Hosting a holiday gathering can be expensive but there are ways to do it without spending all your silver and gold. When it comes to food, rather than bite off more than your budget can handle, ask guests to bring something.
"People really love to make a dish and share it with others and so a potluck is a way to keep your cost way down," says Trae Bodge, a smart shopping expert at Gift Card Granny.
Another idea is to buy in bulk. Bodge says hitting a big box store can save you 40 percent on some of your party staples.
"Crackers, your snacks, things that you're really going to go through. It's a really good way to keep your costs low," Bodge says.
Buying in bulk also works with wine, especially if you are planning to stick with the standard rule of thumb of having roughly one bottle per guest.
"If you find a bottle that you really like, buy a case of it," says Gillian Sciaretta, tasting coordinator at Wine Spectator Magazine. "You know, buying in quantity can help you save over all."
Also, Sciaretta says wine doesn't need to be expensive to be good. The magazine's free X Values app can help you find a red or a white without spending too much green.
"You can break it down by reds under 20 dollars, whites under 20 dollars and sparking under 40. And even further we have our extreme values which are wines that are under 12 dollars," Sciaretta says.
Bodge says wine also makes a great hostess gift, and as do gift cards and homemade treats - a great way to cover everyone on your list.
"If you can make something sweet at home - I make my own granola for instance, I bake my own cookies - and then you package them up in a fun little gift box with a bow and it makes a great gift for that teacher, for that bus driver," Bodge says.
As for decking the halls, she suggests neutral colors like silver and gold that can be reused any time of the year. And if you plan to make this gathering an annual tradition, she says take advantage of post-holiday sales and stock up on decor for next year.
"Stores are going to be looking to clear that merchandise to bring in the new spring merchandise so you can get very, very deep discounts and then just store it away for next year," Bodge says.