As the pandemic wanes, we are grateful to start celebrating at home with friends and family again. But, it’s going to cost us more. Supply shortages and inflation are increasing food prices, making gatherings with family and friends more expensive.
To help you plan and save, here are 7 ways to stretch your budget for any seasonal holiday or celebration at home.
Share the Menu
Plan to make the main dish and have your guests bring a side or dessert. This can be a way to invite everyone to bring a smaller and favorite item, and also help spread the cost of the entire meal out a bit.
Shop at Low-Priced Stores
Look in your neighborhood for stores with surprisingly low prices. They may include Aldi, Lidl, Food Lion, Walmart and more. You may pay more at Publix and other major grocery chains. Planning to buy staple items at these lower-priced stores will save you money.
Host an Appetizer Party
This option can reduce the amount of food and the associated costs. Cooking and baking a full-scale main course with sides and desserts will be more expensive this year. Appetizers, though, can be made in smaller portions, giving your guests more to choose from, and it can help stretch your budget.
Plan to Rotate Holidays
The goal here is to help spread the cost of consecutive gatherings across a friend group or family. Between birthdays and seasonal holidays, celebrations can come at a steady clip. When someone chooses a holiday, another person would choose the next event, and so on. That way, one person doesn’t have to host two major holidays or celebrations in a row!
Make or Freeze Meals in Advance
Doing this can help spread out the cost of groceries. Buying and making meals this way can also help you take advantage of sales and break the cost of the entire meal into manageable pieces over time.
Be Flexible with Purchases
Many experts are cautioning us about likely product shortages, including certain food items, like canned pumpkin. When you see pantry items or frozen items in the store (and on sale), pick them up now for use at a later date. You can adjust your spending plan for that month to accommodate the purchases, as needed.
Focus on Family and Friends
Food is the centerpiece of many gatherings, but we also need to remember that creating memories is just as important. Sharing a good meal with those we care about is how many of us celebrate life. We must all remember that spending time with each other is most important of all.
Welcome back to gathering with friends and family for birthdays, holidays, or just-because days. It’s time! Planning your meals with these strategies can help you save more money, spend better, and plan more get-togethers!
Disclaimer: You + Money posts are provided for informational purposes only and not intended to replace the advice of a financial, legal or accounting advisor.