Frugal Christmas Party Ideas
So it’s your turn to have the family over for Christmas lunch this year, or perhaps you got excited and invited all your friends and neighbours round for some festive fun before the big day? If money is a bit tight in your household at the moment – no problem! We’ve found 6 cost cutting ways to hold a great Christmas Party without busting the bank!
Hire a Party Boat
If you have a smaller work party (say under 12 people) – look at hiring a party boat! Some places (such as Noosa) have a fully catered lunch, entertainment and all the trimmings for three hours. A cheaper option than that is a Party Pontoon. These smaller style boats have a barbecue on them – so you can provide your own meat and salads, grab a fishing line and go out on the water!
Bowling Night with Dress Ups
Bowling with your work colleagues is hell fun. Throw in dress ups and you have an epic party that will be remembered for years. Bowling is family friendly, and because you are ‘playing a game’, gives the quieter workmates a chance to shine.
Most bowling alleys offer nibble platters and drink packages – and it makes for a fun and inexpensive night!
Pool Party Movie Night
Ring your local pool to see if you can hire the pool for a movie night! Put up the big screen (or most pools have one already!) – rent a great movie – and float around with your workmates! Pick up a couple of nibble platters from Woollies and you have a cheap and wonderfully relaxing night!
Book Tickets for the Races
I know of many companies that do this every year for their staff. Instead of a traditional Christmas Party, they buy their staff tickets for say the races or a Festival. The staff enjoy the day (they pay for their own food etc) and they enjoy the day out together. Collectively tickets to a function like this can save thousands of dollars in catering costs.
Hire a Camp Ground
Camp Grounds are very inexpensive, and if you can book one for a reasonable price, you can have an epic Staff Weekend. Get everyone to bring their families and their tents, their bathers and sunscreen and just have a beautifully relaxing getaway!
Book a Unique Restaurant for Dinner
Something like a German restaurant or the Pancake Manor. Somewhere that some might think is ‘tacky’, but in all seriousness, these places are the most epic fun, the food is cheap and plentiful and the atmosphere is perfect for a party!
Other fantastically frugal office party ideas include:
Hold a Trivia Night
Have a barbecue near the beach
Have a cocktail making class
Hold a Board Game Tournament at a Small Restaurant
Wine and Cheese Night (at the office)
Have a Hungi at the Boss’s house
Serve light refreshments at a local park or botanical gardens.
Organise an ‘Amazing Race’ Christmas Party
Drinks and Nibbles at a Small Brewery
Catering Yourself? Here’s how to keep the costs down!
Plan, Plan, Plan! Then Meal Plan.
When you’re catering for a big event like Christmas, it’s easy to get carried away and over cater which can lead to a big shopping bill at the start and possibly a lot of food wastage at the end.
So start off by designing a specific menu for the day. You will need to consider the number of guests attending, the time of day; whether it be lunch or dinner, how many courses you’re going to have and if you can realistically cook and store everything you have planned. Use our Christmas Meal Plans to get you started!
In the final week or two leading up to Christmas, there seems to be an inevitable steep rise in the price of your typical Christmas grocery items at the Supermarket.
A great way to get around this problem is to start shopping weeks (if not months) before Christmas week. Now that you have your menu clearly set in your mind, you can pay particular attention to the supermarket pamphlets and as things come on special you can purchase them and tick them off your list. This obviously won’t work for fresh food items, but things like Turkey (often frozen), the Ham, drinks, sweets, nibbles, serviettes etc can definitely be bought way in advance.
Wherever Possible Make Your Own
Any industry around a festival day sees the big companies trying to cash-in on our need for timing saving convenience- but don’t fall prey to this temptation as you’ll end up costing yourself a fortune.
Regarding the menu, try making everything from scratch including both the savory and sweet dishes. A homemade cake will cost a fraction of the store bought equivalent and probably taste a lot nicer as well!
As far as decorating your home in the Christmas Theme, this is a great area to get your kids involved. Supply them with basic colourful paper and stationery and then leave them get to work making things like streamers, cut out paper doll Santas, or make your own wrapping paper with brown paper or butchers paper and some crayons. We have loads of ideas for you in our Christmas section to make your own items for Christmas.
Ask For a Hand
If you find the task of creating a full menu on your own is a little too large to handle, try roping in one or two of your guests to bring a plate. They’d probably be quite happy to do that and it could take a big load off your stress levels and preparation time.
Think outside the box as well, can any of your guests source something needed for the party a lot cheaper than you can buy it? Is someone a butcher or member of a store that can allow you to buy bulk items on the cheap?
Nobody minds bringing a plate to a ‘pot luck’ style event. After all Christmas is the season for giving and sharing!
You don’t have to spend a fortune having every stereo, television and light on in the house to entertain the different groups within your Christmas Party.
It would be much cheaper and probably a lot more fun to organise some games and activities that can pull everyone together. Some great ideas in which everyone can get involved are playing footy or cricket, twister, a pool party is always a winner (if you have a pool!), snap or scrabble can be a lot of fun after a big meal when everyone’s feeling happy and way too full!
Gifts for Staff
The key to cost-effective gift buying is to again have your list decided upon well in advance so that you can take advantage of sales well before the beginning of the official Christmas shopping period.
For inspiration, start taking note of what your gift recipients are interested in at the moment and take note of anything specific they might mention they would like to have- then keep an eye out for when it (hopefully) goes on sale and buy it!
Christmas can also be a great time to give regifting a go.