New Year's Eve is about saying goodbye to the old and ringing in hope for a healthy, prosperous new year. Here are some tips to plan a festive and affordable New Year's Eve party:

* A beautifully lighted Christmas tree provides the perfect atmosphere for your guests. Pick up some hats and noisemakers from the dollar stores and discount party stores.

* Serve appetizers instead of a main-course meal. Ask guests to bring their favorite finger foods or desserts to share. Keep track of who is bringing what so you have a variety.

' Sam's Club, Costco and GFS offer a great selection of pre-made frozen appetizers with competitive prices.

* If serving alcohol, keep it simple. Ask friends to bring their favorite beer or wine to toast the new year and have an assortment of soft drinks.

* Avoid the messy cleanup by using festive paper plates, plastic cups and utensils. Find great deals at the dollar and party stores.

* Invite everyone to bring a favorite board or card game. Pick up some dollar items to give gifts to the winners.

* If children are included, have a room set up with kids games, a TV, movies, snacks and pop.

Most importantly, stay safe and enjoy. For now happy shopping!

Laurie Dixon, TheBAG Lady