1. Use drink dispensers
Besides being cost effective, using a big drink dispenser will save you tons of time preparing cocktails. Instead of creating individual drinks and serving them to each guest, make an extra large portion of your favorite cocktail or kiddy cocktail and pour it in the dispenser for guests to refill at their leisure. Buying the ingredients for just one cocktail will save money, and it’s likely that you won’t waste any items afterwards. Because the dispensers are reusable, one purchase will serve your party needs for years to come. Retailers like Bed Bath and Beyond and Classic Hostess have great deals on stylish dispensers.
2. Save money with cheap wine glasses
With large gatherings, there is no reason to spend money on an item that could very well end up broken anyway. Plastic wine glasses are always an option, but there are other cheap choices if you prefer glass for your guests. Ikea sells packs of 6 wine glasses at low prices, and local dollar stores often sell them for cheap as well.
3. Use mason jars for everything
Using mason jars as décor or as glasses is not only trendy right now, but also super cheap. They cost only $1 at dollar stores, and can be used for cocktails and other drinks, as vases, or to hold tiny tea lights as a centerpiece. There are also countless tutorials on Pinterest that show how to use mason jars as lamps, in recipes, or as organizational tools, so they are extremely easy to reuse in daily life.
4. Don’t splurge on the food
It can be tempting during a party to show off your cooking skills to friends with elaborate meals and premade menus, but it can also be extremely costly. Instead of providing a fancy meal, a variety of simple appetizers, chips, and dips can suffice. Rachael Ray recommends serving breads and other carbs to fill guests up and keep them satisfied. Dips like creamy Greek feta with bread, chips, or veggies are sure to keep guests happy, and cost under $1 per serving.
5. Keep the drinks simple
Unless mixology is your calling, it’s likely you won’t have grenadine, soda water, tonic water, endless fruit garnish, and other drink staples on hand – and won’t want to pay for all of them. Instead, try a simple recipe like Blueberry Hard Lemonade for your guests. Don’t buy the most expensive wine either. Instead, put inexpensive wine in a cheap carafe, and your friends will never know the difference.