Hello, Nurturing the Natural Mama readers! My name is Michelle, and I blog over at The Economical Eater.
On my blog, I mostly share budget-friendly, vegetarian recipes and restaurant reviews. I also happen to be NNM's younger sister. ;) Today, I'm sharing with you all some ways to make your holiday parties more affordable - without eliminating any of the fun!
Hosting holiday parties can be great for a lot of reasons. For starters, you don't have to drive anywhere - so you can just relax and have a few glasses of wine (or beer) without worrying about how you’re getting home. Secondly, it's nice to have your closest friends and family see your home decked out for the holidays. The downside? You have to do all the work, which can be time consuming and expensive. But it doesn't have to be.
Anytime I entertain, I follow these three simple "rules" to ensure my guests (and me) still have a blast, without blowing my bank account (and without me spending the entire night in the kitchen):
1.) B.Y.O.B. There is no reason why you should provide all of the food plus all of the beverages. Guests are always more than willing to bring what they'd like to drink - especially since everyone has different tastes anyway. To make it more festive, have your guests bring their favorite bottle of wine or craft beer, so everyone can try a little bit of each others'.
2.) Use what you already have. Even with the beverages off your plate, the food can easily get complicated...and cost you a fortune. Simplify the menu, and plan it around what you already have in your kitchen. You can easily turn a can of black beans into black bean hummus, or a can of chickpeas into crispy, spicy roasted chickpeas. Deviled eggs are also super easy and affordable to make (especially for smaller parties), and you can never go wrong with a plate of cheese and crackers.
3.) Keep it simple. Most guests are more than happy to gather around for cocktails and hearty appetizers. Keep the menu simple, and offer 3-4 appetizers (especially recipes you can make ahead of time). This will also prevent you from spending the entire night in the kitchen!
It's really that easy to make your holiday parties festive while keeping your costs down.
Here's to a happy and economical holiday season!
Oh, and to make your holiday party prep even easier, NNM and I are giving one lucky reader a Chef'n VeggiChop!
|photo courtesy of Michelle Collins|
This hand-powered vegetable chopper will make preparing any dish - like salsa, baby food or hummus - much easier.
ENDS Sunday 5pm, EST
To enter, simply comment on this post telling us what recipe you'd use the VeggiChop for.
For a second entry, you can also tweet: "I want to #win a VeggiChop from @MichellePC and @MyMackey!" Just leave a second comment saying you did so. NNM will pick a winner this Sunday at 5pm EST.