1. Decide what’s important. What do you want to be the highlight of your party? The décor? The food? The activities? Figure out what you’d like the guests leave talking about and that will help you budget your money and your time. For our wedding reception, the most important thing to us was that our guests had fun! Therefore our priorities were music, drinks, and fun decorations.
It worked! (original post)
2. Use other parts of the party as decoration. Take a few simple items that you’d have there anyways and set them up in a fun way….voila! Free décor!
3. Reuse party supplies. My mom has a group of friends who graciously have thrown wedding showers for each other’s kids over the years. The theme is always “fiesta” and they use the same adorable decorations from party to party. Guess what. No one minds! Remember those tissue paper balls from my Oscar party? I know they’re mainly just inexpensive tissue paper, but I’ve kept them and keep finding more reasons to use them! Your first party might be expensive, but the ones following will become progressively cheaper and easier.
Or buy/create a few chalkboard pieces and you can use them for every occasion! (source)
4. If you have the time: Do it yourself. You can save money on everything from food to decorations to music if you can take the time and make (or compile) them yourself. Easier said than done, of course, but even creating one or two items from scratch can save you big bucks! Check out my Pinterest page for tons of DIY party ideas!
A s’mores station could cost big bucks, but this homemade version above is just as fun! (source)
5. Borrow. Saw a cute garland at your friend’s party? Ask her to borrow it for your upcoming shindig. More than likely she’ll be flattered (she might have just thrown it out anyways) and no one will notice the repeat in a new space.
Speaking of garlands… (source)
6. Use items you already have. Here are a few clever party tricks using items you might already have around (or can find at the Dollar Store). Look through your home with a creative eye and you might be surprised at how much you already have.
7. Printables! For those who might not know what they are, printables are graphic designs that you can download and print. Printables are all over the web right now, and a ton of them are free! Designers make everything from invitations to garlands to little flags that adorn straws, and all you have to do is print and trim.
Remember this party that was basically all printables? (original post)
8. Limit your bar. Your tab will rack up fast if you’re trying to stock a full bar (or even a half bar) for your party. Serving beer, wine, and one fun punch or cocktail will keep your party festive without breaking the bank. You could also come up with a bar “theme,” which will keep your costs down, like margaritas and Mexican beer, or do a mini wine tasting.
Signature cocktails in every color of the rainbow! (source)
9. Simplify your menu. I am the queen of preparing too elaborate menus and then answering for it later, with both my time and my pocketbook. (Does anyone still say “pocketbook?”) Work on making one or two “wow” dishes, and then try to keep the rest simple.
You can’t go wrong with side salad and fruit! (source)
10. Delegate! People love to feel like they’ve contributed and it is definitely not too much to ask a few guests to bring an appetizer, prepare a game (a super fun job!), or even stop and get ice on their way. They of course have the right to decline, and accept that graciously. If you’re on a really tight budget, consider making your shindig BYOB or a potluck.
How do you save money when throwing parties?