Frugal Mom’s Guide to Entertaining
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Frugal Mom’s Guide to Entertaining

Posted on Wednesday, December 1st, 2010 at 4:55 am
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I know a lot of people who have been cutting back on their entertaining this year. This is a shame since getting together with friends and family is one of life’s joys. Plus, sometimes entertaining just can’t be avoided, such as when you have to throw that bash for work or for a family birthday.

Instead of cutting down on entertaining, why not use some frugal strategies to make your budget stretch? This way, you can entertain without breaking the bank.

Most entertaining requires food, drinks, decorations and home goods. Here are my favorite ways to save money in each area.

Food and Drinks

Take advantage of sales and combine them with coupons. You can use Sunday insert coupons or printable coupons. The nice thing about printable coupons is that often you can print out more than one copy, allowing you to get the larger quantities necessary for entertaining.

If the party allows for it, consider turning your bash into a pot luck. Ask guests to bring in a signature food or drink. Not only will you save on food, but you will all get to try everyone’s best creation or pick. This can be a lot of fun.

Around the holidays, grocery stores often offer vouchers for free whole turkey or party platters. Loyally shop at one store to earn enough points to receive the voucher.

Did you know that online grocery stores that offer home delivery also offer coupon codes? You can shop conveniently online and still get a discount. Peapod, Vons, Safeway and Genuardis are some of the stores that offer online grocery deals.

Decorations and Home Goods

To make your home ready for entertaining, you may need centerpieces, lighting, plates, serving platters, glasses, linens, appliances and more. These costs can really add up. To save money here, consider shopping online. You can compare costs and take advantage of coupon codes. There are a lot of free shipping or low shipping deals, too.

Consider doing some shopping at thrift stores, too. You can often find interesting glass vessels for flowers, slow cookers, other small appliances, and more. Look for extra white serving pieces that can coordinate with the dinnerware you already have. Get creative and clever with thrift store finds to create your own great style.

Frugal doesn’t have to be cheap or boring. You can do some fabulous entertaining and save money at the same time.

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.