So you want to throw a party but don’t want to blow through an entire paycheck just for a few hours of a good time with your friends? I am right there with you. Listen, I love my friends, but I also love my savings account so I have to come up with creative ways to throw awesome parties. This may seem like an oxymoron but it’s not as hard a feat to accomplish than some of you might assume.
Here are 5 easy ways to save money and still be an excellent host.
1. Have the party at home.
Don’t stress about renting a big venue for your party. Keep it intimate and have it at your home. Having a party at home not only helps save you money because you’re not renting a space, it also helps keep your guest list limited. Less guests means less food to plan for, less alcohol to plan for, and less people to clean up after. Also, it’s your house, that means your outfit doesn’t have to include shoes. Hello? This is reason enough to throw the party at your house.
2. Provide the main dish and mixers and have your friends bring everything else.
This is one of my favorite ways to save money that I stole from my parents. You provide the main dish (usually this is whatever I know I cook well and will leave my friends impressed with my limited skills in the kitchen) and different mixers for the alcohol. Then ask your friends to provide their favorite side dish or dessert and their favorite bottle of alcohol to share with the group. This saves you a TON of money. And it gives your friends a chance to show off their culinary skills as well.
*This can also serve as a great way to get conversation flowing. Have everyone explain why they brought the alcohol they brought – whether their reason is because it was the cheapest bottle they could find or because it was their favorite bottle of wine they had on Spring Break, everyone loves to talk about why they chose the alcohol they chose. Trust me.
3. Don’t focus on decorations.
Stop worrying about decorating. Everyone knows the secret to a great party is good conversation, the perfect background music, and good food. No one remembers a party that had the best flower arrangements in the backyard. If you want to add a pop to the space do it with something you probably already have around the house. Pull out the Christmas lights and string them up on the deck. Use the china your parents gave you at your wedding. Have a great playlist set up on the speakers and relax. Your friends don’t need anything else.
4. Skip out on invitations
We are living in a digital age people. Forget sending paper invitations. Hop into the mindset of a millennial and send an e-vite. You know how much money an e-vite costs? Zero dollars. You know what’s better than saving money? Spending no money at all! Seriously. Forget the paper invites. They may be nice to hang on your fridge for a bit but we all know that eventually they end up in the recycling bin.
5. Keep an eye out on deals when you go grocery shopping.
If you’re like me, you like to plan a party a few weeks in advance. You’re bound to make a couple trips to the grocery store in that time period. Keep your eye out on deals! If wine is on sale pick up a couple of bottles while they’re cheap. Chips are 2 for $5? Perfect. Those won’t go bad by the time the party rolls around. Spreading out your spending will make it easier and way less stressful.
These are just a few tips on how you can save money for the next party you throw. If there is anything major that I missed include it in the comments below! I am always looking for ways to improve my budgeting skills.