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Holiday Entertaining on a Budget
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Mars
Financial Expert
Posted December 19, 2018
While we all look forward to holiday celebrations, the costs associated with them can certainly add up and put a damper on the festivities. Thankfully, we have a few tips to help you celebrate the holidays without breaking the bank.
Raise the (food) bar
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Instead of everyone bringing a separate dish, bring the pieces to create a cohesive food bar. Potlucks are tried and true, but having each guest bring a separate dish can sometimes be time consuming and expensive for your guests. Instead, consider asking each person to bring one ingredient to create an inexpensive, yet expansive food bar. Possible options include tacos, baked potatoes, waffles, paninis, and anything else you can imagine.
Borrow it
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Don’t go out of your way to purchase an item that you may only use once. If you find you’re in need of extra table space, don’t be afraid to ask your guests to see if they already have a spare table they could bring. This can apply to entertainment options as well. Have guests bring their board games, movies, and any other activities they’d like. Most guests will be happy to share!
Presence as a present
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Buying presents for everyone or providing gift bags is one of the quickest ways to bust a budget. Instead, opt to do a Secret Santa or White Elephant gift exchange, play a gift swap game, or make it known that presents are not allowed or necessary - their presence is a present after all!
Day-after discounts
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Get ready for next year by purchasing décor right after the holidays that has been put on clearance. Alternatively, decorate with items that can be used year round or easily modified for a specific season such as a door wreath.
Scent sense
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A quick and simple way to elevate any holiday is to ensure it smells great. It sounds trivial, but providing a pleasantly scented environment an effortless way to put your guests at ease and make them feel at home. Additionally, the sense of smell is closely linked with memory, so your guests may even begin to associate those scents with the wonderful time they had at your holiday celebration. 
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