You don’t want to start the New Year with an empty wallet, but you can’t spend December 31 at home alone, either. Good news: there are plenty of ways to throw a New Year’s Eve party without breaking the bank. So, throw on your party attire, pour yourself a glass of champagne, and read on to see just how you can do it. We’ll see you in 2015!
1. Keep Your Halls Decked
New Year’s Eve is the cap on the holiday season. And, while it’s one of the biggest parties of the year, it doesn’t get quite as much attention in the decorations department as Christmas does. Fortunately, there’s plenty of Christmas decor that’s suitable for New Year’s Eve, too. Imagine, for example, your traditional string of twinkle lights. You can hang soft white lights all around the room on New Year’s for a look that’s festive without being too Christmas-y. You can cut up leftover wrapping paper for confetti, too; the possibilities are truly endless if you’re creative. If you think your space skews a little bit too merry, remove all of the red-and-green and otherwise themed objects, sticking to simple metallic decor and crisp white lighting. As an added bonus, you’ll get a head start on cleaning up your Christmas decorations, too.
2. Buy Less Booze
One of the biggest expenses of any New Year’s party is the alcohol. You might be tempted to go all out, buying an array of bottles so that every guest has his or her favorite liquor on hand, but beware: this will certainly break the bank. Instead, you should provide your guests with a more budget-conscious selection of, say, wine and beer. You could also choose one type of liquor to focus on, or one special drink to serve. That way, you only have to buy a few bottles in order to cover everyone. Of course, if your budget is super tight, you could ask everyone to provide his or her own beverage of choice, or to bring a bottle with which to stock the party bar.
3. Stick to Snacks
Another New Year’s no-no: providing your party guests with a full-on feast before the bell tolls at midnight. While this is certainly a nice thought, it’s simply not the cheapest way to feed everyone at your party. Choose a handful of appetizers to prepare beforehand that you’ll serve, and let your guests know that light fare is what’s on the menu. That way, they can eat a little beforehand and snack on what you’ve made until midnight. You can always ask each guest to bring a snack or dessert, too; a potluck is a great way to cut costs without sacrificing the amount of food you’ll have on hand this New Year’s Eve.
4. Make Your Own Food
To save even more on your menu, you might want to dust off your old cookbook and apron. It’s certainly convenient to buy pre-made food, such as pizzas, cupcakes, and cookies, but you’ll save a lot of money if you can make your own eats from scratch. You can even use the occasion to try out some of the party recipes you’ve collected on Pinterest or on other cooking sites. It’s a win-win.
5. Keep Your Friends Close
The idea of New Year’s Eve might conjure up images of huge, blowout house parties. Unfortunately, events of this size won’t go easy on your wallet. That’s why you should try and cut down the guest list to your party this year. Rather than inviting your entire team at work, for example, choose the colleague with whom you actually hang out outside of the office. You’ll not only have an easier time providing enough food, drinks, and entertainment if the party size is reasonable, you might just find that the entire event is more memorable. Friends and family that you actually know and love’ll surround you—there’s no better way to ring in a new year than that!