Are you charged with throwing an adult get together on a tight budget? You probably have a lot of great ideas for your party but they all cost money and lots of it. So, how can you pull it all together on a budget and still come out a hero? I can help. Here are some quick and easy ways to slash that party budget and still have a great time.
Cut The Guest List
It is going to cost you x amount of dollars per person, so obviously the best way to cut the budget is to cut the head count. A smaller party will be cheaper, easier to pull together and probably more fun. Do you really like everyone on the big list anyway?
With just your close friends and best acquaintances, everyone will be on the same page. The conversation is sure to be better and everyone will be sure to get along.
Who says that you have to serve a dinner. Start the party at 8 and just serve appetizers. You can do a lot for just a little money this way. Meatballs, pigs in a blanket, fresh veggies and dip, etc, etc. As an extra bonus, most of these foods can be made ahead of time. This leaves you free to socialize during your party.
If you want to serve an inexpensive dinner, go potluck. Make a main entree and then ask everyone to bring the side of their choice. With the sheer number of sides that you will be getting, you can even afford to go light on the main course. A small roast or even some grilled boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into strips. Cut the usual portion you would serve in half and allow your guests to fill up on the sides they brought.
If you were planning on supplying the alcohol for your party, this is the biggest area where you can make a cut. Nothing adds up quicker than the cost of supplying beer, wine and alcohol.
Instead, ask your guest to bring their favorite alcoholic beverage. If you still feel the need to supply drinks, consider making a punch instead. A rum or vodka based punch is incredibly cheap with 1.75 liters of either alcohol available for purchase for around $10 – $15 a piece. Two bottles of either and four or five cans of frozen juice concentrate gives you enough ingredients to make 5 gallons of punch. That is over 80 drinks for around $30. A whole lot cheaper than buying 200 dollars in beer and wine.
Plan & Shop Early
As soon as you know that your party is on the horizon, plan it out down to the last detail. You can then immediately start shopping for the best deals. If you find a food that you want to serve cheap, buy it and freeze it. Pick up decorations when they go on sale or buy clearance holiday decorations and re-purpose them. The earlier that you can start shopping, the better. It gives you more time to find the deals. If you wait until the last minute, you will have to take what you can get and it will cost you.
Borrow What You Need
If you do not have it, borrow it. Rather than spend a fortune on serving wear, even the disposable type, borrow it from family or friends. The same goes for the other party stuff you need like cookware and even seating. Put the word out on Facebook that ou need a few things and the offers should come flooding in.
Use What You Have
Before hitting the store to buy your food and drink, check out the cupboards and the freezer. Use what you have first and plan meals around the ingredients you have at hand.
Cook Something Cheap
You can go all in with a great entree without breaking your budget. Mexican food or Tex Mex for example. These use some of the cheapest staples around as their base. Beans and rice. They are extremely easy to make and cheap if you buy in bulk and make them from scratch. Too intimidated to soak your own beans, don’t be. It is extremely easy and the product is out of this world. Add to that a few pounds of ground round, some spices and a few dozen tortillas. Cheap and easy.
Decorate On The Cheap
Instead of the party store, check out the dollar store or even eBay. Party stores have a great selection but their prices leave something to be desired. Shop the budget venues instead and be fluid with your decoration plans. If you are stuck on one style of decoration, you will probably have to pay big bucks to get it.
Know Your Budget
Before you plan your party, know your budget. Take the amount that you can afford to spend and then divide it up into categories. Allot a set amount to drinks, another to food, and another to decorations. Then, stick to it. If you know what you have to spend on each section of your party before you shop you are less likely to accidentally over spend and wreck your budget. Without planning, a 200 budget can easily turn into a 400 dollar spend.
Tina’s Last Word
If you are on a budget, I know that throwing a party can be a challenge. Above all else, invite the people that you like and enjoy yourself. In the end it is not the food or the drink that matters, it is the people.