New Year party on a budget!

Do you want to party like it’s 1999 prices?

Christmas party on a budget - A-Plan Insurance

The good news is that, this year, supermarkets continue to battle it out in terms of deals and prices. While brand names will always remain more costly than value brands, switching even just for party season could make your New Year party a lot more affordable. Or if you’re a savvy Clubcard or Nectar points pro, scan your card and get zapping to see which discounts suit your pocket the most – after all, nobody want to wake up with a financial hangover.

Here’s a few more ways you can cut some corners and save some money off your Christmas party shopping bill.

Seek out your vouchers and discounts

Savings, saving, savings – who doesn’t love to save money on their food shop! You never know, maybe you have some secret discounts hidden away that you’ve completely forgotten about.

Sometimes stashed in the back of your wallet, sat in your email inbox, or hidden away with your receipts, money-saving vouchers earned from previous shops can help lower the price of your Christmas and New Year haul.

Are you signed up to discount schemes such as Tesco’s Clubcard or Sainsbury’s Nectar card? Things have changed, and those with loyalty cards are now rewarded with lower prices at the tills, as opposed to waiting on vouchers. One easy way to find out how low you can go, is by scanning your loyalty card with a ‘zapper’, which will show you the discounted prices as you go, tallying up your total before you even get to the till.

It’s also worth checking Tesco’s online Clubcard portal to see if you have some reclaimable vouchers which you may have forgotten about. You may be pleasantly surprised!

And don’t forget those discount clubs!

With a motto of “Helping those who help others by making their lives easier and making their money go further”, offers a number of savings solutions worth considering if you are a professional or at-home carer, whether still active, or retired. Unlike many cashback schemes, the qualifying retailers are your regular supermarkets and chemists, including Asda, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Argos, Clarks, Wilko, B&Q and Boots to name a few. You could view the full list here. If you work in social care, the NHS, or any other frontline service, don’t forget to use your Blue Light card to obtain some last-minute discounts.

Less can mean more

Forking out for the biggest brands in retail is not always necessary. It is so easy nowadays to ‘Google it’ and explore some price comparison options, saving you a bit of cash here and there – and the savings all add up. You can pick and choose from different retail brands to ensure you get the best prices for each product to suit your budget.

Also, what your guests don’t know won’t hurt them! Swap the Doritos for the cheaper tortilla chips, change the Coca-Cola for a value soft drink, and you can’t go too far wrong with a generic Chilean Cab Sav over a more expensive big brand. Don’t get hoodwinked into buying from the ‘Finest’ range, when ‘Value’ can be just as appreciated. After all, who would know once it’s out of the packaging? We won’t tell, we promise.

Take advantage of a deli

This is about avoiding waste and getting your money’s worth. Deli items aren’t always the cheapest, but they do allow you the opportunity to pick exact amounts and save time at the very least. You can plan out exactly how much food you need, depending on the number of guests you’re catering for, and then order only what you need.

Shopping pre-packaged items could force you to buy more than you need, leaving plenty of wastage. A study from Wrap showed that 6.6 million tonnes of edible food is thrown away in the UK each year, mostly coming from our own homes.

Ask guests to bring a dish

There can often be a lot of pressure or expectation resting on the shoulders of those hosting a Christmas or New Year party, especially if they’re on a budget. However, there’s absolutely no shame in asking for guests to contribute some food or drink to ease the payload.

Some guests may even embrace the opportunity and bring along their own homemade specialities, or their favourite dishes or drinks they would like you to try.

You could also consider integrating Secret Santa into the evening with a price cap of £5, as opposed to guests feeling obliged to buy gifts for the host or friends and family in attendance. This is a good way for guests to contribute to the party and allows everyone to go home with a gift at the end of the night.

Be creative with the decs

Can a holiday party be truly complete without the festive decorations? According to a survey from Statista, 2023’s most common Christmas decoration budget is £50, with just over 20% of individuals spending over £150.

Yes, whilst sometimes it’s nice to freshen up the festive look and ditch the usual, old cobwebby decorations hidden in storage, why not reuse what you have laying around the house?

Social media is packed full of interesting videos where people can use ordinary items such as jam jars or metal coat hangers and create unique festive decorations. . It could be a great family activity to enjoy too! Check out our craft ideas here.

We understand times are tough right now, and ultimately, every penny counts this Christmas – but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself. Even the Howden team will be taking a break over the holidays, so please do make a note of our opening hours and our out-of-hours number to call in an emergency!