Throw a St. Patrick’s Day Party to Remember (without breaking the bank)
St. Patrick’s Day is an excellent reason to throw a party for just about anyone, especially since it falls on a Saturday this year! But how do you avoid spending a ton on your Irish fare? From decorations, to food, to games and entertainment, things can get pricey.
Why not spend a little more effort and a lot less money, to get the most bang for your buck to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in style? We’ve got 8 tips on how to do it!
Saint Paddy’s Day Party Tips for Budget-Minded Consumers
1. Pick a Number
Before you can begin planning your St. Patrick’s Day party, you have to set your budget. It should be a realistic amount depending on the number of guests. It should also be a sum you can afford to pay without charging it on a credit card.
If the budget seems tight, try reducing the number of invitees or scale back on the type of party you’re organizing. For example, instead of a dinner party throw a cocktail or after-dinner party to save some cash. If your budget still isn’t up to par for you, then consider instituting a personal spending ban several months before your party in order to pile up the savings, fast.
2. Use Email Instead of Printed Invitations
Invitations are fun to write, send, and receive but they ultimately they end up in the trash. This means that you are throwing away your hard-earned cash. A much cheaper, often free, way to invite friends and family to your party is through email or text. Send guests a text with the party details and you’ll achieve the same thing as you would have when spending money on paper invitations.
Want to step it up a bit? There are Internet-based services that will let you design digital invitations and send them to your email contacts or party guests. Some are free while others charge you for the service.
3. Shop the Discount Stores
Any respectable St. Patrick’s Day Party needs lots of green decorations and party favors. Stocking up on the goods can quickly add up and that is where the discount stores come in. Many of the dollar stores around the country are filled with decorations for whatever holiday or season is at hand. The aisles will be stacked with signs, streamers, and party favors to turn your party into a St. Patrick’s Day festivity.
It’s not just the discount stores that can save you money on your party goods. Lots of retailers, both online and offline, will roll out promotions and deals to cater to the roughly 139 million Americans expected to spend money on Saint Patrick’s Day. And don’t forget discount codes and coupons. If you’re purchasing your supplies online, there are a host of websites that offer up coupon codes for everything from percentages off to free shipping.
Don’t go overboard because you’re shopping at the dollar store. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean that you won’t be paying a lot at checkout. Resist the desire to upgrade to pricier and fancier decorations as well. Keep in mind the decorations will most probably end up in the trash once the party is over.
4. Make it a Pot Luck
Food costs money, especially when you’re making corn beef and cabbage for several people. St. Patrick’s Day comes with some traditions that need to be honored, such as serving traditional Irish food at meals. But instead of carrying the entire burden by yourself, make the party a potluck to save money.
Ask guests to bring everything from the drinks to the desserts with you contributing as well. You’ll have all the food the guests need and it will only be at the cost of a couple of dishes for you.
5. Be Frugal With Your Venue
DIY party planners often dream of throwing lavish parties in big halls or the back of posh restaurants, but for cash-strapped organizers, an apartment or house is just as good — be it yours or a friend’s.
By throwing a party in your home you’ll save money renting a location, which can cost serious cash. You’ll also save money if you stay in with your St. Patrick Day’s revelers. You and your friends won’t have to spend money on gas or transportation to get to a location. Not to mention if you decide to celebrate at a bar or restaurant, there will likely be a cover charge and overpriced green beer, wine, and spirits.
6. Make a BYOB-Type Event
Wine, beer, and alcoholic beverages, staples at a lot of St. Patrick’s Day parties, can cost a small fortune, especially if you are going for high-end beer and top shelf liquor. As the host, you want to have beverages and food on hand, but you can also ask guests to kick in by bringing their own beer, wine or spirits to the party.
The cash savings is obvious but you will also ensure that your party-goers are happy with their drinks. After all, people can be picky when it comes to their beer and wine. By making it a BYOB event, you’ll save money and keep revelers happily hydrated.
7. Forgo Hired Entertainment
An Irish band belting out “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” may be just what your party needs, but if you’re operating on a tight budget, that is not an option. Instead, you’re going to have to make do with the homegrown variety of entertainment, which often means the Internet.
Online, you can find a plethora of Irish music to dance to. Not to mention that the Internet can be a treasure trove of ideas about Irish-inspired games, Irish trivia and other forms of entertainment that can make your St Patrick’s Day party a hit. Without the live entertainment, you won’t have to worry about guests screaming over the sound and neighbors complaining about the noise.
8. Whittle Down the Offerings
Waste is a big problem in America and that is particularly true when throwing a party. How often do you end up throwing away half the food because nobody ate it? A good way to save money and keep your budget in check is to whittle down the list of food, appetizers, desserts, and drinks you serve.
If you’re making it potluck-style, spread out the dish assignments so there isn’t too much duplication. If you’re supplying the food, make a list of what you think should be served and then cut back on two–three food items. Think about what guests have eaten and shunned in the past. If the green cheese platter from last year went untouched, skip it this year. As long as you have Irish music and snacks for guests to nosh on, you’ll be good. Save the elaborate food displays for the parties you can actually afford to spend more money on.
St. Patrick’s Day parties can be fun, but they can also be expensive. Decorations, food, beverages, and entertainment can easily cost hundreds of dollars if you let them. But the success of a party is measured more by good times had by all rather than how fancy the decorations and party favors were.
By being frugal, hitting the discount stores, and keeping the party homegrown, you can go a long way in saving money while at the same time making sure everyone has the best time this coming St. Patrick’s Day.