End The Old Year With A Cheap Celebration

New Year’s Eve nights out are recipes for big spending with little to show for it. Costs of cover charges, outfits and drinks quickly add up, closing out the year with financial fireworks that burn you out before you try to make a fresh start.

In a post from a year ago, Mrs. January checked in with advice for an alternative New Year’s Eve that could lower costs and raise your potential for a good time:

* Stay in. If you’ve got a significant other and looking to make the night romantic, you can find more intimacy by staying in and recapping your shared highlights of the past year and hopes for the new one.

* Throw a potluck. You can throw a party yourself, but there’s no need to spring for all the trappings. Scheme out what you’ll need, then tab guests to pitch in and make it all come together.

* Avoid pyrotechnics. Fireworks are expensive, dangerous, and depending on your local laws, possibly illegal. Sparklers are safer, cheaper alternatives that won’t spark phone calls to cops from your neighbors.

Frugal New Years Eve Ideas [Mrs. January]

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  1. brio says:

    I feel like the older I get the less NYE matters. I’m celebrating with friends in downtown Dallas. But, idk how much longer this will go on for me.

    • Ihmhi says:

      I’ve done everything from parties to staying in alone. The best times were, hands down, the ones where it was just me and my friends hanging out, drinking, and watching movies.

    • Dallas_shopper says:

      Hey fellow Dallasite!

      I’ve never done NYE in downtown Dallas. I usually stay in, and this year I’ll be ringing in the new year 100% solo. (Unless you count the dog as company, which I don’t.)

  2. bkeyport says:

    “* Avoid pyrotechnics. Fireworks are expensive, dangerous, and depending on your local laws, possibly illegal. Sparklers are safer, cheaper alternatives that won’t spark phone calls to cops from your neighbors.”

    Note: Sparklers are the #1 source of burn and ER visits around here. They’re dangerous, deadly (because they still burn underwater) and should be outright banned. Even M-80′s are safer than sparklers.

    • TheMansfieldMauler says:

      We should ban everything that anyone has ever injured themselves with. Because if you ban sparklers, then something else will become the number one reason, and then you’ll have to ban that etc. etc.

      Easier to just ban it all.

    • Kamt says:

      I think stupidity is the true, number 1 reason for ER visits, but there’s no way to ban that unfortunately.

  3. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I’m not doing anything, probably. The bf and I won’t be able to visit, which sucks because New Year’s weekend is our anniversary (our first in-person visit). We might watch a movie together over MSN or something.

    I have to clean out my spare bedroom, which has become cluttered after my garage sale, so that’s probably most of what I’ll do. My parents are threatening to come visit too. Oh joy. An hour or two of pointless questions about my job and life and an awkward dinner and then I will be released. (I love my parents but we have NOTHING in common.)

  4. noahproblem1 says:

    Easy way to save money – have a job in retail and have to work until 10 PM New Years Eve night.

    As a extra incentive, I, er, you may also have work the next day (I’ll, er, you’ll not know that until the schedule comes out later this week), so no point getting drunk and possibly going into work with a hangover.

  5. Not Given says:

    I’ve only been to one NYE party in my life, it was OK, but I don’t really miss it when I stay home. No place to go here and I don’t want to be out on the roads that night.
    We’ll probably watch DVDs at home and have a drink or two.

  6. smo0 says:

    I go to a themed BYOB NYE party at my friend’s house every year…..

    this year’s theme is post apocalyptic.

  7. brinks says:

    I always worked New Year’s Eve and Day, meaning I only had a couple of hours to drop by a party before having to run home at 12:01. Now, for the first time in my life, I’m not working that schedule…and I feel too damn old for any festivities. The potluck actually sounds like a great, cheap, grown-up option. I might actually do that.

    • chatterboxwriting says:

      I think the potluck party is the most fun (less stress for the host and hostess). My cousin has a party every year and we all divvy up who will bring what. She buys basic drinks (beer, rum, vodka, and mixers), and then if anyone wants anything fancy or unusual, they bring it. I’m making meatballs, a veggie tray, and a fruit tray. Other friends will bring things like mozzarella sticks, chicken wing dip, taco dip (cream cheese mixed with taco seasoning and sour cream and layered with salsa, lettuce and shredded cheese), and other yummy stuff.

      • sadie kate says:

        We hosted Christmas at my house this year and did a potluck. My stepdad made the turkey and dressing and gravy, and everyone else made side dishes and desserts. I made cherry nut cakes for breakfast, and an hour before dinner made mashed potatoes and supervised the reheating of everyone’s side dishes in the double oven. It was my first year hosting and it was awesome. All the older adults (parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles) were thrilled not to have a houseful of people and didn’t mind making the hourlong drive with their assigned dish, and my husband and I were so happy to be on our own turf and to not have to drive anywhere with a cranky and unpredictable newborn, that having 13 adults and 3 kids under 2 invade the house for an hour felt like a cakewalk.

  8. Krazycalvin says:

    I don’t know about you but I am going to be hallucinating into the new year. Ten bucks a ticket for the ride.

  9. sadie kate says:

    This is the first time in 7 years that I am not waitressing or working retail, and thus will not be working til 10pm or later NYE and/or scheduled to be at work at 7am the next day. This is because I’m taking time off to stay at home with my 10-week old baby. My husband and I contemplated staying up til midnight and toasting and smooching if we could actually get the kid to fell asleep on her own (rather than on me or in the Baby Bjorn), but have decided if that does happen, we’d rather sleep.

  10. scoccaro says:

    My husband and I stay in every year and pick a tv series or movie saga to watch. this year we ordered seasons 7 and 8 of House to watch. We order pizza and stay in our PJ’s for two days straight, its nice.

  11. DarkPsion says:

    Sprite & Cheetos, woo, hoo!

  12. lvdave says:

    My “celebration” is hitting the sack at my usual time of about 9:30-10pm, and sleeping soundly thru all the pop-pop-pop-pops of the local idiots and their firecrackers. I live in Las Vegas, and it will be a cold day in Hell before I *ever* even think about going out on the Strip on NYE…

    • mianne prays her parents outlive the TSA says:

      Wow! The idiots in Vegas light firecrackers to ring in the new year?? I may just have to look into moving there. In both my former home in the Los Angeles and my present home in Nashville, TN, the idiots seem far more predisposed to firing their handguns into the air.

      • Dallas_shopper says:

        People here do that too (fire handguns into the air). You’re best off staying indoors at midnight and for a good 20-30 minutes afterwards around here.

  13. Tiffymonster says:

    New Years Eve will be spent staying in with a super simple romantic dinner consisting of French onion soup, Caesar salad, grilled cheese and chocolate fondue with yummy things to dip in it. Add a bottle of champagne, soft music and watching fireworks from our window. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the new year than in the arms of the person I love.

  14. topgun says:

    I own a bar/restaurant in Northern Indiana. For the last 5 years I’ve noticed attendance has dropped significantly for New Years Eve (as has business in general due to the economy).
    This year I’m offering a free New Years Eve bash. No cover charge , free snacks and DJ provided music.

  15. richcreamerybutter says:

    A lot of establishments in NYC still try to entice you with a pricey cover for maybe an hour of open bar and “champagne toast.” Staying in one place (if you choose to go out) is the least appealing option. My best NYEs always include a few house parties.

  16. yurei avalon says:

    Throwing a party for some friends. There should be plenty of drinking, eating and board games/rock band/movies all night. Not free/cheap but not super expensive either. People usually bring some alcohol and food along with them to help anyway as our house rule is, “If there’s something you really want, bring it because we don’t garentee it will be here.”

  17. Boiled for your sins says:

    Around these parts, a 12-ga is the usual stand-in for fireworks.

  18. sweetgreenthing says:

    I have a lame but comforting tradition of cleaning the house top to bottom NYE day, doing my hair and generally getting cleaned up, and going to bed early.
    I wake up New Years day feeling refreshed. My house is clean, I’m looking better than usual and I’m ready to start the year.

  19. AllanG54 says:

    Twilight Zone marathon on SyFy when I get home from friends’ house a little after midnight.