The Best Way To Entertain on a Budget during Christmas

Live Well Diary Team

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entertain on a budget
Christmas is coming, and there might be a need to entertain on a budget because it might be your turn to host this year’s festive party.

Throwing a Christmas party can end up costing a penny if there is no plan or budget in place. In the climate, have a budget in place to effectively manage and reduce expenses. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to have fun during Christmas while keeping your wallet fat!

Here are some tips to entertain on a budget:

Try to do the cooking yourself.

Preparation is essential here. If intending to prepare a meal from scratch, ensure that it is given time to cook thoroughly. You don’t want guests sitting around waiting for dinner while still cooking or trying to figure out a recipe or how to use a meat thermometer.

It’s also cheaper since you’ll buy ingredients instead of pre-made food (often, those pre-made foods aren’t very healthy either).

Plus, if you’re making something at home instead of ordering takeout or going out for dinner, your food will taste better than theirs—because YOU made it!

Focus on one or two signature dishes.

You can’t throw a Christmas party without having a signature dish.

We don’t mean to imply that you must be the creator of all dishes. Having a couple of recipes that everyone recognises can generate excitement and encourage people to visit and try them. It doesn’t need to be extravagant or outlandish – maybe just something special to you.

If you don’t have a signature dish, get creative and make something new!

Entertain on a budget for a Christmas party

Utilise store brands when possible.

Create a shopping list. To cut costs, try using store brands for your ingredients. Sometimes these can be just as nice as the known branded products that you would usually purchase.

Use recipes with many ingredients you already have or can use in multiple dishes.

You can even utilise the ingredients in your pantry to create exciting recipes. I love this concept because it helps save money and gives the freedom to get creative with food choices without purchasing everything. For example, if there’s some chicken available, use that as inspiration for a meal of chicken tacos.

Only buy the ingredients that you need. I know it’s tempting, but if you aren’t going to use an ingredient within a reasonable timeframe (like using fresh basil in your next meal), don’t buy it! You’ll waste money and food.

Entertain on a budget by keeping it simple.

Make sure not to rely on recipes that require tons of ingredients.

Consider recipes like casseroles to make the most of your ingredients and avoid any leftovers going unused after dinner.

Also, don’t buy ingredients that you will never use again. Spices are perfect examples of this—they lose their potency after just a few months, so unless there’s something special about the spice (like those fancy-looking bottles of cinnamon), just skip them altogether!

cute Christmas gift

Set the scene

Set the mood. Focus on creating an inviting atmosphere using simple tricks like lighting or flowers.

Try placing candles around your house to create a warm glow, and set them in areas where they won’t burn anything down.

Flowers are an easy way to add colour and life into any space—even an empty room! Head to your florist. Pick up a bunch of flowers. Get creative by placing them in vases throughout your home or on the tables. You can also buy fake flowers if you want something more durable than real ones.

Music can set the tone at any event, so consider playing some soft instrumental music while guests arrive and eat dinner. This will help set an upbeat mood that makes people relax and enjoy themselves. Once dinner is over, though, switch to party mode by playing some festive tunes. You’ll want something that gets people dancing—maybe even some holiday classics.

Play games

Christmas is a time for generosity, so why not offer guests an opportunity to win something?

You can buy inexpensive games like Jenga or Twister or host a scavenger hunt. If you’re feeling adventurous, try hosting an indoor tournament of your favourite board game.

Games like charades, Pictionary, or something more traditional like Monopoly are great ways to get everyone involved in the festivities and have some laughs.

If you want something more modern and interactive, try Cards Against Humanity or Exploding Kittens.

Christmas Decor

Make Your Own Decorations

Don’t go overboard with decorating. This is the season of giving, so you shouldn’t spend all your money on decorations. Instead, try making your own.

Many DIY projects on Pinterest and YouTube show how you can make your house look festive without breaking the bank. Also, use things found around your home to create decorations that look like they cost a lot more than they did. You can use pine cones, old wine corks or cardboard boxes.

Gift giving

Secret Santa is an excellent idea for a Christmas party. It’s a great way to ensure everyone has a gift to open and share. The secret part is optional but adds a fun twist to the game.

Another gift-giving option is “The Gift Exchange Game.” It’s pretty simple: you draw names out of a hat or bowl, and then everyone gets a gift for the person whose name they pick. Then, each person can open one present until everyone has opened all their Christmas gifts.

Send your guests home with something special.

A small token of appreciation will ensure that your guests remember the party fondly.

Send them home with your signature Christmas cookies or brownies in an adorable custom tin this year. You can find many different tin styles at any craft store; all it takes is simple DIY skills or a quick trip to the craft store.

Create your gifts for everyone in your life. It’s more enjoyable to make than purchasing them. The added benefit is that you can give them the gift they want.

entertain on a budget - gift


Along with cooking and eating, gathering together to enjoy food and drink is one of life’s greatest pleasures, so finding a way to throw some parties during the holidays should be easy.

As this blog article demonstrates, it doesn’t need to be expensive. You can entertain on a budget. Just tap into your creativity, explore what you can find or borrow from loved ones, and make the most out of the resources you have.

Images Used

Photo by Kristina Paukshtite:

Photo by Brett Sayles:

Photo by Candis Hidalgo:

Photo by Amy T:

Photo by Olena Bohovyk:



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