I love to host parties & gatherings for all occasions. Graduation parties, birthday parties, murder mystery parties, the list goes on & on.
What I don’t love is the amount of money that you have to spend on a party. So I had to quickly master the art of a party on a budget. Here’s how I learned to throw a stress free, fun, party on a budget.
Where To Begin Planning A Party
The first thing that you must do before any party planning can begin is to pick a theme. Why? Because, a theme will give you guidance on what direction your party will be going.
Having a Little Mermaid Party? Then you’ll be looking for all things ocean related or just the colors coral & blue.
Either way a theme will lock you in so that you won’t buy all the cute items that you see that have no relation & keep your party on a budget.
Once you’ve picked your theme, decide on your budget.
Stick to it. Take out the amount of cash you’ve decided on operate on just that.
Invitations can easily break your party budget, but they don’t have to.
If you’re having a kid’s party, you can have your kiddos make their own invitations to send.
Or you can hop over to Etsy & check out their printable invites section. These allow you to print invitations at home with your own printer.
Decorations are a central part of any party. But it can also quickly add up. Although, it is easier than you think to cut your decoration costs & keep your party on a budget.
Get creative with your backdrops.
- Use multiple paper chains in varying colors.
- Blow up balloons & bunch them together.
- Drape fabric across a wall.
- Hang gift wrap on a wall.
- Make your own balloon towers.
Related: 20 Stunning DIY Party Backdrops
Instead of buying an expensive table runner you can use gift wrap to decorate the table.
Add flare to any table by using what you already have on hand. If you have stuffed animals, blocks, or other theme related items in your home already, then add them to the table.
Blow up balloons with helium & then cover them in tulle for unique table centerpieces.
Or, if you already have vases spice them up:
- Tie a ribbon around them.
- Fill them with water beads.
- Fill them with colored water with a floating flower.
- If it’s at night time, set the mood by adding tea lights.
If you want to add hanging decorations to your party, it doesn’t have to break the bank. Try:
- Tissue paper flowers
- Paper garlands
- Ribbon garland
- Pennants, you can either make your own from fabric or cardstock or order them from Etsy.com.
- Cardstock paper spirals
Food Table Decorations
Make your own cupcake tower or cake stand by wrapping boxes of different sizes & stacking them on top of each other.
Mark your food with printed food labels. You can jazz it up by putting the labels in a picture frame.
Related: Tissue Paper Flower Numbers
Every party needs to have some form of entertainment. Try these awesome ideas:
- Make your own games, like ball toss.
- Make a photo booth using gift wrap as a backdrop & props.
- Have a kids’ table with coloring pages, water coloring, crafts kits.
- Get some hula hoops for a competition
- Set up a bubble machine.
- Have some fun with karaoke.
Location is key to any party. Ideally it would be cheaper to have it at your house.
But if you have a small home or don’t want the clean up you can save money & stay on budget by trying alternate locations.
- a park
- a library
- a skating rink
- a local YMCA
- a local recreation center
Most of your party budget will probably go to food. However, you can cut down on how much you spend. Try these tricks:
- Instead of buying individual drinks use a drink dispenser. Save time & make a huge batch of your drink of choice.
- Save time & money by hosting a pot luck.
- Have the party in between big meals like between 11 & 1 or 2-5. That way don’t feel obligated to provide a full meal. Instead you can offer either finger foods or just cake & ice cream.
- Make your own cupcakes & decorate them.
Remember, unless it’s a food theme party people don’t come for food. They come for a good time.
If you’re having a party for 20 people or under take advantage of the Dollar Tree for paper products, serving trays, & serving utensils. If more than 20 people, I suggest shopping at Amazon or Walmart.
For glassware try plastic flutes or mason jars. The best thing about using mason jars is that you can re-use them for something else such as food storage, candles, or even science experiments.
Buy solid color plates napkins & cups. That way everything that’s leftover can be used for another event.
Skip party favors. Let’s be honest it’s usually either a small toy that will get lost in a day or candy that they don’t need anyway. Focus instead on the fun!
The Biggest Tip To Planning A Party On A Budget
Plan in advance!
People always look at me crazy when I say I plan at least 3-6 months in advance for a party.
But it works.
Once I make up my mind on a theme I can be on the lookout for deals & take my time on making anything that I want to create.
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