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Tips & Tricks to Hosting a {Fun} Party on a Budget

Whether you are planning a holiday get together, kid’s birthday party or a summer shindig, life is worth celebrating and any reason is a perfect reason to throw a party.  You don’t have to break the bank to entertain your friends and family, because people are the heart of any great party.  You do need to set the tone and the right atmosphere so that guests have an amazing time.  This could by with delicious food, entertaining activities, or eye catching decor.  

Here are my best tips to host a party on a budget:

 

White dinnerware can easily be dressed up or down with something as simple as holiday napkins.

 

 

You’re Invited!

 

One of the simplest ways to save money is by using digital invitations, assuming your event is not formal! 

  • Use an email invite system like evite.com to receive RSVPs quickly.
  • Create a Facebook event where guests can get updates and see all attendees.
  • Use a mobile phone app to add words to an image and text the invitation electronically.

 

Location, location, location!

 

Look for a venue where you don’t have to spend a lot of money!  

  • Transform your yard into a backyard oasis.  
  • Host a get together in the comfort of your home. 
  • Find a local park if the weather permits.
  • Consider banquet rooms at your local church, hotel, community center or favorite restaurant.

 

Arrange your outdoor furniture for guests to gather and enjoy one another’s company.

 

It’s Time to Eat!

 

To avoid the cost of preparing an entire meal for your guests, plan a party between meal times.  Cake and drinks is all you really need to call it a party! 

  • If you splurge on the cake, prepare some of the treats or snacks yourself!
  • Anytime you avoid prepackaged foods, you can save some dough!
  • If you do plan to serve your guests a meal, think of easy and inexpensive meal options such as a chili or nacho bar, hot dogs and hamburgers or pizza to go!
  • Make it a potluck and ask guests to bring their favorite side dish while you provide the main dish.

 

 

Do It Yourself Decor

 

There is a plethora of DIYs on Pinterest to create your own party décor, photo booths, banners and crafts.  Create a board for your party theme and pin away.  Here are a few essential tools!

  • Spraypaint!  You can transform everything with this stuff.  Spray paint branches and string with lights, turn rocks into ‘gold’ for a pirate party or juice bottles into glam vases.  You can paint lawn games right onto the grass or renovate mismatched candlesticks.  
  • Paper.  It is fairly inexpensive and can be used to pull a party together when used in repetition.  Use wrapping paper as a tablecloth for a pop of color and easy cleanup, fold tissue paper into hanging pom poms or cut scrapbook paper into a birthday banner.
  • Hot glue! I have hot glued everything from tutus made from tulle for the birthday girl to paper doilies, crepe paper and toy ponies onto glass jars.  It’s easy, its quick and it burns!
  • Balloons!  String them together for a statement piece or photo backdrop, add confetti or glow sticks before inflating, or decorate them with construction paper to turn them into animals.  

 

I DIYed this teepee and used the extra fabric to create a garland for a tween glamp out slumber party.

 

On the Cheap!

 

  • Borrow! Ask friends and family for extra seating or serving dishes!
  • Create a playlist on your Ipod or Iphone with Apple Music and connet to your Bose or Sonos.
  • If friends offer to bring something, take them up on the offer. 
  • Entertain with no cost activities.  Think musical chairs, Simon Says, or charades.  For older kids, try dancing, Pictionary or a game of volleyball.
  • Use items that you already have as decor.  If your theme for a child’s birthday party is based on their favorite character or toy like firetrucks, gather up their firetrucks for a fun tablescape.  

 

For this Back to School themed party, I used school supplies and my daughter’s American Girl doll accessories.

 

Double Take!

 

Be resourceful and use items that are dual purpose. 

  • I love to use party favors that first serve as table décor. Miniature baskets filled with a decorated cookie to fit your theme look great at each table place setting and provide guests a sweet take home treat. 
  • Create a candy buffet by filling glass jars of various shapes and sizes with colorful candy to match your theme. Guests can snack on the treats and then fill a bag of candy to take home. 
  • Plan a craft that can double as a fun activity during the party and then serve as a party favor. Think tie dye t-shirts, painted pumpkins and ornaments for a holiday party or a scavenger hunt with treats at every clue. 
  • I keep basic serving pieces in solid colors, predominantly white or clear glass, so that they work with any theme year after year.  To dress them up, use glue dots to adhere paper flowers to the rim of cake stands, layer a sheet of scrapbook paper on a tray, or add colorful paper straws to mason jars.  

 

Easy to make candy kabobs look great and make delicious take home gifts.

 

Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

 

Plan ahead so that you don’t get caught up in last minute purchases.  You know the feeling when you think you won’t have enough food, so you run to the store right before the party and buy enough to last through the apocalypse.   

 

  • Set a party budget and stick with it.
  • Make a list of things to do to prepare for the party, items to purchase and food to serve/make.
  • Look for items that fit your theme as you find them on sale or while you run your regular errands.  Don’t procrastinate shopping or you will not have time to comparison shop.
  • Shop online for specific items to avoid impulse buys.  Think Amazon, Oriental Trading and BirthdayExpress.com. 

I hope these tips inspire you to pull off an awesome budget friendly get together, so you can sit back and enjoy the party.  

Something as simple as pages from a vintage hymnal can transform your dining room for a dinner party.

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