How to Save Money on Summer Entertaining

Wednesday, July 26, 2023


Summer is the best time to host a get together mostly because you can hang around outside so you don't need to clean your home from top to bottom inside.  The problem is, if you don't plan even the smallest of get togethers correctly, you may end up spending more money than you needed to.  Here are 8 simple tips to save money on summer entertaining when you're the host.

The Dollar Store is your best friend. 
There are so many things you can get at a dollar store nearest you.  Whether it's decorations for a party, serving ware, or food, you really need to shop there first before going anywhere else.   I've decorated for parties using nothing but supplies from the dollar store.  All of my giant bowls that I use at parties come from the dollar store (plus if I bring them to someone's house and accidentally forget it there, it's okay because it was only $1!).  

Ask guests to contribute. 
Whether it's bringing napkins or a side dish, the best thing you can do to save money when you have people over for a cookout is to ask them to bring something.  I always tell the host to focus on the main course.  So if you want to grill burgers - then you buy the burgers and buns.  You can ask people to bring cheap side dishes like pasta, potato salad, chips, and desserts. 

Timing is everything. 
If you don't want to feed people a full course meal, consider an afternoon party.  You can do lunch or an hour or so after lunch so that your food can be on the lighter side.  When you do something for dinner, people tend to think of A LOT of food.  But when you hold it at an earlier time, finger foods are way more appropriate. 

Buy in bulk. 
Head to your local bulk grocery store to stock up on the things you'll need most like buns and burgers, paper plates and napkins, and even desserts.

Make a contest out of it. 
Ask your guests to bring a themed side dish or dessert, or just tell them it's going to be a contest for what tastes the best.   This really gets people involved with making a decent dish to bring along. 

Asking guests to bring their own alcohol is a great way to save money.  The problem with providing the booze yourself is that you don't know what everyone would like so you probably tend to buy a little bit of everything.  I always ask people to bring their brew of choice and I let them know that I'll provide the wine, since we always have that in our home anyways. 

Use what you've got for decor. 
If your party can be outdoors, you can make flower arrangements for the tables out of your own flower garden.  If you have potted plants, set those on the patio.  

Keep it simple.
99% of the time we go all out when we don't really have to.  People come over for your company, not because they care if your party decorations are the best they've seen so far.  Most of the time, you can throw together an impromptu gathering with food and the supplies you already own.  Keep your head count small and you won't have to stress out. 

How do you save money when you host in the Summer? 

8 Simple Tips to Save Money on Summer Entertaining

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