Save on a summer-time party

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Throwing some parties this summer?

The No. 1 rule to cut the costs of summer entertaining is to keep it simple. I’m Janet Stauble with your Personal Finance Minute.

Barbecuing doesn’t have to be a budget-buster. Think kabobs. Instead of buying steak for each guest, meat goes farther when it’s separated by seasonal produce. This gives guests big flavor and big portions without a big spend.

If your friends and family like to party, the bar bill can add up fast. But don’t feel like you need to supply a full bar. A “full enough” bar will give guests several selections.

Use in-season fruits, sparkling water and vodka to make a special party punch. Freeze a portion of the punch in a Bundt cake mold to create an ice ring in the serving bowl that won’t water down your tasty beverage.

Maximize cooler space by freezing bottles of water and using them as ice. They’ll later turn into beverages to hydrate your guests.

Want to learn more? Log onto I’m Janet Stauble.