Budget-Conscious Christmas Party Tips

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Budget-Conscious Christmas Party Tips If you're hosting a Christmas party this year, there are ways to keep the costs down and your guests happy without cutting corners on any of the festive decor or menu items. Here are a few tips to keep in mind while you're prepping to entertain.

When it comes to keeping decoration expenses low, focus your efforts on three important areas of the home -- the dining table, bathroom and entryway. Use a few elegant candles and ornaments to make your guests feel welcome, not overwhelmed.

As for serving solutions, use an old catering trick. Take paint cans, phone books or empty flower pots and arrange them on your dining table. Then cover with a beautiful tablecloth to make instant risers for food and platters.

To save even more money, consider serving hors d'oeuvres in two courses. Guests will fill up, and you won't have to spend as much on pricier appetizers.

So, as you're putting together your holiday party, make sure to use these simple suggestions to trim your event budget. They'll ensure that your gathering is frugally festive.

Budget-Conscious Christmas Party Tips -- Savings Experiment

You're paying as much as 69% more over the past two years for common kitchen staples, like eggs, bread, milk, chicken and more. Take a look at over 20 items to see how much prices have risen over 24 months.(Figures are based on the U.S. city average as of Jun. 30, 2008, from the Department of Labor's CPI.)


Next: Cost of Bread
Per Pound

Jun. 2006 Price: $1.08
Jun. 2008 Price: $1.37

Increase: 26.9%

(All figures rounded up.)



Next: Cost of Milk
Fortified, Per Gal.

Jun. 2006 Price: $3.00
Jun. 2008 Price: $3.77

Increase: 25.7%

(All figures rounded up.)



Next: Cost of Eggs
Grade A, Large

Jun. 2006 Price: $1.24
Jun. 2008 Price: $1.92

Increase: 54.8%

(All figures rounded up.)



Next: Cost of Flour
White, Per Lb.

Jun. 2006 Price: $0.34
Jun. 2008 Price: $0.53

Increase: 55.9%

(All figures rounded up.)



Next: Cost of Peanut Butter
Creamy, Per Lb.

Jun. 2006 Price: $1.73
Jun. 2008 Price: $2.04

Increase: 17.9%

(All figures rounded up.)



Next: Cost of Cheese
Per Pound

Jun. 2006 Price: $1.05
Jun. 2008 Price: $1.36

Increase: 29.5%

(All figures rounded up.)



Next: Cost of Bananas
Per Pound

Jun. 2006 Price: $0.51
Jun. 2008 Price: $0.63

Increase: 23.5%

(All figures rounded up.)



Next: Cost of Tomatoes
Field Grown, Per Pound

Jun. 2006 Price: $1.46
Jun. 2008 Price: $1.81

Increase: 8.0%

(All figures rounded up.)



Next: Cost of Lettuce
Per Pound

Jun. 2006 Price: $0.85
Jun. 2008 Price: $0.86

Increase: 1.1%

(All figures rounded up.)



Next: Cost of Peppers
Per Pound

Jun. 2006 Price: $1.70
Jun. 2008 Price: $2.43

Increase: 42.9%

(All figures rounded up.)



Next: Cost of Lemons
Per Pound

Jun. 2006 Price: $1.44
Jun. 2008 Price: $2.16

Increase: 50.0%

(All figures rounded up.)



Next: Cost of Strawberries
Dry Pint, Per 12 Oz.

Jun. 2006 Price: $1.65
Jun. 2008 Price: $1.91

Increase: 15.8%

(All figures rounded up.)



Next: Cost of Broccoli
Per Pound

Jun. 2006 Price: $1.43
Jun. 2008 Price: $1.60

Increase: 11.9%

(All figures rounded up.)



Next: Cost of Bacon
Per Pound

Jun. 2006 Price: $3.40
Jun. 2008 Price: $3.66

Increase: 7.6%

(All figures rounded up.)



Next: Cost of Ground Beef
100% Beef, Per Pound

Jun. 2006 Price: $2.74
Jun. 2008 Price: $2.86

Increase: 4.4%

(All figures rounded up.)



Next: Cost of Chicken
Per Pound

Jun. 2006 Price: $1.06
Jun. 2008 Price: $1.18

Increase: 11.1%

(All figures rounded up.)



Next: Cost of Your Snack

Non-Diet Cola, Per 2 Liters
Jun. 2006 Price: $1.12
Jun. 2008 Price: $1.32
Increase: 17.9%

Chips, Per 16 Oz.
Jun. 2006 Price: $3.37
Jun. 2008 Price: $4.06
Increase: 20.5%

(All figures rounded up.)

Next: Cost of Your Drinks
Ground Roast Coffee
(Per Pound)
24 Mo. Increase: 18.4%

Orange Juice Concentrate
(12 Ounce Can)
24 Mo. Increase: 34.0%

Red or White Table Wine
(Per Liter)
24 Mo. Increase: 36.6%

(All figures rounded up.)

Next: White Rice
Long grain, uncooked, per lb.

Jun. 2006 Price: $0.55
Jun. 2008 Price: $0.75

Increase: 36.4%

(All figures rounded up.)



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