One of the best ways to beat the winter blahs is to fill your home with people. It's cold outside and you might not feel like hitting the bars, but even in the darkest months home parties offer warm, welcoming places to kick back and relax. To save on expenses, it always helps to keep your party small. Even if you want to throw a bigger bash, there are ways to save...
- Host a small dinner party and use these ideas for setting the table on a budget.
- Throw a cocktail party stocked with inexpensive supplies. Choose one or two signature drinks and hors d'oeudvres to keep the cost of food and liquor low.
- Have a buffet-style potluck and invite your friends to bring their favorite recipes.
- Have some friends over for movie night, and choose the drinks accordingly. Serve martinis (shaken not stirred) and olives at a James Bond party; for a Godfather party, give your guests cannolis and godfather cocktails.
- Throw an all-white party and keep your decorations inexpensive: paper snowflakes, basic white china, white carnations.
- Host a holiday brunch rather than a dinner party. Brunch fare is generally less expensive than a dinner menu, you won't have to spend as much on drinks, and the casual mid-day vibe keeps things low-key.
- We love those old photos of our grandparents decked out in suits and cocktail dresses for their regular card parties. Why not revive an old tradition and have friends over for game night? If you're not a Bridge fan, try Scrabble (you can pair off in teams to accommodate more people), Monopoly, or Trivial Pursuit.
- Host a craft party where everyone makes something together, whether it's cookies, ornaments, or knitted scarves.
- Throw a wine and cheese party. Each guest brings a bottle of wine, you supply a selection of artisanal cheeses, and guests can try pairing them together.
- Swap Parties are a great way to declutter your home, find new things for free, and hang out with friends.
Photo: Weeknight Dinner Parties