If you have it, you have it. Some people are just born artists. From perfect food to the best party playlist to amazing decorations, some people still throw stellar parties.
However, the extravagance of a party is often tied to the budget. Obviously, a millionaire can throw an awesome and luxurious event, but what if their budget is of less epic proportions? Whether it’s a small get-together or a larger event, you don’t need a big bank account to throw a party that will have everyone talking at brunch the next morning.
Throw a party on a tight budget
The bulk of your party budget will go to the things you consider most important to your event. When I throw a party, I prioritize decorations, which is why I always allocate a large part of my budget to candles, banners and any other mood device that matches my theme.
It’s fine to spend a little more on your priority items, but it might not leave much for anything else. In that case, try some DIY projects and enlist the help of your friends to ease some of the financial burden. Here are some of the best tips for having fun on a budget.
1. Use simple invitations
Unless it’s a wedding or formal event, your party doesn’t need paper invitations. Instead, opt for email invitations with Avoid. They are free to send messages and allow their friends to reply instantly.
If all the people you want to invite are on Facebook, you can also create an event page to distribute food bundles, as well as receive playlist requests for the evening. This is the fastest way to count your guests and you will know in advance how much food to buy.
2. Find inexpensive decoration
While you love to spend money on fancy decorations, some of the things you have around your house can be perfect for your party and it won’t cost you a dime.
Instead of emphasizing your lack of fancy porcelain, mix and match three or four designs of bowls, plates, and mugs. The effect is old, original and, above all, inexpensive. Looking for the perfect place cards? Take everyday items and use a tag and marker to add names – pine cones, small Chinese takeout boxes, and even inexpensive dollar store votive candles work perfectly. Avoid fresh-cut flowers and use clusters of items to create centerpieces. A bunch of candles or vases of different sizes filled with citrus last longer, and you can even send some home with your guests.
3. Offer inexpensive meals
Filet mignon? Please. You don’t have to serve expensive cuts of meat to impress your guests. Instead of adding whole entrees to the menu, try gifting an appetizer-sized handful of groceries; you will save a lot of money on your food budget. Soup pitchers, meat kebabs and sauces fill your guests affordably without sacrificing flavor.
If you’re really strapped for cash, consider making your party a potluck. If the word “potluck” gets you thinking, try presenting the party as a “recipe swap” for salads and desserts, then make the main course yourself.
Alcohol can be one of the worst ways to cut the budget when it comes to hosting a party, especially if you have to buy bottles filled with a variety of spirits.
Instead of buying your supplies at the liquor store, go the “fancy” route and pick a signature drink for the evening. This way you only have to buy one or two types of alcohol and you can base your drink specifically on a cheaper wine liqueur rather than a more expensive liquor. Just be sure to provide non-alcoholic drinks, like soda water and punch, to your thirsty guests and designated drivers.
5. Use music apps for smartphones
Are you organizing a cocktail party? Charge with Michael Buble and Frank Sinatra. Christmas? Add a vacation period. Anti-Valentine’s Day with the girls? Kelly Clarkson to the end. If you choose premium subscriptions, the songs do not have ads; otherwise, you will get a 15 second break every 30 minutes or so.
An economic downturn might not really get you in the party mood, but hosting a night out with friends can help you unwind. By skipping the expensive extras and getting creative with the food and decorations, you can throw a cheap party that has the same effect as a more expensive party: time with friends, great food, and stories. epics to repeat for breakfast the next day.
What other great inexpensive party ideas have you tried?