Party on a budget!
I don’t know about you guys but planning a party can get costly in no time for me. If I don’t curb my enthusiasm and don’t use my brain, I may totally start emotional purchases and in no time my bill goes over the roof!
However, throughout my event planning career and dealing with different types of events, I've learned that the below steps are vital for you to make sure you don’t break the bank while still throwing a killer party. So here it goes, my tips for you to keep the fun on a budget:
1. Start a party budget!
Start by determining how much you plan to spend on the whole party. Then divide it up into categories, such as food, decor, invitations, entertainment, and other. Next, set a realistic limit to each category. You can do this in a simple Excel spreadsheet or on paper. As you purchase items for the party, be sure to keep track of every expense.
2. Get creative with the décor.
Instead of buying multiple centrepieces (that you might never use again), try mixing a variety of vases, figurines, and decorations from around your home. Or, hit up the dollar stores for affordable candles and votives. Have a mishmash of china at home? Theme your party around that and mix and match all of your decorations for a whimsical vibe. If it's an outdoor party, hang up some cheap cafe or Christmas lights to create a cozy feel.
3. Ask everyone to bring something to the party if possible!
Believe me people usually get excited to bake/cook something for potlucks; it keeps them engaged and excited for the party hours before attending it! And worst case scenario, they will have to buy a pre-made food from their local grocery store, or a drink from a liquor store; it means you will have more food/drinks on your food table anyways so it is all for the win!
4. Shop on a budget!
Avoid higher priced stores and go bargain shopping. A lot of great decorations and preps could be found in dollar shops, thrift shops, and flea markets; and for your food shopping, stay away from higher priced retailers. Also, there is a great app called Flipp that gives you access to all the flyers and deals in different department stores, so you could use them and ask your local grocery store for a price match! I mean.. if you don’t get excited about that I don’t know what to tell ya! (btw the app is not by any means sponsored; I just love it and I thought you guys need to know about it too).
5. Save money on ice.
If you’re having lots of guests over you’re going to be wanting a lot of ice for their drinks. Plan ahead and freeze your own ice cubes so you don’t have to spend money buying ice cubes from the shops.
6. Opt for cocktails (or mocktails) .
If you want to avoid spending lots of money on mixed drinks, having pitchers of one drink will still go down a storm. You could buy one or two bottles of alcohol with a few mixers to create cocktails and some fruit juices to create the mocktails for those who aren’t drinking. Opt for shops own brands to keep the cost down.
7. Play board games instead of investing so much money on an entertainer.
..and if you don’t own board games head to the nearest thrift shop and buy a bunch for a good deal! You could even have a championship league planned, asking guests to play against each other, and then have a little prize for the winner! Fun, and so budget friendly, eh?!
And there you have it! I hope these 7 steps help you organize your mind, your shopping list, and your plans for your next event ahead. It will for sure keep the financial stress low, so the party will be more enjoyable for you as a host, which will eventually lead to throwing more parties! And who does not like to have some fun around here?!