From Christmas parties to Birthdays parties, to backyard BBQ gatherings and more, people love going to parties. But if you like to be the one hosting the parties, like I do, you probably already know it can get expensive pretty quickly if you don’t keep your spending in check.
So, how do you throw a party and keep your spending down? Below are some ideas on how you can throw a fabulous party without breaking the bank.
Invitations don’t have to be sent through the mail if it isn’t a formal party, that’s the old-school way of doing things. Today you can try one of the many free Internet invitation sites and save a bundle on postage costs. In order to reach more of the guests on your list, you could pair e-invitations with invitations through Facebook, and you can even send some invitations by text message.
Once you have used these methods, mail the last few if there are any left, but make them into postcards for further savings on postage.
Summer is a great time to have a party in the park if you don’t have a large enough outdoor space of your own. Check with your City Clerk to find out if whether fees are charged and if reservations need to be made. If it’s winter, an oversized garage might work if your party is not too large.
Use space heaters to warm up the area ahead of time, turn them off just before the party and move them out of the way so they don’t get knocked over. You don’t have to shell out for a party space, you just need to get creative to make use of places you already have access to for free.
How and if you choose to decorate depends somewhat on the purpose of the party.
- Child’s Birthday: Make streamers or paper chains from tissue paper or construction paper. Balloons are fairly inexpensive if you buy and blow them up yourself. You can use your own hot air, or buy a helium tank at a party store. Even buying a helium tank is cheaper than paying to have the balloons filled up by someone else.
- Holiday Party: Use holiday décor you already have if possible. If you need to add more, holiday themed or colored scrapbook paper is a great resource you can use in many different ways such as place cards, paper flowers, tags, doilies and more.
- Other Gatherings: Look around at what you have. If you have ribbon or lace scraps, tie some around a sparkly votive holder or two for a fancier flair.
Keeping party decor simple and skipping the fuss will make for a comfortable atmosphere for your guests to relax in. As a bonus, you’ll have less to clean up after the party is over.
Food & Drink
Make several appetizers instead of a huge meal if you have to feed a large number of quests but have only a limited budget. Appetizers and dips tend to be cheaper because you don’t have to provide a main dish full of meat, which is often the most expensive part of a meal. You also whip up a couple of easy desserts to go with your appetizers for guests with a sweet tooth.
You don’t have to have lots of alcohol to throw a fabulous party. Skip the alcohol altogether if you can get away with it. If not, pick some up basics yourself from a warehouse club like Costco to save the most money. If guests want specific drinks, you can make sure to include “BYOB” on the invitations.
Pick out a couple of games for the party guests to play if they are school-aged. If instead they are a mix of ages, or mostly adults, soft music could set the party mood just right, so grab your phone or ipod and turn on Pandora. You might consider upgrading to the ad-free version if you throw parties and use Pandora often.
Parties don’t have to make you break your budget. So if you are trying to figure out how to throw a fabulous party without breaking the bank, remember to keep it simple, make sure you have plenty of cheap food and drinks, and relax. If you’re relaxed, your guests are sure to have a great time too.
How often do you throw parties? What other tips can you think of to throw a fabulous party without breaking the bank?
Photo courtesy of: andreaegger