Creative Party Ideas Anyone Can Afford
Whether I’m attending one or throwing one, I love a good party. As a frugal mom, I also know a successful get-together has nothing to do with the amount of money spent. It’s all about creating a fun atmosphere with friends and family– and none of that has to cost a lot. Here are some of my own ideas for creative party ideas anyone can afford.
Centerpieces and Decorations
The best centerpieces are the ones that make use of things that you already have around the house or frugal things you can re-use. Fruit in a vase, candles, balloons – all good. I also love the idea of using a tablecloth as a guest book (get an inexpensive one at a thrift store). Have guests write a birthday message, something funny, or a clever quote on it. However, I like to keep it simple and not stress too much about decor. Your friends and family will notice a key piece or two, but the food and the company is the main focus.
(More cheap centerpiece ideas)
The digital age in which we live is great for sending casual invitations by text, email, or e-vite. However, the consensus on the MommySavers forums is that good old-fashioned snail-mail invitations are the way to go when it comes to a birthday party or more formal occasion. But, they don’t have to be expensive. Get creative with a photo (use free editing software like picmonkey.com) by adding text and graphics. Then, have them printed using a coupon code. You can create a fun, colorful custom invitation for less than $.20 each. I still love this photo invite I made for my daughter nearly ten years ago from her Glamour Girl Party.
For casual gatherings, it’s perfectly acceptable (and often expected) to ask guests to bring a dish to share. Don’t feel like a cheapskate if you do! Or, as the host, you can provide a frugally-made main dish. One of my go-to ideas for summer entertaining is the shrimp boil. We do this outside in the summer, and the ingredients are relatively frugal. Plus, since it’s a casual just dump-it-on-newspaper meal, cleanup is super-easy. I also love the idea of a themed potluck, which is even more frugal.
(More creative potluck theme ideas)
Plates, Dishes and Cups
Disposable plates, tablecloths, and utensils can be found at dollar stores, make for easy clean-up and are an excellent frugal option (I love these disposable glow cups for outdoor parties). However, spending just a little bit of cash for basic party pieces you can reuse over and over again is worth the investment. Target clearance end caps are a great place to look — especially at the end of the season when things are 50-70% off. Thrift stores are also a treasure trove for interesting, quirky tablecloths, dishes, glasses and bowls. White and clear partyware is the perfect choice too since it goes with everything and suits any occasion.
Entertainment and Games
When kids (and grown-up kids!) are involved, games are the perfect icebreaker. Choose a game or icebreaker that the people in your group will be comfortable with and enjoy. Ideas include:
- Backyard Obstacle Course
- Mall Photo Scavenger Hunt for Teens
- White Elephant Gift Exchange
- Pool and Water Games
- Racing Party Games