"Friendsgiving" 2016 - Holiday Hosting on a Budget

If you’re anything like me, every holiday season spurs on a wave of excitement for endless opportunities to host.  To decorate.  To give.  To plan.  To commune.   There aren’t enough “to’s” to even cover all that us creative and festive folk can achieve in just one month of the year.  Most of us know the struggle, though, when it comes time to host a party or plan a dinner – that endless flood of creative ideas quickly curbed by the limits of a tight budget. But who says you can’t have both?  Our mantra at Inspired Help has become “make it work”.  So make your vision work for your budget.  It’s 100% possible.

A couple weeks ago, Brittany hosted her very first “Friendsgiving” with 15+ guests for – believe it or not - under $50. That’s right. I will also personally attest that there was absolutely no elegance and creativity compromised by that dollar value.  It was truly one of the most charming thanksgiving dinners I have ever attended.  If you’re in need of some thrifty inspiration for your holiday ambitions, here’s exactly how she did it!

First off, let’s just take a moment to take in this table set.  Believe it or not, Brittany used Kraft paper for the table runner.  Buying a huge spool of it can be so worth it in the long run and is useful for other things as well, such as gift wrapping, bundling bouquets, or creating banners.  A small spool of it typically runs around $3.00-$5.00 at any paper store. 

The greenery is simply a bundle of eucalyptus – about $12.00 from Nashville’s Import Flowers.  One bundle was able to cover the length of a 12+ foot table. 

As for the candles, Brittany was able to reuse a dozen or so that she had on hand.  Originally, these LEDs were purchased immediately after Christmas during the post-holiday markdowns.  Searching through clearance and sale-item sections is worth it to find ridiculous deals for high quality and reusable pieces like these. 

The festive plates and napkins came from Hobby Lobby and were purchased two days before Thanksgiving.  At this point, holiday items were marked down 80% leaving a whopping grand total of $10 for two packs of 20 plates, two of 50 count napkins and one additional 25 count.  The glasses pictured came from a Dollar Tree at $1.00 each!  For reference, the same styled golden-rimmed glasses are also available at Anthropologie for $18 a piece. 

Some of my favorite Brittany-DIYs of the night were these lovely “What I am Thankful for” bags.  If you caught us on Instagram two Wednesdays ago, Brittany featured a tutorial on how to make them!  If you missed it, the only supplies involved are brown paper sacks from Kroger ($2.00-$4.00), patterned washi tape from Hobby Lobby ($3.00), and a printer.  She simply trimmed the lunch bags two thirds of the way down, then sealed the bottom opening with washi tape to create a beautiful pouch for the silverware.  The leftover lunch sack bottoms were then used as favor bags filled with slow-cooker roasted pecans.  This was both a sweet gift to guests and a simple way to make the home smell like a cozy November. 

Lastly, Brittany had guests each bring a savory dish, sweet dish, or a beverage to cover the meal.  With a little winter jazz thrown into the mix and sweet additional touches here and there (how cute is that chalkboard sign?!), it was such a beautiful night.  And yes, we managed to fit all of that food on the table as well.  Amazing.

Planning and creating on a budget takes a little work sometimes.  It may require some deal searching, repurposing, and coupon hunting.  But it’s so worth it when your guests are raving over how gorgeous everything turned out (and you’re not in the hole over it, either!).  Be inspired this holiday season, and let your creativity do what it does best.  Through it, others will be blessed.  Enjoy the holidays, sweet friends!


Images by: Gabriella Alvarez - @gabbaliciousness_