Celebrating New Year's Eve 2012 For Less
Now that Christmas is over, it's time to ramp up for the other big celebration: New Year's Eve. We know that restaurants and bars take advantage of this holiday by raising prices on dinners and drinks and calling them "package deals" Some people can afford it and are willing to go all out on December 31st, but others are looking for something low-key and low-cost.
If you're in the latter group, I've got some ways that you can celebrate NYE without breaking the bank.
Who says you have to eat dinner between the hours of 6:30 pm and 10:00 pm? These are the most popular times for restaurant bookings. In fact, if you go during these times to a popular restaurant, you will only have the option to eat their pre-fixe dinner which could cost upwards of $100 per person. Sure, it may include one glass of champagne, but $100 is still expensive. Try going before 6 pm and you might even catch their happy hour specials. Cheap food and cheap drinks equals happy times for your and your wallet. Plus, you get to avoid the crowds, traffic and fighting for parking. Cheap Champagne
No need to go all out and buy expensive champagne. If you're not a champagne connoisseur, you really won't be able to tell the difference. In fact, a bottle of sparkling wine will do the trick. Try a bottle of Prosecco which usually runs around $7.99 at Trader Joe's or your local grocery store. Or if you really must have champagne, pick up a few bottles of Andre Pink Champagne
for $3.99 each. While at BevMo!, pick up some Martinelli's Sparkling Apple Cider
at $2.50 a pop for kids or those who don't drink alcohol.Slumber Party
Do you have friends who are in the same boat? Invite them over for a slumber party! You can watch movies, play board games, bake cookies and watch the ball drop on TV. Better yet, make it a pajama slumber party. Everyone must come dressed in PJs. This takes the hassle out of finding something to wear and people can lounge around comfortably. Spread sleeping bags and pillows in the living room and stay up past midnight talking and catching up. If you have a fireplace, get it roaring. This is a fun way to reconnect with friends without having to go out and fight the crowds. Dive Bars
If you really want to go out without sacrificing a ton of cash, check out your local dive bar. Dive bars usually don't charge a NYE cover charge and many of them offer cheap drinks all the time. I've been to a couple dive bars in LA that have $3 happy hour drinks which are $1 less than the normal price. Not a bad deal! It sure beats hitting a trendy bar, paying $100 cover and then being pushed and shoved all night. Another plus with dive bars -- if you go to one close by, you can walk there and not have to drive or pay cab fare. Bubble Wrap
This is a cute idea if you're celebrating at home with kids. Gather all the bubble wrap you've accumulated from shopping online and put them in the living room. At the stroke of midnight jump on them and see who can pop the most. This is also a great stress reliever and best of all, it's free.
What are some ways you plan on ringing in 2012?