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Throw a New Year's Eve Party on a Budget

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Ringing in the New Year surrounded by family and friends is always a fun way to wrap up the holiday season. But by the time December 31 rolls around, most people’w holiday budgets are all but maxed out. Does that mean you have to sit home alone and hit the hay before midnight? No! It is possible to host a memorable New Year’s Eve party without spending a lot. Here’s how:

Repurpose Holiday Decorations- If your home is already decorated for the holidays, you’ve got a head start. New Year’s Eve decor is all about sparkle and shine, so anything silver, gold or shinny can stay. Minimize the red and green and put away anything with an obvious Christmas theme. If you’re not convinced the environment is festive enough, add some groupings of inexpensive white pillar candles and sprinkle metallic confetti on surfaces. They’re simple, affordable ways to add elegant ambiance. 

Hit the Dollar Store- Shop the dollar store for cups, napkins, paper plates and plastic cutely. (You’ll probably find party favors like poppers and noisemakers, too.) It’s cheaper than the party store and since they’re going to be used once and thrown away, no one is going to judge the quality. Skip anything with the year stamped on it and go with solid colors instead. If you have any leftover you can use them during the year or save them for next New Year’s Eve. 

Start the Party Later- Starting the party later in the evening, perhaps 8 or 9 pm, means your guests will have eaten dinner before they arrive. This allows you to serve light snacks and dessert, rather than a full meal, which will help you save big. Cheese and crackers, chips and dip, a fresh veggie tray and something sweet are all most people need to feel satisfied. 

Bring Your Own… Bubbly- The big moment of any New Year’s Eve party is the champagne toast at midnight. If you’re concerned about buying bubbly for a crowd, ask everyone to bring a bottle of sparkling wine. You’ll end up with more than enough and everyone will have a chance to try a few different varieties. 

Take Advantage of Good TV- This is one party where it won’t be considered rude to have the TV on. Tune into any of a number of specials for coverage of celebrations from around the world and build up the excitement for when the ball drops at midnight.