not touch the appetizers?  Or are you left with a ton of desserts at the end of your parties? 

Cut back on the area where you always have excess at the end of your parties.  Your guests will never notice, but your wallet will thank you!
In summary - when hosting a party, really think about who is coming and prioritize where you spend your money.  If you tailor your party to your crowd and spend your money wisely on what they are interested in, your party will be a hit and you'll still be within your budget!
Happy Entertaining!

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