When you can cut down on beverage costs, party hosting gets much less expensive. Here’s how to have unforgettable parties that don’t break the bank.
Planning a party around a particular beverage is an easy and low-cost party idea as friends can bring a favourite bottle.
- Wine and dine: Ask guests to bring a bottle to a dinner party that matches with a particular course or dish. Wine and cheese parties are also popular.
- Bring on the brew: Host a beer-tasting party and invite your friends to bring a six-pack of their favourite beer. Mexican, Indian and Chinese food all go well with beer, so consider serving these dishes at the party.
- Wine tasting: Why not combine a party with a bit of wine education with a wine-tasting party? Choose one kind of wine and ask everyone to bring a bottle so you can taste from different years and regions. Of course, make sure there are lots of nibblies.
The house choice
- A great, inexpensive alternative to buying pricey wine is to bottle your own.
- The do-it-yourself stores do most of the work for you, and provide great-tasting products at unbeatable prices.
- The labels available can look very professional, so your guests need never know.
- Brewing your own beer works out to about 50% savings.
Pick it up at the duty-free
- If you’ve been outside Canada for at least 48 hours and are of legal age, you can take advantage of duty-free shopping.
- You can purchase up to 1.14 litres (40 ounces) of liquor, 1.5 litres (1 1/2 quarts) of wine or a case of 24 beers, all free of duty and tax as part of your personal exemption.
- Ask friends who are travelling to bring something back for you if they weren’t planning on doing so for themselves.
- Visitors to Canada can also bring the same amounts across the border, so if you’re hosting foreign guests, ask them to pick something up for you.
Alcohol can be an important part of a social event, but don’t feel obligated to offer a full bar or mixed drinks. Beer and wine are usually sufficient, or stick to one spirit in keeping with your guests’ tastes or a seasonal theme. People will love the idea and you can save some money along the way.