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  • Paige Nathan

Last-Minute Cost Savings Tips for Your Office Holiday Party

Is your office holiday party right around the corner, and you're scrambling to figure out festive ways to decorate on the cheap? It's nearly the end of the year, and department budgets are all but blown. For many teams, this will be their first real party since 2019, and planners want to make it memorable. But many businesses are tightening their purse strings and trying to save wherever possible. The Simply Food Trucks team is here to share some decorating and office holiday party tricks that can save you a few (or a lot) dollars without appearing as you skimped.


Borrow Décor

Let's face it, you only need these items once a year, and as soon as the party's over, there's likely nowhere to store what you purchased. So bringing items from your home or borrowing from someone who's a talented decorator only makes sense. Don't focus entirely on the tree when it comes to holiday decorating. They are big and bulky and hard to move, so limit size to no more than 6ft. But if you want to purchase one and your Facebook feed looks anything like ours, you can probably find a used one for cheap through pages like FB Marketplace.


Other items to consider for decking the halls are evergreen garlands, nutcrackers, bowls and vases filled with silver and gold balls, gingerbread houses, and decorative candles. Remember, people celebrate the holidays in their own way, so stick to festive but non-religious décor that everyone can admire.


Floral Arrangements on the Cheap

We love fresh flowers! They are the perfect decoration, whether as centerpieces or adorning the serving tables. But fresh floral arrangements are EXPENSIVE. Many times, cost prohibitively expensive. But that doesn't mean you need to go without. Our favorite place to go for fresh flowers is Trader Joe's if you happen to have one nearby. They always have a great selection, and their prices are affordable.


Not a floral arranger? Don't panic! You don't have to be one to make beautiful arrangements. There are lots of YouTube videos that can help you. Or you can go as simple as a single flower type per vase and cluster vases together.


Speaking of vases, stores like Michael's stock a wide selection and routinely run great sales. Remember - you don't need many floral arrangements to dress up a room. Instead, go for different height vases with a variety of flowers and cluster them together to really WOW!



Alternative Employee Gifts

Buying gifts for the entire team can quickly add up. And let's be honest, finding a gift everyone likes is tricky. So what do you get your team that they will appreciate without breaking the bank? Consider a paid day off (or two) over the holiday break. Many businesses slow down during the last weeks of the year, and your employees will be grateful if they don’t have to use a personal day to enjoy time with family (or watch their kids who are off school.)


If you're worried about leaving your office understaffed, assign people a specific day(s) and stagger it over a week or two so you still have coverage, and they still get a paid day off work. They'll love the gesture, and you'll give them something they will use and appreciate. The day or two after New Year's is still pretty quiet as people slowly come back online so consider those days as well.

Alcohol

One of the biggest expenses of any get-together is alcohol. And when planners try to cut costs, that often means compromising the quality and, in many cases, not having someone's favorite drink available. Stoli and Soda just isn't the same as Greygoose and Soda. And house Chablis will never win a taste test next to a well-bodied Cabernet.


Consider these cost-saving options when planning your bar:

  1. Have your event during the day and pour bubbly only to celebrate

  2. Host an upgraded bar and cap everyone at two drink tickets

  3. Have guests bring one bottle of their favorite alcoholic beverage and stock the bar with all the essentials and mixers

It is a work function, after all, and no one should be coming to drink too much.


Dessert Contest

Want to give your event a little excitement and bring out people's competitive side? Then consider having a holiday cookie/dessert bakeoff. Most everyone has a family-favorite recipe they bake each season, so adding one more pie or another dozen cookies into the mix is easy. This way, your dessert table is filled with yummy homemade treats, and you've added a fun activity to your event so everyone can participate. All that's left for you is to select your judges and choose a winner. What does the winner receive? A free floral arrangement, wink wink.


The holidays are a time to enjoy family, friends, and colleagues. And to do it in style doesn't always have to break the bank. So enjoy the season and your team with these simple cost-saving tips.

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