Anyone who has entertained a party or get together, understands there are always costs involved. Whether hosting a backyard barbecue, bridal shower, or formal event, there are many costs to cover from the food to the decorations.
However, there are areas where you can lower expenses and help compensate for the larger or pricier items which are naturally occurred when entertaining. Here are 7 ideas which can help you cut costs:

Outsource what you can’t do

Choose which items you want to be responsible for and outsource the rest. Some people prefer to be in charge of specific items such as meat, or decorations.

Whatever your specialty – outsource the items you don’t care to be responsible for. However, if you know of people who own equipment or tools which you would normally have to rent or pay for, utilize these assets and see if your friend can loan you the item.

For example, many grilling enthusiasts use their own meat grinders which allows them to grind their choice meat to perfection while adding in their own concoction of spices during the process. Do not be surprised if they also use a food slicer to slice their own meats for deli sandwiches!

However, these same enthusiasts although crazy about meats, may have no desire to deal with other food items such as drinks or salads. Therefore, by asking a few close friends or family members to contribute in these areas, you can save quite a bit of money.

Skip the Stamps

Use the internet – not the post office. This is useful for larger parties where invitations are generally mailed out such as bridal showers or baby showers.

Instead, use an online e-vite service to send a professional and nice looking invitation. The savings on stamps may surprise you.

Many times, these services will give you a good idea of who has accepted your invitation and plans on coming. For those who are undecided or you haven’t heard from, give them a friendly call and ask.

Finish the Last Minute Details Early

This tip will save you time, and that can be just as important as saving money. Make sure all your duties which usually occur at the last minute, such as setting up chairs, tables, and plastic ware, are all done the night or day before.

This will provide more breathing room and help reduce stress the day of the party.

BYOB

Any type of alcohol can quickly add up on the bill, albeit wine, wine coolers or beer. Make it known that alcohol will not be provided, however anyone can bring their own.

Alternatively, if you do not want to make a public announcement – afraid it will look bad – then delegate this purchase out to a few friends who knows their drinks. They will be honored to be given the task.

Forget Fancy Dinners – Go Buffet Style

No one will deny that sit down meals are always nice, but sometimes due to the number of guests, this just simply isn’t possible. However, buffet style does not have to mean hamburgers and chips.

Instead it can mean fruits, cheese and crackers, anti-pasto, cakes, cookies and desserts. If you usually have these type of events catered, try buying the items yourself and you may find the overall price is a lot less expensive.

Look for Coupons in Advance

No matter what size party you have, coupons will always help defray some of the costs. Coupon expiration dates are usually at least 3 months out, therefore start looking for possible coupons at least 3 months prior to the event.

You may be surprised at the number of coupons which exist for cheese and desserts alone!

Invest in Larger Appliances or Kitchenware

This does not mean to buy the latest and greatest meat slicer for slicing your turkey and ham for sandwiches, however there are some items which can help reduce costs in the long run. This tip is more appropriate for those who find themselves in a position of frequent entertaining.

For those who rarely entertain, it may be better to simply visit the local deli for your needs. Using the meat slicer as an example, you will be able to buy your meats in bulk, freeze what you do not need for the party (save it for another party) and use the rest for slicing deli thin meats and cheeses for top notch Italian sub sandwiches.

Deli meat can be very expensive when purchasing at retail prices for large parties. If you hold frequent parties, appliances such as these can help. Otherwise, you may want to talk with the local deli and find out if they offer bulk discounts. They may not work out special pricing with you until you prove you are a frequent buyer.

Looking for areas to trim down expenses is not always easy. But with the help of friends, and some creative thinking, you may be surprised at how much you can actually save without compromising the quality or quantity of food which can be enjoyed by yourself and your guests.

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