I love the holidays. There are so many opportunities to get together with friends and family, indulge in my favorite comfort foods and not have to worry about fitting into a swimsuit until the summer months roll around. But during this festive time of year, my wallet is often emptied on gifts for family and friends. This, however, won’t be stopping me from throwing a holiday dinner party. Why? I’ve got all the tips for playing host on a budget:

A Short Guest List

You may want to invite everyone you know for a big dinner party, but if you’re trying to stay within a budget, keep your guest list tight. This way, you can spend more cash on the decorations and food, making for a better party overall.

Host a Potluck

If you would like to put most of your money into the holiday decorations for your dinner party, you can host a potluck and leave the food and drinks up to your guests. Ask each person on your list to bring a dish to pass and their favorite holiday drink. This way, everyone will get what they want and you won’t have to spend money at the grocery store.

Focus on Certain Rooms

While you might want to decorate every room in your apartment, keep your wallet full by only choosing a few rooms. Opt for the spaces that will have the most traffic, like the entryway, living room and kitchen. Then you can heavily decorate these areas instead of sparsely dressing up your entire apartment.

Use Wrapping Paper

If you don’t have a festive centerpiece to place on your dinner table, you can cover old coffee cans and candle votives with your favorite holiday wrapping paper. Put some winter blooms in the coffee can and light the candles for a welcoming display.

Hang Paper Snowflakes

Put those third-grade snowflake cutting skills to good use. Dress up your kitchen or living room windows by making your own paper snowflakes. You can also string them across tables and cabinets.

Find Cheap Recipes

You can still provide a lavish meal for your dinner guests without spending a ton of money on your grocery list. Choose recipes that don’t require a boatload of ingredients. Sugar cookies, cheese frittatas, cinnamon rolls, cornbread, pot roast, salad and bread pudding are all easy to make and require very simple ingredients.

Take Advantage of a Slow Cooker

If you don’t already have a slow cooker, this may be something to put on your holiday wish list. Not only is it perfect for whipping up a meal for one, it’s also ideal for big parties. You can make the main dish for the soiree in the morning, and by the time guests arrive, it will be ready to serve.