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Holiday season is party season, and not even the economy canchange that. Nearly half of all American adults plan to entertainguests in their home this year, according to a survey by VeraQuest,an online research company.

The survey also revealed that Americans generally plan to spendless this holiday season. Fortunately, you don’t have to give upyour holiday entertaining plans in order to save money. Frugal andfabulous are the watchwords for this holiday season, and with a fewcreative ideas you can save money and still show your guests agreat time.

Start by setting a budget. Next categorize your party needs intothree simple segments: invitations, decorations and refreshments.Decide how much you can afford to spend on each category. Here aresome tips for saving money on every aspect of your holidayentertaining:


* Go paperless. Plenty of websites offer free onlineinvitations. Sending invitations over the Internet has manyadvantages. You won’t spend a dime on postage or printing. You’llbe doing something good for the environment by going paperless.And, your invitation will reach recipients much faster than if yousent it by post. In fact, some might even receive your invite ontheir smart phone as soon as you send it.

* If you crave the tradition of paper invitations, or will behosting less tech-savvy guests, you can save on paper invitationsby choosing flat fill-in cards that you write yourself. Discountdepartment stores often sell boxed sets that can be a stylish andaffordable option.


* Before you buy any decorations, take stock of what you alreadyhave. You may find items that will fit within your color scheme ortheme.

* Fresh flowers are acost-effective way to make your holiday decor vibrant and fresh.Websites like can help with centerpieces anddecorations that are budget-friendly and festive. As a fun bonus,consider offering the centerpiece from the dinner table as a doorprize for one lucky guest.

* Drop by your local Christmas tree lot and ask if they’ll giveyou some cuttings. You can collect this fresh greenery and easilymake your own garlands and wreaths with the addition of somebrightly colored bows and decorations.


* It’s tempting and easy to overspend on spirits. Instead ofguessing at how much you’ll need, use an online calculator, likethe one found at, to calculatejust how much alcohol you will need. That way you won’t overbuy andspend too much, or not buy enough and have to make an inconvenient(not to mention embarrassing) liquor run in the middle of thefestivities.

* Instead of a costly and time-consuming formal dinner affair,consider something informal, fun and cheaper. Serve an appetizerbuffet (many wholesale clubs now sell frozen appetizers that areperfectly yummy and low-cost) or host a dessert and coffeeparty.

It’s not difficult to host a great holiday party on a shoestringbudget. You can find more great floral and centerpiece ideas and plentyof party ideas at