Many people think that planning a party is super expensive. Food, decorations, drinks; costs quickly mount up… right?
Actually, it’s entirely possible to plan an unforgettable party and have money left over!
I love organizing celebrations on a budget as it can be a fun challenge and a great way to get creative.
Here are my top money-saving tips when it comes to party planning.
Make a List
The first thing you need to do before you start buying and making things is to make a list of all the items you will need. Pour yourself a large cup of coffee, sit down with a tasty snack and jot down what you need to buy, and how much money you have to allocate per item on the list.
Be ruthless when it comes to your list. Is there anything on there that you don’t really need? If the answer is yes, cross it off! That 35-dollar balloon arch may look gorgeous… but is it essential?
I always find that I spend the most money on food, so you will probably want to put most of your budget there. It will vary depending on the type of party you are throwing, the time of day you are hosting it and the number of guests you plan on inviting.
Creating a list before you start will give you a clear idea of how much you have to spend and will help keep you on track as you plan.
Choose A Theme
You may think that a money-saving party will be bland and boring, but the truth is that you can have a really bright and colorful party on a budget!
First of all, determine your theme. For a children’s party, it can be as easy as asking your child what theme they want. For adult birthday parties, it could be about their favorite food, favorite colors, favorite hobby or sports team.
Once you know what theme you want, you can go to your local store or favorite website and see how much everything costs – don’t forget your list!
This is an excellent opportunity to be creative. If you spot a bargain, how can you adapt it to match the theme of the party? Is there anything you already have at home that you can repurpose or reuse? Is there anything you can borrow from a friend?
Let your imagination run wild.
Create your Invitaions
You can save money by creating your own invites. The bonus of this is that you can create something personal that your guests will love and want to keep.
I really enjoy making my own invites and the great thing is, there are so many different websites with free invitation templates you can customize! Just Google “party invitation templates free” and pick any site you like.
Once you’ve created your own invites you can print them out and post them or alternatively, send them by email. Emailing your invites over to guests is a fantastic choice if you’re on a budget as you save money on envelopes and stamps too.
Serve a Buffet
As I mentioned before, you are likely to spend most of your party budget on food. However, you can save a lot of money here by being a little inventive!
If you’re looking to save money, it’s definitely a cheaper choice to make food yourself rather than use caterers. However, do shop around. Your local store may have a great deal on party platters, or you may have a friend in the catering business who can give you a discounted rate. Don’t be afraid to ask for a little money off!
If you’re going to cook yourself, look at recipes that are easy to make and will feed a large crowd. Scour the recipe books and cook things that you can make ahead of time. That way, you won’t be stuck in the kitchen on the morning of the party!
Take a look in your pantry and freezer to see what you already have on hand and work around that. This will help reduce your food budget substantially as you won’t have a big grocery list.
For parties, I love making chili, pasta and soups. Everyone likes these types of food, and you can serve them buffet-style; just pop them out on the table and let your guests help themselves!
As an alternative, why not consider a ‘potluck’ meal where everyone brings an appetizer, side dish or dessert? Most guests always insist on bringing a little something to say thank you, so take them up on their kind offer. That way you save time and money on cooking, and you get to sample a little of everyone’s delicious homemade dishes!
If you are providing alcohol at your party, consider serving a signature cocktail. That way, you don’t have to spend lots of money on a range of different beers, wines and spirits. For example, you can make a fabulous zingy cocktail with just three ingredients – fruit juice, lemonade and vodka.
Alternatively, supply soft drinks, juices and iced tea and ask your guests to bring their own alcohol.
IN SUMMARY – YOU CAN SAVE MONEY ON PLANNING A PARTY!
Whether your budget is $25 or $250, you can plan a fantastic party that everyone will love! All you need is a little creativity and inventiveness.
LET’S REVISIT THE FOUR STEPS:
- MAKE A LIST: WORK OUT HOW MUCH YOUR BUDGET IS AND STICK TO IT!
- CHOOSE A THEME: PICK YOUR THEME AND SEE WHAT YOU HAVE AT HOME OR CAN BORROW
- CREATE YOUR INVITES: SAVE MONEY BY DESIGNING THEM YOURSELF ONLINE
- PLAN YOUR MENU: COOK SOMETHING SIMPLE OR ASK FRIENDS AND FAMILY TO HELP OUT
Follow these steps, and I promise you will have an amazing celebration that will be the talk of your friends and family in the months to come.
What are your money-saving party tips when it comes to party planning? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!