Ever since Matt and I moved into our new place, I’ve been obsessed with entertaining. Honestly, our place feels like a revolving door – friends are constantly in and out and I love it. We’ve hosted brunches, dinners, movie nights, and more, and I’m always on the hunt for new things to do to make our home “the” place to be (is it just me, or does going out get old with age?). I don’t mean to sound like a downer, but it requires so much effort!
But while I absolutely love to host, it can get pretty expensive doing it all yourself, which is why I’ve put together a list of tips that make it easy to entertain on a budget.
Read on for the ways I make entertaining fun, beautiful, and budget friendly, too.
Home Entertaining on a Budget
Make it a Potluck
Matt and I actually enjoy cooking a lot, but it’s not easy when the house is packed with friends. And prepping a meal that features different courses can get tiring. We’ll often invite friends over and ask everyone to bring their favorite dish. If you feel weird about asking people to pitch in (I used to), don’t! People are always happy to be invited over. Also, when they are, most immediately ask what they can bring and how they can help. Take them up on it!
Stock the Freezer
When we host a movie night or just have friends over to hang, I always want to have stuff for our friends to snack on (although we rely on Postmates on the reg, too). But instead of whipping up homemade apps while everyone’s on the couch (or before they all arrive), I recently started keeping a bunch of my favorite Trader Joe’s bites in the freezer. I love being able to run to the freezer as guests arrive and just pop some apps in the oven. No fuss and no mess. Nothing better.
When I’m hosting a nice dinner, I’ll often run to the farmer’s market to grab some seasonal, local flowers to arrange in vases or mason jars that I already have at home. Placing a few around the dining table really brightens things up. Especially if you fill the gaps with some simple glass votive candles.
Use Pieces from your Space
When planning a party in your living room, “borrowing” pieces like pillows and accessories from other rooms in your home to liven up the space is a great option. If you’re hosting an outdoor party and need extra seating, simply grab some side tables, chairs, and pillows from your space and use them outdoors. Just be sure to clean them off before bringing them inside and make sure they’re covered if the weather’s bad.
Turn Up the Music
For me, music is one of the most important components of a party. In fact, when I was planning my wedding, the DJ was one of the things I cared about most. But while a DJ is obviously an amazing luxury, having one at every get-together isn’t always practical or affordable. Matt and I love putting together playlists for road trips, summer days, lazy days, parties etc – putting these together on Apple Music or Spotify is super easy to do. When we have guests over, we simply put on a playlist for the occasion to set the tone for the night. Free and easy – nothing better.
Decorating with food can save a ton of money, especially if you use the food in lieu of other décor. This is something that I am trying to get better at but using charcuterie boards to your advantage decor wise with cutting colorful fruits up and layering the items on the board can add a statement to your night.
Do you have any budget-friendly entertaining tips? Share them with me in the comment section below!