Holiday Entertaining on A Budget


What could be better than ideas for holiday entertaining on a budget?

Hosting friends and family for holiday parties can be a good time but also stressful especially when you are on a budget.

photo of a charcuterie table with cheese, crackers, nuts, olive, shrimp and more to entertain on a budget

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Welcome to the first Fabulous Friday Link Party Blog Hop. The Fabulous Friday Link Party is a place for bloggers to link their best posts every Friday and potentially get featured the following week. The Link Party has now extended its presence to some bloggers who link up regularly.

Today the 6 Hosts and 6 Talented Bloggers are launching their 1st Fabulous Friday Blog Hop. Follow along to see all of the amazing Christmas Entertaining Inspiration. All the links to the Hosts and their Featured Blogger Friends are at the end of the blog.

Casual Holiday Entertaining

The part I love about casual holiday celebrations is the ease of the food prep and being comfortable and relaxed at your own event. It’s the most stress-free way to entertain.

When there is less fuss and you don’t have to get all dressed up, it’s just easier!

An easy way to have a good time during the holiday season is to plan ahead. Whether it’s a get-together with friends or a holiday tradition with family members, there are many inexpensive ways to have a great time on a limited budget.

For even more great tips you can read my four-part series Entertaining with Ease HERE.

Planning a Casual Holiday Event

All the things to make sandwiches on the dining room table
  • The first step is to set a Holiday Party Budget
  • Pick a Date
  • Pick a Party Theme
    • Football Viewing Party
    • Ice Skating Party
    • Ugly Christmas Sweater Party
    • Cookie Party Exchange
    • Christmas Movie Night (Christmas Vacation, Home Alone)
    • White Elephant Gift Exchange
    • Support your local food pantry party
    • Tree Decorating Party
    • Virtual Holiday Party with out-of-town family and/or friends
  • Put your guest list together and send out e-vites
  • Plan your menu
    • Keep your party food simple
  • Keep your drinks simple too
    • Beer, wine, soft drinks, and water.
    • If you want to have one signature drink, you can find my holiday cocktail ideas HERE and you can find affordable clean wines HERE.
Sample Casual Holiday Party Menu

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I’m a big fan of Aldi. Grocery shopping for most of your food at Aldi is a great way to save money.

Your money goes a long way at Aldi. When shopping for finger foods and charcuterie board items, you can’t beat their prices.

You also can’t go wrong with flowers from Trader Joe’s. While certainly not necessary, if you want some fresh flowers TJs is an inexpensive way to have them without breaking your holiday budget.

If you decide on a pot-luck type party, you provide the main course and then ask everyone attending to bring a dish. It’s Ok to assign things so that your menu works.

This is a fun way to get together with friends when you are on a limited budget. It’s also a way that you can serve full meals without absorbing all of the cost.

S'More Charcuterie Board for holiday entertaining on a budget

Other Party Saving Ideas

Your local dollar store can be a great source for so many things. I find paper plates, party favors, holiday decorations, and affordable wine glasses all at the Dollar Tree.

When it comes to holiday gift giving, for our extended family we have a time-honored tradition of a budget-friendly game of secret Santa.

Last Minute Details before the Party

  • Keep your cleaning simple. Make sure everything is picked up and run a duster over surfaces. Use the Swiffer or vacuum to clean up the floors. Spot-clean your bathrooms and you are ready to go! People are there to have a good time, not to inspect your baseboards!
  • Pick out a cute casual outfit that you can throw on before guests arrive.
  • The key to easy entertaining is to be organized and prepared ahead of time!
beer old fashioned with candle and amber bottle
This Beer Infused Old-Fashioned will be perfect for a holiday football party
football game on frame TV over holiday mantel for a football party. An idea for holiday entertaining on a budget

Our Samsung Frame TV is going to be great for a casual holiday football party or holiday movie night.

Become a Friend of Living Large in a Small House and you will have access to my FREE Holiday Organizing Guide. My 9-page guide includes a holiday budget tracker.

sandwich board table for a casual holiday party

With a little planning, you can have a fabulous party without going over your spending limit.

Thanks for visiting Living Large in a Small House. Don’t forget to visit the other amazing bloggers who are sharing their holiday entertaining ideas.

Peace and Love,

If you’re looking for more Holiday Budget ideas you can find them HERE

A great way to remember this article is to save it on one of your Pinterest boards. You can find the pin button in the top right corner of the photo below. Also, don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest

Budget-Friendly Entertaining

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  1. Great holiday entertaining tips Lynn! I love your charcuterie boards!!! Can you believe I’ve never shopped at Aldi, I think I need to, you convinced me!!!

    1. Oh My Goodness! You have to try Aldi. They don’t have everything but I start there and then fill in what I couldn’t find at my local grocery store. My bill for Aldi is always 1/2 of what it would have cost me at any other store. Their cheeses are amazing and so reasonable.

  2. So many great ideas, Lynn! Thank you for sharing all your tips! Thank you for including me in this very special hop today!

    1. We were honored to have you!

  3. These entertaining ideas are fabulous, Lynn, thanks so much for sharing them! We’re hosting a very small gathering for the first time this year. After spending years surrounded by 100+ family members each Thanksgiving, it’s going to be such a different experience but this makes me excited we’ll be able to pull it off. Thanks so much for putting this hop together and for inviting me to be a part of it. Big hugs, CoCo

    1. Small intimate gatherings are my absolute favorite. It doesn’t have to be very fussy and then you get to really interact with your company.

  4. Hi Lynn. Loved this post and pinned. I was just curious though. You had a photo of a guilded framed TV. How did you do that? I love it. I would love to do that with my TV. I clicked on the link thinking it was a choice, but I didn’t notice it. Thank you 🙂 Cindy

    1. Hi Cindy –

      The TV Frame is a DIY project. I went to my local frame store and picked out two frames and a filler so it’s actually three pieces. I ordered it in lengths and then cut it with a miter saw and used wood glue and clamped it into place. I was worried because the frame covers the sensor at the bottom corner of the TV but it doesn’t seem to be a problem.

  5. Lynn,
    These budget-friendly ideas are great. I certainly take advantage of Dollar Tree for plates, etc. I made note of several other tips to remember. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Rachel –
      I love the Dollar Tree – there are so many fun things that you can find there.

  6. All of our holiday gatherings this year will be casual! It’s important, especially this time of year, to watch our budget! Thanks for sharing all your tips! Wishing you happy holidays!

    1. Christmas gets so out of hand sometimes if you’re not mindful of it. People don’t care. They just want to have a fun time.

  7. This is a fantastic post, Lynn! So often, I think we talk ourselves out of entertaining because we think it needs to be over the top. You have so many great suggestions that show entertaining can be simple, inexpensive and still beautiful, welcoming, and impactful! I think I need to invite some friends over this weekend. Wish you live closer…I would invite you! ~Missy

    1. I wasn’t planning on having anything this year because we are going to Dallas for Christmas but I was thinking the same thing yesterday, I’ve decorated this whole house, I might just invite a few friends for an impromptu get-together.

  8. What great tips you give Lynn on how to throw a party on a budget. The expenses can really get out of hand, so I like the idea of setting a budget for the event.

    1. It can get out of hand and I’m guilty of that. I need to focus on that it’s just fun to get together with friends and family.

  9. Lynn, what a great post! I love all of your casual holiday party ideas and tips!! There are so many fun ways to get together and celebrate with friends and family!

    1. It really is about the people and enjoying the times together isn’t it.

  10. Love all these tips and everything looks amazing!!! That cocktail looks so moody, I just want to jump in the photo and hear what music you have playing and see what is going on! Haha!!!