There can be a lot of pressure to host a holiday when you have your own place.  This can be a fantastic way to show off your fabulous new space, but it can also be a great source of stress and expense.  For people living in a smaller space, you may want to host, but worry about how you’re going to get 12 people into your kitchen nook, and keep everything festively clean where you make a bird, ham, or other elaborate meal.

Now that you have your own place you can start your own traditions, particularly when you’re playing host.  Here are four ideas for saving money and entertaining a holiday meal (like Thanksgiving) in close quarters.

  1. Make it a brunch 

Brunch foods are less expensive than dinner foods.  Foods like egg casseroles, muffins, and fresh fruits can be prepared the night before so you can focus on hosting rather than cooking day of. You can also save costs on alcohol by offering up teas, coffees, and splurging on a bottle or two of sparkling wine for Mimosas.  For brunch, there is no need to set a formal table, people can gather, gab and nosh around your kitchen counter to give the event a fun, social feel.

  1. Make it a potluck

Don’t have the space to cook a four course dinner…consider delegating courses to others to save cost, time, and counter space.  People can come, share, and enjoy together, that’s what these holidays are for aren’t they?

  1. Make it an afternoon tea

Another money saving solution to hosting a meal is to make your focus a non-meal meal. An afternoon tea is more snack focused which means that meal planning doesn’t need to be that elaborate.  Finger sandwiches, scones, and a few desserts are all you need along with a pot of hot water and some great tea selections.  While some people may turn up their noses over less traditional events, consider how much ceremony is involved in an afternoon tea.  This is a great way to feel fancy at a fraction of the cost.

  1. Just order pizza

Holidays are about spending time together, not playing a game of keeping up with the Joneses.  Having people over to watch a great movie or the game with some popcorn and pizza could be just what the doctor ordered instead of working over a hot stove.