Frugal Holiday Entertaining

This is the first post in our frugal holiday series. Saving money during the holidays is no small feat and anyone who manages to accomplish it should be praised and envied. Our frugal holiday series is going to focus on saving money in three areas:

  • Frugal Holiday Entertaining
  • Serving Holiday Food Frugally
  • Frugal Gift Buying

Today we are kicking off the series with some tips about saving money while entertaining guests. Whether you are entertaining friends and family members for several days in your home or having them over for a simple dinner, there are a lot of expensive traps that you can avoid. Here are just a few tips to keep your guests comfortable and your wallet heavy.

Entertaining Dinner Guests

1. Natural table setting: It’s easy to get drawn into the expensive table setting trap when you are decorating for a holiday dinner. Instead of buying special gold plates, expensive table linens and fancy napkin rings, invest in plain white linens and plates that you can use for any occasion. Then, use Christmas ornaments, ribbons, decorative leaves and other simple, inexpensive items to decorate your table for the holiday at hand.

2. Drinking for one: When Uncle Charlie likes scotch, Cousin Rita enjoys vodka and Mom and Dad like their gin you could be facing a hefty bill at the liquor store. Instead of trying to indulge in everyone’s favorite drink, just create one holiday themed mixed drink for everyone to enjoy. You can find many alcoholic mixed drink recipes online. Not only will this simplify your hosting duties, but it will allow you to buy just one kind of liquor.

Entertaining Houseguests

1. Climate control: If you live frugally, it is likely that you keep your thermostat at a certain money saving, yet comfortable temperature for every season. When you have houseguests they may no be quite as comfortable with your temperature setting. Instead of heating or cooling the whole house to their specifications, simply make sure there is an electric blanket and a fan in the room they’ll be sleeping in. That way, they can heat or cool their area while they sleep with minimal added expense.

2. Have breakfast in: When you have guests it’s easy to get distracted by thoughts of gourmet coffee houses and breakfasts out, but it is much cheaper to make everything at home. Before your guests arrive, buy some of the coffee grounds sold at your local gourmet coffee shop. Get a couple of recipes for easy breakfast casseroles and cinnamon buns and help your guests enjoy a delicious and inexpensive breakfast at home.

3. Entertainment: If you leave entertainment to the last minute, you may end up spending a great deal of time at the local tourist traps. This can result in a lot of money spent on useless items that are highly marked up. Instead, get ready for your houseguests by borrowing board games from a friend or coworker. You can also get some movies that you all enjoy or, if the guests are family, get your home movies and photo albums out of storage.

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Author Info

This post was written by Yolander Prinzel. Yolander is a financial writer as well as a series 7, 66 and 2-15 licensed representative. During her decade of financial industry experience she has been an insurance agency director of marketing and director of operations, a life insurance underwriter, and a trading service specialist for Raymond James Financial Services. She was a featured speaker at the 2006 Hartford National Sales Conference and the 2006 Brookstreet Securities Annual Conference. Check out her portfolio at

2 Responses to “Frugal Holiday Entertaining”

  1. Breanna Geyser |  Dec 01, 2009 at 8:50 am

    These are some good tips. I had guests for two weeks recently and they all just left thank god. It can definitely add up especially at the liquor store and going out for food. I try to stick to easy-to-prepare family foods like batter blaster pancakes from a spray bottle for breakfast (fast, minimal clean up), pastas and hearty soups.

  2. Yo Prinzel |  Dec 04, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    That is a great point Breanna! It’s not worth saving money if all your frugality causes you to miss out on time with loved ones as you slave away in the kitchen so fast with minimal clean up is key.