You gotta love this time of year – before the Christmas spirit really has a chance to disappear, it’s already time for the next big event – New Year’s Eve! New Year’s Eve is particularly fun as it’s a time to both reflect on the past and look ahead eagerly to the future.  Somehow even the young are caught up in sentiment during this time. Just check your Facebook feed and you can see everybody’s year in review.

Naturally, there’s also a big debate about g0ing out or staying in for New Year’s Eve. We’ve already made that choice early this year, and plan to have some people over to our home. We will have a mash-up of ages and interests, as well as a tight budget (hello Christmas spending hang-over!), so I needed party ideas that would work with these factors.

Thankfully, the general jubilance of the season is pretty much all that’s needed for these fun and frugal New Year’s Eve parties — as they cost almost nothing to host:

New Year’s Eve party #1 : potluck


My family relies on potluck parties. They are just so easy to pull together, and don’t wind up costing as much as traditional dinner parties; yet, everyone gets to eat great food. Potluck also announces a more laid-back tone for the whole event too, which makes it perfect for families to mix and mingle, and serve themselves buffet style. This means we have one serving area in the kitchen, with multiple dining areas throughout our house. We plan to assign seats at each one with a wide variety of ages. Since everyone pitches in with the food and beverages, no one is out of pocket very much either.

Here are 10 Potluck Themes to try (and keep foods from clashing).

Believe it or not, there is etiquette for potluck too; so, follow these tips to be sure you aren’t too tacky!

New Year’s Eve party #2: pizza and game night


Let’s face it, you’ve been so busy for the last two weeks the last thing you want is to plan a “big” event…then don’t do it! Opt for an incredibly easy and super frugal New Year’s Eve party based on pizza and games. If you are ambitious and have double ovens, you could do a “make your own” pizza party. If not, just call up your local pizza parlor and have them deliver a big order. Split the cost among guests and ask everyone to bring a game. This way each family pays under $20 for New Year’s Eve!

Here are 20 party games to play with all ages!

New Year’s Eve party #3: breakfast for dinner


Another super fun and frugal New Year’s Eve party idea is to have a breakfast for dinner event. Let everyone come in pjs (no money spent on fancy cocktail dresses) and make pancakes for all. Guests will love the change up in menu, and the cost is minimal. Have everyone gather to talk about their resolutions or offer their predictions for the new year. Then, serve champagne in mimosas at midnight to stretch out cost!

Here are Alternatives to The Classic Mimosa and some pancake recipes to try.

Whether you go out or stay, keep it safe and have a Happy New Year! (And be sure to check out these interesting New Year’s Eve traditions from around the world.)