Have you always wondered how some people are born entertainers? Their celebrations are always lavish, well-decorated, and impeccably organized. Though you must have a gift for throwing a sensational party, the limits of your budget play a significant role, too.
Still, don’t despair if your pocket is not as deep as the ones of those Instagram celebrities you follow. Consider these hacks and use them wisely to make every gathering a hot topic the next morning instead. Indeed, your shaky bank account doesn’t have to be an excuse for throwing a boring party. Just read our tips and organize an unforgettable celebration regardless of your planning budget.
Table of Contents
- 1 Throw A Themed Party
- 2 Keep The Guest List Small
- 3 Send E-Invites
- 4 Make Your Decorations
- 5 Let Your Guest Bring Something
- 6 Have The Party At Home
- 7 Plan The Timing Carefully
- 8 Get Party Supplies At The Dollar Store
- 9 Make Your Own Cake
- 10 Make A Party Fund
- 11 Shop In Advance For Discounts
- 12 Save On Alcohol With A Signature Drink
- 13 Arrange Form Of Entertainment For The Guests And Kids
- 14 Bottom Line
- 15 FAQ
Throw A Themed Party
Before anything, think of a theme that’ll mark your celebration. This way, it’ll be easier to decide on decorations, food, games, and activities. In short, you develop the entire party around the theme and have something to hold on to when you’re out of ideas. If you’re having difficulty choosing the theme, we bet you can find numerous inspirational images on Pinterest.
Selecting a theme well ahead is crucial if you want to economize with decorations and sweet tables. By doing so, you can benefit from sales, coupons, and special promotions to procure the needed items at half price. Planning in due time also helps you stay within budget and avoid impulse buying when under pressure.
Even better, pick a theme you happen to keep decorations for. Thematic items are particularly important for your kids’ birthday parties. Boys usually prefer superheroes and girls unicorns and dolls. Meaning, you probably have thousands of toys and items with their favorite characters. Start shopping at your house before you go and splash out on official gear at specialty stores.
Keep The Guest List Small
The longer your guest list, the more money you’ll pour down the drain. There’s no need to invite the entire neighborhood over. All your high school friends you haven’t heard from for ages aren’t that important either. Let’s be honest; the most profound conversation you’ve ever had with your neighbors was about the weather.
Moreover, why would you invite the entire soccer team and playground buddies of your beloved ones? When you’re throwing a party for your kids, limit the guest list to 15 kids at the most. Finally, remember that small kids come accompanied by their parents, so you have an extra burden on your food and drinks menu.
Alternatively, if your kid is not that outgoing and hates crowds, it might be worth forking out on the zoo. Invite only a handful of friends your kid feels comfortable with and go bowling or visit a play center. In this case, a birthday party outside your home may be more memorable for your kid and far less expensive for you. Also, don’t forget about the kids eat free restaurants where you can save cash on food and still have a great time.
Hosting a house party can be a simple and affordable event if you have the tips on organizing it.
Are you still sending out authentic, themed invitations to all guests? We bet most of them don’t even get the chance to reach the invitees or get lost halfway. So, it’s time you give up this hefty habit and save the overpriced paper invitations for formal celebrations and weddings.
Nowadays, we live in an advanced digital era and must act accordingly. Thousands of apps available on the Internet will let you create your e-invitations for free. Moreover, you can download free invitation versions from Canva.com and alter the details quickly. The easiest option is to download a themed photo or use one from your personal gallery and make it a personalized invitation.
Once the invitations are ready, send them out by email, messenger, or text. Another tip if all your guests are on Facebook is to create an event. This way, you’ll get RSVP as soon as possible you’re your friends will get reminded of the timing. Going paperless also means you care about the environment and saves you time and effort.
Make Your Decorations
Stocking up on decorations can be a hefty aspect of any gathering. Most guests won’t even notice them, and even if they do so, they won’t talk in lengths about décor. So, go ahead and prepare your signature decorations with a little bit of Pinterest inspiration.
First, start by looking for free printables that are easy to make and match your celebration’s theme. Indeed, the good old paper will help you keep within budget as it’s the most frugal way to embellish the place. Also, consider making a banner with different shapes, styles, and colors to serve as a centerpiece for your special occasion.
Finally, if you don’t feel like doing crafts or being cut out for decorating, visit the nearest Target or Dollar spot. There, you’ll undoubtedly find glamourous decorations that won’t break the bank and will save you time and effort. Don’t forget to purchase balloons, too!
Let Your Guest Bring Something
Would you go to a celebration empty-handed? Of course not, and neither would any of the invited people come at the door without a gift. Here is your chance to keep the overall cost down. Ask each person specifically to bring an item that you need for the occasion.
For instance, they can bring wine, appetizers, and even dessert. Most people would appreciate it if you tell them what your plans and wishes for the party are. Imagine their satisfaction if they know that their gift is a full hit. What’s more, you won’t end up with a handful of unnecessary gifts that you might never use.
In case you decide to take care of the food, keep it simple, and plan it well in advance. Above all, meat skewers, dips, and salads will keep your guests full without sacrificing taste. Also, your guests will be quite ecstatic if you try some of these cheap party food ideas.
Have The Party At Home
Organizing a party at bars and restaurants can cost you an arm and a leg. Bars charge event fees and a drink minimum, which can seriously boost the bill. For example, renting out a venue can cost you up to $300 depending on the location, the premises, and the included packages.
A better idea is to hire a bartender at home if you want to spice the party up. Bartenders charge per hour, and their rates start at $15. Indeed, there’s nothing wrong with throwing a party at a place where you don’t have to pay irrational fees.
Your best shot if you live in a house is your yard. You can decorate it a few days before, have fun as long as you want, and all that for no cost. The nearest park is also a viable option instead of shelling out on a $300 trampoline park. Last, if the weather is terrible or you don’t have a yard, consider your living room. A spacious living room with carefully selected décor and furniture can make a great party spot.
Plan The Timing Carefully
Scheduling the party somewhere around 5 p.m. and lunchtime will cost you over the moon. If this is your party idea, get ready to feed a hungry mass of adults and kids. People are used to eating at these times of the day, so inviting them means you’ll give them a decent meal.
You can cut the cost by serving finger food and arranging an off time when guests are usually full. Pick a timeframe ranging from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to spare yourself the trouble of refilling plates and bowls.
Last, remember that skipping food is never a smart idea. Therefore, try to include some snacks for your party to give guests a chance to munch on. Nobody likes a mean host who decided to avoid serving food and snacks on such an occasion. We understand you’re on a budget, but you don’t want your celebration to turn into a disaster. Last, a house full of starving kids is the worst thing that can happen to you!
Get Party Supplies At The Dollar Store
When you’re planning a party, probably the Dollar Store is the first that comes to mind. You’re in the right as this spot can be your one-stop shop for most items you’ll ever need for a celebration. Dollar stores sell anything from tablecloths and utensils to gift bags and decorations. You can get all this stuff for just a fraction of the money you’d spend elsewhere for similar supplies.
Scavenge shelves carefully and ensure you cross as many needed items off your list as possible. We suggest you try the dollar spot at Target, where you can find amazing stuff that you didn’t even consider. Moreover, if you want to go with disposable products, dollar sections would be the kindest to your wallet.
Even more important, never enter a Dollar Store without a specific list. You might end up overfilling your cart with cheap but unnecessary items that’ll only boost your bill. Last, pay attention to packaging size and opt for multiple-item ones. Larger boxes of party supplies are usually cheaper and can come in handy for other occasions, too.
Halloween parties, birthday parties, New Year’s Eve parties. You can handle everything with our creative tips and tricks on organizing an event on a budget.
Make Your Own Cake
Ordering a cake from the store can cost you up to $50, and this is only for a dozen guests. What you can do is a DIY cake or cupcakes and pocket the difference. In case you have a culinary talent, a home-made cake can cost you well below $10. Think about decorating it with fresh fruit and some nuts on top to give it a glamorous look.
Even if you’re not keen on cooking, a cake mix and some icing will do the job. Find an easy recipe on YouTube and follow the steps closely. This way, you’ll spare yourself the frustration of having no idea what to do with the ingredients. Plus, you might even learn to make a sugary buttercream frosting.
When it comes to kids’ birthdays, an average custom cake can cost you an incredible $150. Of course, you don’t have the heart to say no to your kiddo, who desperately wants that three-layered Batman cake. Instead of paying over the nose, buy a generic cake at the nearest grocery store and place your child’s favorite hero on top.
Make A Party Fund
Are you a person that finds it hard to set aside even for an emergency? Then, you might want to try the envelope strategy. Meaning, you’ll have to keep a separate envelope and insert a specific amount of money from each paycheck. Little by little, you’ll be able to save enough cash that’ll make your dream party come true.
Thanks to a saving strategy that’ll suit your character, you can organize a great party without much financial pressure. This way, you won’t have to spend the entire months’ earnings at once and for one evening only. Consider keeping an emergency fund for other matters, as well. Finally, never dip into the savings, except for an urgent financial dead-end. Still not sure how to accomplish this step? Well, we have a great guide on how to make a budget and stick to it.
Shop In Advance For Discounts
Start by checking your pantry for forgotten crackers, chips, jams, and salsas. Once you’re sure about your home supplies, it’s time to compose a detailed shopping list. Next, browse through online and newspaper circulars to compare products’ prices and clip coupons that you might come across.
Buy food supplies in advance and when there are specific discounts and promotions. Such a pursuit may last a couple of weeks and take you some time, but savings will eventually be significant. Try to skip the premade and frozen food section to avoid increasing your bill and spoiling the taste of your party. You won’t regret it if you try out this pain-free budget shopping – how to fill your pantry for less.
Another useful hack is to purchase seasonal fruits and veggies. On the one hand, any meal prepared will have a fresher taste. On the other hand, you’ll save money as seasonal products are abundant and always cost less than off-season ones.
Save On Alcohol With A Signature Drink
Alcohol can be your budget’s worst enemy if you’re throwing a party where kids are not involved. Most likely, you’ll try to offer your dearest friends a variety of spirits. Yet, buying several types of alcohol and stocking a full bar can cost you the earth.
To stay within budget and still impress your guests, go the ‘chic’ way with a signature drink. This way, you’ll focus on two types of alcohol and base your special drink around a cheaper wine spritzer. Note that you’ll probably have to buy extras like limes, lemons, and club soda.
If you don’t like the signature idea, serving beer and wine only would be the cheapest option. When making the calculations, plan a drink or two per person per hour. Also, stock up on juice, water, and sodas, so that guests can pace themselves. Stay away from cocktails and pricey liquors if you want to survive until your next pay stub!
Arrange Form Of Entertainment For The Guests And Kids
If you have invited kids over, you’ll have to arrange some cheap entertainment to keep them busy. The same goes for adults, right? The best approach is to keep children separated and have a kid zone within the party space. Your primary focus is to keep the youngest attendees occupied. Happy kids always equal delighted parents!
Start the old way and remind the guests of games like musical chairs and hot potato. Set a corner with coloring pages and simple crafts. Later on, organize a dance or karaoke party within the main celebration. If the party is out in the open, go with a scavenger hunt or an obstacle course to keep the kids engaged and active.
Setting a photo booth can be an excellent entertainment spot both for the kids and the adults. Also, provide items like wigs, paper mustaches, hats, and cheap scarves to make the entire occasion worth remembering. Use a good-quality digital camera or even your phone as a last resort solution. Later on, you can send them the photos. A delightful party touch!
Every party’s holy trinity is a thoughtful selection of food and drinks, ear-catching music, and great entertainment. With a little bit of preparation ahead and a clear plan, you can throw a spectacular celebration on the cheap. Most often than not, simple gatherings organized with love and care is what warms guests’ hearts.
Have you tried other budget party ideas lately? What was the ultimate impression on guests? Please share your experience with us in the comment box below. Of course, don’t forget to register for our ProMoneySavings Newsletter and receive many other smart money tips in your inbox.
How do you throw a great party on a budget?
The ideal approach to throw an inexpensive and yet memorable party is to focus on DIY items. First, start by making your own decorations from cheap party supplies or stuff you already have. Then, make a food and drinks menu and try to prepare as much as you can. A signature drink based on wine is an excellent choice to stay within budget, for instance. Last, organize a few amusing games and activities for your guests to keep them entertained at no cost.
How do you throw a surprise party on a budget?
Throwing a party for somebody else that has no idea about it can be more stressful than doing it for yourself. Hence, it would help if you took care that the location and all planning remain top-secret. Prepare an exclusive guest list of people dear and close to the person you’re organizing the party for. Last, take care of the decorations and the cake, bearing in mind the celebrating person’s taste.
How do you host a good party?
The crucial thing is to pay the utmost attention to drinks and music. Nothing will kill a well-organized party like a lousy selection of tunes and alcohol. We suggest you go simple on canapes and beverages and have everyone attending satisfied. Also, to keep things under control, delegate some of the preparation work to your closest friends.
What are some fun things to have at a party?
You don’t have to spend a fortune on a party to make it look luxurious, fun, and memorable. What you need is a little bit of inspiration and some prior work. We suggest you go with a photo booth along with items like hats, wigs, and mustaches. Another fabulous idea is to turn your place into a casino for one night. Feel free to enjoy the excitement of dice rolling and cards revealing. Last, focus on a scavenger hunt if you organize the party for kids, or make it a board game night.