smart spending

5 tips for classy, frugal holiday fun

Ditch the paper plates
Ditch the paper plates

Party hosts often find it easier to use paper plates, napkins and plastic cutlery. But they also can cheapen the occasion and -- ironically -- add to your costs.

Instead, break out the real stuff: Gather all your plates and flatware.

"They don't need to match," McBride says.

Real plates add a touch of class to your affairs without busting the party budget. You can even take this back-to-basics approach one step further, McBride says.

"I like to use a collection of vintage handkerchiefs in lieu of paper napkins," says McBride.

The key is to remember that making a big impact doesn't require a huge amount of money, Correale says.

"It's all about taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary -- simple food plus big visual impact makes a party to remember that won't break the bank," she says.

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