How to Throw a Lovely Party on a Budget
You can throw a fabulous bash on a budget and save money on your party costs. Start your party planning in advance, make a schedule and a budget. I make a list of needed items on my smartphone. Last minute trips for forgotten items will be costly and stressful!
With a dash of creativity, a little advance planning, and a little help from your friends, you can host a memorable party without overspending.
Decide on a simple color scheme. All you need are one or two colors and a neutral background. Be sure and ask your friends to borrow items you may need. No need to purchase specialty party items and then have to find a place to store them!
Set up the party in advance. You will see what might be missing and have the time to find it on sale or borrow it. You can’t go wrong with lanterns, candles and vases. Look for inexpensive decor at the dollar store or thrift store. You can spray paint them to match your color scheme.
Greenery, flowers and branches from the yard can take a party from drab to fab! If you don’t have a green thumb, ask a friend who has a garden to help supply the blooms. Similar items grouped together make for maximum impact.
Focus on making the party about the guest of honor and decorate with their photographs. It’s fun to string photos and memorabilia on a clothesline or rope, or make a banner and photocopy the photographs. I also like to enlarge a photo and put it inside a white mat and invite guests to write well wishes in permanent marker on the mat.
If you start with white or cream accessories, all you will need is a “pop” of color to make your decor festive. Don’t forget to check your Goodwill store or favorite thrift store as a great source for platters, accessories, dishes, and linens for your party on a budget.
Keep the menu simple. Store bought food served in pretty dishes can make for a lovely display. Use levels with cake stands to create visual interest. You can even make your own cake stands with plates and cups turned upside down or by using simple pots with a plate on top.
More Ways to Save on Party Costs
- I like to feature a taco bar, baked potato bar, ice cream bar or hot chocolate bar where guests can assemble their own food and treats.
- Consider asking guests to bring a specific item such as a dessert or side dish. You will save money and avoid having unnecessary hostess gifts to re-gift later!
- If you are using a caterer or restaurant, let them know your budget and allow them to suggest alternatives to keep costs down.
- If you cannot throw the party at home, search for low cost venues such as a park, clubhouse, YMCA, American Legion hall, the beach or the lake.
- Think about hiring a teen as a babysitter or kitchen helper.
- Use digital invitations such as Evite and get an accurate guest count. You may have to nudge people a few times to RSVP but this is more cost effective than having too much food.
- Plan to use your leftovers – you can cut your grocery bill for a few days following the party and freeze what you can for later.
- If serving alcohol, offer one signature drink that fits into your party theme instead of an open bar.
Focus on fun and making memories. Don’t let your celebration be marred by overspending. Long after the guests are gone, the debt will remain.