Awesome parties and the people who throw them become legendary fixtures in the community and between friends. If you want to turn your house into party central and be known as “the hostest with the mostest” without raiding your bank account, these tips can save you a ton of money when hosting your own party.
1. Set a Budget
Having a budget will help you keep your costs down. Do the math and figure out in advance what you need to spend on and how much you’re prepared to spend for it. Budgeting will allow you to prioritize what items you need to focus on and it’ll also prevent any budget surprises the next day.
2. Skip the Disposables (when you can)
Aside from helping the environment, using your own plates, glasses and utensils can save you money. If you don’t have enough of a matching set or if you’re anticipating more people, you can always borrow from your family or friends. The trick here is to mix and match things up to give the table setting a rustic feel.
If you don’t want the hassle of cleanup or if your dishwasher is broken, only buy disposables by the bulk at any big box store like Sam’s Club or Costco’s. Anything you buy at your local grocery store costs way more and will hurt your budget.
3. DIY Décor
You don’t need any fancy flower arrangement as your center piece. Get some candles of varying height and arrange them in the middle of your table along with any fruits you have lying around. You can also use any presentable flowering plants you might have, provided it’s small enough to fit in the middle of the table and the pots are clean.
For welcome home parties and similar events that need custom balloons or banners, going to your local school or office supply store can get you all the things you need for cheap. A pack of latex balloons are cheap and you can easily use a permanent marker to write something personal on it.
4. Theme Parties and the Time of Day
Turning your shindig into a theme party is excellent way to mask your small budget. Combine that with a budget friendly schedule like brunch or lunch and you’re set to save even more money because dinner parties tend to be more expensive. Having a party at brunch will cut your food costs down because you’ll be serving breakfast inspired dishes made mostly with eggs. You can also serve coffee and tea instead of alcohol.
For lunch, have a taco or pizza party. You can also fire up the grill and have a barbeque party. You can have an all dessert party, a Japanese Fusion party or even a red hot chili party. Pick a theme and be creative!
5. BYOB Baby
What’s a party without any booze and food? The problem with stocking your home bar with drinks is that it can take a huge chunk out of your party budget. Food is a little cheaper, especially if you know your way around the kitchen and you can source affordable ingredients. Ask your guests to BYOB (bring your own booze).
This way, you can inform them beforehand that they can bring their favorite drink with them. Leave all the dinks at the bar and let your guests self serve (ala a buffet). If you want to serve your own, buy wine or beer by the case. You can also pick a theme drink for the party (like a gin and tonic for example) and just buy ingredients for it.
6. Go Potluck
Asking guests to bring their favorite dish or a dish that adds to the party theme is a great way to diversify the menu. You can also ask them to just bring appetizers while you take care of the main course. Speaking of your own contribution (you should because you’re the host!), make your dishes simple. Pasta and salads, kebabs, chips and Mediterranean inspired dips are affordable choices. Serve all the food as a buffet so your guests won’t wolf down huge portions.
See you at the Party!
Hosting a good party shouldn’t break the bank. Just as long as you get creative with your budget, serve the right food, drinks and DIY your own décor, you can save tons on party expenses. Just be sure you invite everyone digitally though, and leave oldschool paper invites for weddings. Save on printing and postage costs by using Facebook, Evite or Punchbowl.
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