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We had a great 2017 Halloween Party. Lots of people, food went over well, house looked great, fire pit, back yard movie on a projector but it cost a ton of money. It was our first year in a house so much of that was just growing from an apartment to a larger space but still... its hard for me to control my spending on party years. It also took a toll on our brand new house. Staples and some of the command strips didn't quite come off clean.

So I made a decision that I would only do a Halloween Party every other year from then on. To lessen the expense and also the wear and tear on the house and just for a break. It takes for ever to get it all put back up into storage.

Well, some of my good friends keep trying to talk me into a party this year and swearing up and down that I don't have to decorate (truth, I'm the only one that truly stresses about the decoration not being good enough, I'm sure you can relate) and it can be a low key Potluck.

I don't know what to do. I mean... I was absolutely going to decorate for Halloween anyway, just not a ton of inside decor. I love to feed people so I could just make a few things and still get to try out recipes.

I just worry that things are going to be just as stressful and just as expensive but I think.... I could manage low key and I am sorta getting excited about it.

So I would probably do like a nacho bar, big crockpot of Queso, crock pot of taco meat and some general nacho fixings. Fiesta ranch dip... because its the only time I can justify eating it and I really like it. There is a local bakery that I would pick up a couple of pies from because I've been wanting to try them for a while. I'd make a punch with alcohol that was a big success at the last party.

Not providing like normal:
Extra alcohol
Jello shots
spending a day making desserts from scratch
not making a ton of food + usually ordering pizza or chicken trays


Everything else would be potluck style.

I would not do scene setters at all and just put out my favorite Halloween stuff that would've gone out anyway.

So that was a long ramble....

Opinions? Can it be done?
Suggestions on saving money and keeping things easy and low key?
Usually starts at 7:30 or 8 ... thinking of starting at 6.
 

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We're in a *similar* situation this year. For 2017, we spent so much time and money on HW, that we decided we're going to back off on how much resources we put into it this year. We're still setting up like we have in the past, just very little that will be new and we're really pulling back on the money we spend this year.

Here's just a few random thoughts on your questions above…

As a way to save money, I'd suggest making the event completely pot luck and let your guests bring the food, or at least, most of it. If you have enough guests, perhaps you can request they bring some of the foods you mentioned above. Not only will this save you money, but also time, which can be used to decorate.

I think a HW party definitely needs to be decorated in order to be a HW party, but instead of trying to do the entire house (or lower level), focus on 1 or 2 rooms. The kitchen always seems to be the most popular room for parties, so that might be a good room to decorate. On a side note, our kitchen is always the hottest room in the house, no matter how low I turn the AC to, but yet, it's still packed with people throughout the party.

We staple our scene setters to the wall, as it's easier and fast. I've found that using a light duty "crafting" stapler is more gentle on the walls than other staplers. If I take the time, I can often remove them without much damage, but even if I don't take the time, the damage is usually small enough that it's fixed with paint.

We usually start our parties at 7 and most people are gone by 10. I'm not sure what would happen if we started earlier. One reason we don't start before 7 is it's still too light outside and the decor doesn't have the "charm" it does when it's night.
 
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