Tightening your belt does not mean having to sacrfice a good evening with friends. Between a babysitter and the cost of a movie and a meal, a night out can run well over a hundred dollars.
Skip the drinks, dinner, and tips and consider planning a truly fun and creative night in with friends that would rival any night on the town. Below are some fun and ways to save money, get everyone involved in the planning and have a great time.
- Hire a professional: Hiring a professional to entertain or teach a class at an in-home party is a fun and cost effective way to have a great night at home. If you have ever wanted to learn belly dancing or hire professional makeup artist to teach you the tricks of the trade, chip for a group lesson and learn something new.
- Themed Dinner: Create a dinner themed pot luck (Italian, French, Spanish) and designate each friend or couple one course to prepare. Ask each guest to prepare a appetizer, main course, dessert or themed drink for the party for under $20. The host can buy inexpensive decorations for ambiance and supply the theme music.
- Occasion/Dessert Parties: Host a party on the night of the Oscar, Emmy or Grammy Awards. Print out ballots for everyone to fill out before the show starts and rate the best and worst dressed for a fun and inexpensive evening with built in entertainment. Ask each guest to make either a dessert or bring a bottle of wine.
- Cooking/Bartending Class: Ask each invited guest to bring a recipe from their favorite budget dish and create a cooking class at home. The guest brings the ingredients for their recipe and teaches everyone how to make it. Or do the same with drinks for a great bartending class. Afterwards everyone also enjoys a great, inexpensive meal and cocktails.
- Wine Tasting Party: Ask each friend to bring a different type of wine and pair it with a cheese for a wine tasting party. Each friend should come prepared with a bit of knowledge about their wine to share with the guests as to what makes it unique.
- Poker/Game Night: With very few people able to find good reason to play for fun at casinos these days, create a girls or guys only night poker/game night. Prior to the games, have everyone chip in $10 and the host purchases a surprise gift card for the winner. Divide bringing the chips, dips and beer between friends.
- Karaoke Night: A good karaoke machine only costs approximately $50. Rentals are even less. Invite a few couples to chip and purchase the machine for a karaoke night at home that will cost a fraction of what you would pay at a karaoke bar.