3 Tips for Holiday Entertaining on a Budget

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… and also one of the busiest and most costly. There are gifts to wrap and buy, holiday cookies to bake and give away, parties to attend and throw.

With the charges on our credit cards adding up this season, we wanted to know—is it possible to throw a memorable holiday party without breaking the bank?

That’s where Lynn Guggemos comes in. As the owner of the award-winning We Cater To You, Lynn has 25 years of extensive experience catering upscale events, from simple to elegant. She recently gave us her top three tips for fabulous entertaining on a shoestring budget.

#3: The Invites


You don’t have to send custom invitations on expensive stationary. If you’re having a casual event, consider an email invitation using a free online service (like Evite or Punchbowl) or use a social media site.

#2: The Menu


Simple and comfort are back. Ten appetizers or a six-course meal are not required to make your guests happy. Stick with a few crowd favorite dishes and drinks for your friends to nibble on while they mingle throughout the evening.

Need some ideas? Check out a few of Lynn’s favorite recipes at the bottom of this post, and click to download!

#1: The Party


Think outside the box when it comes to the different types of parties you want to throw.

Potluck party

Keep it casual and invite your friends over for a potluck, where everyone brings a dish to share. You would be responsible for the main food item, something that feeds a lot of people for a little money, such as a roasted turkey or a steaming crockpot of chili. Have assignments for drinks, salads, rolls, desserts, etc.

Intimate dinner party

You don’t need to invite the entire neighborhood to have a great party. Invite a handful of your closest friends for a dinner party, a great way to go elegant on a small budget. And you can even share hosting duties (and costs) with a friend to lighten your load.

Open house

It can be difficult to host a party when you live in an apartment, condo, or small home. But you needn’t rent out the reception hall at a hotel. Invite guests to an open house spanning a couple of hours. That way, you can celebrate with all of your friends and family without too much crowding. Serve up drinks and simple appetizers.

And always, always ask for help.

Take friends and family up on their offers to bring something. As the host/hostess, you should always provide the main dish, but if they want to bring a salad or a side dish, let them! The more, the merrier! Just be sure that if a particular guest doesn’t show up at the last minute, your menu will be fine without their contribution.

Need more help than family or friends can offer? Contact Lynn at 612-315-2981 or lynn.guggemos@wecatertoyou-mn.com to help with your event needs!

Lynn’s Favorite Recipes


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