Save Money on New Year's Eve Festivities
Keep the cost of champagne, entertainment, party supplies and more under control.
The majority of Americans will celebrate New Year's Eve in some way, from small gatherings at home to large organized events, according to a Mint.com analysis of New Year's Eve spending. Most of us -- 83% -- will spend less than $200 to ring in the New Year, but at least 1% will spend $1,000 or more, according to the Mint.com analysis.
Whether you plan to spend a little or a lot to celebrate the end of 2013 and beginning of 2014, there are several ways to save money on your festivities.
Attire. If you're hosting or attending a formal affair, you can save a lot by renting a dress or tuxedo. For example, you can rent a designer dress that sells for several hundred dollars for as little as $20.14 at Rent The Runway. Several men's clothing retailers, such as Men's Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank, offer tuxedo rental. Or look for discounted formal wear during after-Christmas sales going on now (see Best Buys During After-Christmas Sales).
Bubbly. If you're not picky about the champagne you serve, look for bottles that are on sale. Liquor stores generally mark down bottles of champagne by 15% to 20% in December because they know people will be buying them for holiday parties, says Luke Knowles, founder of FreeShipping.org. Or, consider an alternative to champagne. Prosecco, an Italian sparkling wine, and cava, a Spanish sparkling wine, are half the price of good champagne, according to the Wine Life Today blog. You can find bottles of prosecco for about $20 and cava for $10 or less.
Entertainment. If you're attending a New Year's Eve celebration with several friends or other couples, don't be shy about asking for a group discount. For example, you can save $10 a ticket when you buy ten or more tickets to Dream Entertainment Group's Denver New Year's Eve Black Tie Party ($90 versus $100).
Hotel rooms. If you plan to book a hotel room near your party destination -- or decide to do so at the last minute so you don't have to drive home -- a mobile app might help you get a deal. The Hotel Tonight app can help you score deep discounts on last-minute accommodations. The Priceline Negotiator app can help you save money with its "Tonight-Only Deals." If you download the new Hotwire Hotels app, you'll get a coupon code for $25 worth of savings when you book a room (or travel) worth $100 or more through the app. Or take advantage of Getaroom.com's unpublished rates by calling 1-800-468-3578 to get discounts of 10% to 20% on top of the site's lowest published rates.
Party supplies. No need to splurge on noise makers, streamers and confetti when you can get packets of these New Year's Eve staples for a buck at dollar stores. You also can find packages of paper plates, napkins and plastic cups for a $1 at these discount retailers. See What to Buy at Dollar Stores.
Restaurant meals. If you're not planning to stick around at the restaurant until midnight, then beware pricier, multi-course menus designed for longer visits leading up to the champagne toast. For example, a dinner for two at the already pricey Eleven Madison Park in New York jumps to $1,482 on New Year's Eve from a regular $322, according to Mint.com. Instead, consider a relatively inexpensive, low-key, filling meal ahead of your big celebration elsewhere. You can save by purchasing a discounted gift card to your favorite restaurant chain at Restaurant.com or Gift Card Granny. Or look for special offers on daily deal sites such as Groupon. Also, be aware of these 9 ways restaurants get you to spend more.