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It’s almost Christmas, and if you’re anything like me, one of your favorite parts of the holidays is entertaining! I look forward to filling my home with laughter and love from friends and family, but I don’t want to break the bank! I’m teaming up with Kraft to show you how to handle your Holiday Entertaining on a Budget, plus I’ve got a free printable for you!
This time of year, it’s fun to celebrate the holidays with Favorite Things parties, cookie exchange parties, gift swaps, etc. but if you’re not careful, you could easily blow your budget on decorations and food. I’ve got a few tips to help you entertain while keeping your budget in check.
5 Tips for Holiday Entertaining on a Budget
1. Go digital with the invitations: Social media comes in handy when it comes to saving money on your party planning. Invite your friends and family using an electronic invitation. Plus, you can easily keep track of RSVPs!
2. Plan in between regular meal times: If you plan to host a holiday get-together, try to schedule it for mid-afternoon, after most folks have had lunch but before dinner. This means you only have to serve snacks, rather than a full meal, saving you money!
3. Use neutral or non-holiday items in your decor: Brown kraft paper, burlap, and other materials are great for any kind of party and can be customized for your Christmas party. Rather than buying a separate table runner and dishes for each holiday, keep a roll of brown kraft paper on hand to create a table runner or personalized placemats. A piece of burlap fabric can be dressed up for any occasion. Plain white plates instantly become Christmas-y when placed on a gold or red charger. The options are endless, so don’t feel the need to make all of your decorations holiday-specific.
4. Take advantage of freebies found online: I’ve got some really cute FREE printables for you today, and there are tons more out there online. A quick search on Pinterest can take care of your entire party, from gift tags to frame-able pictures and more!
5. Be creative with what you have: Shop your home first for items that can be used to hold snacks, silverware, and napkins, as well as creative decor. Having a cookie swap? Pull out your cookie cutters and decorate the table with them! A cake stand doesn’t have to hold a cake – elevate a pitcher filled with an icy beverage, stack cookies, or display a gingerbread house. Use champagne flutes to hold smaller snacks, like Planter’s peanuts and chocolate candies. Have fun and be creative with what’s already in your home.
It’s also nice to send your guests home with a little treat, like Sweet & Salty Bark gifted in decorative mason jars! Let me show you how to make it – it’s so easy and super scrumptious! I found this recipe in the latest issue of Kraft Food & Family – LOVE that magazine!
Gather your ingredients:
* 6 oz. Baker’s White Chocolate squares
*6 oz. Baker’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate squares
* 1/3 cup Planter’s dry roasted peanuts
* 1 cup pretzels
You can pick up all of your ingredients at Wal-mart. My local Wal-mart made it so easy. There was a HUGE rack of all of my baking goods right in the center of the grocery section. Talk about one-stop-shop!
Here’s how you make the Sweet & Salty Bark:
Add both the white and semi-sweet chocolate squares into a microwaveable bowl and heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Chop the peanuts and pretzels and add them to the chocolate, stirring to combine.
Line a baking sheet with waxed paper, pour the mixture onto the baking sheet, and spread.
Pop it in the fridge for about an hour, until firm.
In the meantime, let’s make the mason jars to hold the Sweet & Salty Bark.
Click the image below to download and print your own sheet of Mason Jar Lid Printables. Use your mason jar lid as a template to draw a circle around the design, then cut it out and attach to the mason jar lid. I’ve left a few with only the design so you can write your own message.
Now let’s package those treats!
After about an hour, take your baking sheet out of the fridge and break the Sweet & Salty Bark into chunks that will fit inside a mason jar. Simply fill each decorated mason jar with bark and you’ve got a delicious gift for your guests!
Add ribbon or baker’s twine to add a bit of flair to your jars, too!
If you need more inspiration, check out the Cooking Up Good website. It has recipes, sweepstakes, loyalty programs, coupons and more! What’s not to love? If you’re looking for a new dinner idea or a chance to win some awesome prizes, be sure to check it out!