Top Ten Cheap Entertaining Hacks

cheap entertaining

Top Ten Cheap Entertaining Hacks

On Monday, I shared the fact that I liked to live a fancy lifestyle, and this did not stop with my entertaining; just ask anyone who was invited to my 30th birthday celebration in South Florida, I liked to live and entertain fancy. However, now that I have embraced different choices, I have challenged myself to entertain frugal fancy just as I challenge myself to live frugal fancy. Here are my top ten cheap entertaining hacks when you want to entertain frugal fancy:

Food Hacks

1) Potluck

I don’t care what you are celebrating, a potluck is a great way to disperse costs and have fun. Evite makes it really easy to keep with a theme to ensure that you don’t make pasta and your friend makes meatloaf. A great way to prevent crazy potluck menus from happening is to set a theme like “Italy” or “France” and then you know that your food will not only be cheap but orderly.

2) Brunch

At the beginning of the year, I shared a great recipe for a brunch casserole that could be made the night before and really inexpensively. Brunch is a great entertaining option because most meals are really affordable, easy to make and don’t require a lot of time which is important when you invite people over early in the day.

3) Simple

You don’t need to make steaks and lobsters, try fajitas and tacos. I have cooked steak dinners for dozens and I have made fajitas for the same amount, and both groups had the same feedback, that it was delicious.

When you are entertaining a group of people, don’t worry about the menu, just think about the flavors. A really well seasoned chicken breast can taste almost as good as a beef tenderloin. I should know, I have had bad chicken and bad steak, if you keep things simple, though, you can keep your menu tasting as good as the best restaurants in NYC.

Drinks Hacks

4) BYO (Fill in the Blank)

I think many of us want to host a party and provide everything our guests would want; however telling our guests to bring something specific is not only a cost saver but a time saver. I have been to parties where the theme was cheap 6 packs or cheapest red wine and enjoyed what I drank as much as any other party. The best way to make this BYO celebration enjoyable is to keep it interesting and keep it challenging. Ask people to bring their favorites; however, challenge them to keep it cheap and affordable.

5) Mimosas

If Brunch is the best entertaining time, the Mimosa is the best entertaining cocktail. Below is a picture of my favorite cheap brunch Mimosa combo, a bottle of Cristalino Cava and a can of San Pellegrino grapefruit sparkling water. The two combined cost about $8.00 and could serve 4 people for brunch. I always get compliments on this combo, and it tastes fantastic!

6) Punch

A good old-fashioned punch is not only a way to keep alcohol costs down but also a great way of keeping your friends sober. Some of the best mixes only require a bottle of bubbly combined with various sodas. In total, a punch for $10 could entertain over 20 people.

7) Boxed Wine

There are a few brands of boxed wine; however, my favorite is the Black Box brand. According to the advertisements, each box equates to about 4 bottles of wine. I have had parties where I put the box right on the bar; however, if you still want to try to fool your friends, just fill a carafe with the wine and entertain a bunch of people for $25.

Décor Hacks

8) Nature

When you are planning a party for more than a few people, think about scheduling it in a time when nature helps you decorate. Right now, fall is revealing beautiful colors all around me, and I plan to take leaves from the trees and use them to decorate my holiday tables. When we move into December, I will collect pine cones and birch branches that add to the mood.

9) Themes

Holiday or seasonal parties are fun and can be affordable if you plan for them in advance. If you enjoy Christmas or Halloween, wait until the day after the holiday to find decorating ideas for your next party. You can also ask your friends to bring their favorite holiday décor before the party starts to create a festive environment.

10) Pinterest

Pinterest has been known to lead people to some epic fails; however, it is also filled with great cheap decorating ideas for any party that you may want to throw. With enough time and planning, you can find the ultimate solution for your frugal entertaining ideas.


Gif Source: Giphy

What are some awesome frugal fancy entertaining ideas you can share? What are your best tips for entertaining on a budget?



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Shannon is a financial planner who left a “traditional” financial services firm to start her own company, The Financial Gym, because she felt traditional financial services firms did not have the tools or resources to help people in their 20s and 30s who are starting out and trying to build assets while also managing debt. She realized that the key to long-term personal financial success is a commitment to financial fitness and making smart financial choices. Through her blog, Financially Blonde, her book, Train Your Way To Financial Fitness, her podcast, Martinis and Your Money and The Financial Gym, Shannon is committed to making financial fitness fun, easy and accessible for everyone.

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