All Contribute Food
Often the host will prepare lots of lovely food for everyone to share and enjoy. Food is often the centre of a celebration and so no one will want to reduce the amount of quality. However, the cost can be spread among everyone. Perhaps guests are encouraged to give money to the host towards it or every guest is asked to bring a contribution. This will mean that the cost is more evenly spread over everyone and it is fairer.
Take Turns in Travelling
The cost of travelling can add up, particularly if you all live long distances from each other. If you take turns in hosting the events then this alternates the costs of travelling and makes it fairer on everyone.
Gift Budget or no Gifts
Often family gatherings are a time when everyone gives gifts as well. This can be a lovely thing to do, but it can get expensive. It can be wise to therefore have an agreement about gifts. Perhaps agree a budget for gifts so that there is no temptation for some to be really extravagant making others feel that they have to do the same thing. It could also be agreed that no gifts are exchanged at all in order to completely eliminate that potential cost. Some people do not like the idea of not exchanging gifts, but it is always worth discussing because it could be a great relief to some people who struggle to afford gifts.
One way to save money on gifts is to regift. If someone gives you a gift that you will not use, then hold onto it and pass it on to someone you know will like it. Just make sure that you remember who gave it to you and pass it on to someone that they do not know so that they will not guess that you have done this. If the item is still new, they will not know that it was not bought by you and it could be far more suitable for them than for you.
It is possible to buy second-hand gifts which can be better or more thoughtful than new but are cheaper. It is possible to buy things that look new but are cheaper as they are second hand as well. It is worth looking around for these sorts of thing, if you have the time, so that you can save some money. You can often find these things online, but if you would rather look at them before buying then you could look in second hand shops or charity shops in your area.