M&C's Frugal Planner's Tip of the Week e-newsletter offers the best money-saving tips around. Here are some of our favorites. (To receive a free weekly tip in your inbox, go to mcmag.com to sign up.)
Three-Drink Bar Menu In place of an open bar, limit alcoholic offerings to beer, wine and one conversation-starting specialty drink, like the Peabody Orlando's signature jalapeño-infused cocktail (called Rocks Burning) or a classic three-olive martini. Thanks to Cindy Shanholtz, owner of Chicago-based Effortless Events, for the tip.
Tote This These cheery laptop bags from Poppin are just $19 each and include convenient outer pockets for everyday essentials. The bags are available in 13- and 15-inch versions and six color combinations. Call for customization options. (888) 676-7746
Gobos a Go-Go Gobos are pieces of metal with shapes punched out of them; when placed in front of a light, the shape is projected onto a wall or floor. One made with a company logo can be reused at any event to save money. Bay Stage Lighting (813-777-1069) in Tampa, Fla., charges $125 for metal gobos. The company also makes more durable glass gobos for $238 each. Thanks to Kelley Rexroad, principal consultant of Odessa, Fla.-based Krex Consulting, for the idea.PHOTOGRAPH: J.W. GREEN