How To Throw A Fancy New Year’s Party On A Budget

It is possible, and it’s going to RULE. Here are 10 rules to follow.

1. Obviously we all want NYE to be like this.

ID: 773629

2. But not like this.

ID: 773863

3. Here’s how!

ID: 774212

4. RULE #1: Don’t pour straight champagne until just before midnight.

Otherwise your guests will get all like this.

ID: 773623

5. Instead, stretch the champers by mixing it into boozy cocktails.

Here are 24 champagne cocktails. Get the recipe for this Platinum Sparkle pictured above from Food & Wine.

ID: 773544

7. Also, make an ice ring.

This is not a rule because it doesn’t really impact your budget, but IT’S THE RIGHT THING TO DO because small ice cubes melt too fast and water down your punch. Get instructions here from Bon Appetit or here from Williams-Sonoma.

ID: 773042

8. RULE #2: Don’t buy champagne. Buy Prosecco or Cava.

Here is a great list of budget bottles from Wine Enthusiast and another good list from Serious Eats.

ID: 773619

9. RULE #3: If you serve caviar, be smart about it.

BuzzFeed Food is a firm believer in caviar. (Farm-raised caviar, that is. Because many of the fish — especially sturgeon — that provide caviar are overfished and near extinction.) Don’t bother with canned, shelf-stable supermarket caviar.

ID: 773897

10. Quick primer on caviar.

1. “Real caviar” comes from three kinds of wild sturgeon in the Caspian and Black Seas: Beluga (best caviar), Ossetra (second-best caviar) and Sevruga (third-best caviar). But you’re not going to buy any of that unless you want to spend a ton of money, get arrested, or spit in the face of Mother Nature.

2. Beluga caviar is illegal because of overfishing. In fact, any caviar that comes from wild fish is an ethical no-no because of overfishing.

3. Look for “sustainably farmed” caviar. Likely from America.

ID: 773960

11. We recommend American trout caviar.

In a recent article, The New York Times recommends 15 grams of caviar per person. That means about 5 ounces for a group of 10 people. That’s generous.

Black caviar is usually more expensive. The cheapest-but-still-good options are Paddlefish at $120 for 125 grams or Hackleback at $145 for 125 grams.

The best option is trout caviar (pictured) from Sunburst Trout Farms. It’s the best bang for your buck; $105 for 4 ounces.

The cheapest option isn’t caviar but salmon roe, which is bigger than caviar and about $25 for 125 grams.

ID: 772830

12. Portion out the caviar before your guests arrive.

After you eat a couple of spoonfuls straight out of the tin, of course.

ID: 772845

13. Blini are a good way to stretch caviar.

ID: 772860

14. For big effect, pile caviar on blini sandwiches.

ID: 772747

16. Or deviled eggs.

ID: 773280

18. Point is, don’t do this.

ID: 772877

19. Or some jerk will eat it all when no one is looking.

Wouldn’t you?

ID: 772901

20. RULE #4: Pomegranate seeds can fill a caviar void.

Get the recipe at Smitten Kitchen.

ID: 773036

21. Because they are like beautiful little jewels.

ID: 772969

22. They aren’t cheap, but you don’t need a lot.

One pomegranate has a LOT of seeds.

ID: 772968

23. Add them to a butternut squash hummus…

Get the recipe at Snacking in the Kitchen.

ID: 772994

24. or avocado hummus…

We’d recommend skipping the little seeds since people are going to try to get kissed and midnight and stuff. Get the recipe at LA Times.

ID: 772979

27. RULE #5: Serve chicken liver mousse in lieu of a fancier pate (like foie gras).

Chicken livers are cheap, duck livers are not. But it still feels fancy. Get the recipe at Bon Appetit.

ID: 773168

28. RULE #6: Stretch the meat.

Chow has great tips for classing up inexpensive ham, including that this recipe will make even the world’s cheapest ham taste amazing. The below photo’s recipe is at Bon Appetit.

ID: 773549

29. Serve that ham with biscuits.

These are sweet potato biscuits, and when you put them out in a way that suggest people eat them with the ham, your ham lasts longer. Get the recipe at Bon Appetit.

ID: 774164

30. Make your charcuterie work.

These little soppressata bundles won’t disappear as fast as a straight-up platter of cured meat. Get the recipe at Food & Wine.

ID: 773529

31. Buy an inexpensive cut of beef and marinate it for 48 hours.

Find a butcher that will sell you a top round London broil, and give yourself a couple days to marinate/tenderize it. Get a recipe at Food Network.

ID: 773472

32. RULE #7: Dress up some budget-friendly cheese.

This is not fancy goat cheese BUT with a few pomegranate seeds and some herbs, doesn’t it look so debonaire? Get the recipe at Martha Stewart.

ID: 772759

36. Also, for the record, this Trader Joe’s Brie en Croute is delicious.

ID: 773789

37. Cheesy-poof champagne bubbles.

ID: 772999

38. RULE #8: Serve some seafood bisque in a mug.

It is rich. It is filling. It still feels luxurious. Below: Thai Clam Chowder. Get the recipe from Tartine and Apron Strings.

ID: 773708

39. Shrimp bisque would be delightful.

Can’t find any pictures of shrimp bisque in a mug. Readers, please fill this perilous hole in the Internet.

ID: 773732

41. Mussel bisque: also a good option.

Mussel bisque. Get the recipe at Barefoot Contessa.

ID: 773724

42. RULE #9: Make regular desserts sparkly or otherwise extra pretty.

Edible glitter $6 at Wilton.

ID: 773310

44. or chocolate mousse spoons.

Recipe at Epicurious, but we’d recommend using Julia Child’s Perfect Mousse with Epi’s presentation.

ID: 774228

45. Frozen fruit skewers

A nice garnish for drinks too.

ID: 772756

46. Glittery s’mores

ID: 773324

48. RULE #10: Make your own decor.

Here are 51 Awesome Ideas for Making Party Decorations. Get directions for the above at A Lovely Lark

ID: 773245

Check out more articles on!

  Your Reaction?


    Now Buzzing