You want to organize a birthday, housewarming, or even a wedding, but don’t want to cover yourself with debt. If you have a budget, stick to it (and don’t be tempted by all the little “bonus” items).
In the meantime, here are ten tips to reduce the cost of your next party.
1. Location, location, location
You probably already know this, but picking a dedicated party venue can be very expensive. In fact, they can run you up several thousands of dollars.
If possible, try to have your party at either your house or your friends/relatives’. Otherwise, with a little research, you can perhaps find cheaper venues (and even public ones): a school classroom, community hall, church, etc.
2. 21st Century Invitations
No need to spend a ton of money on physical invitations (let alone snail mail). Sending emails, evites, or other Facebook event invitations is now a common thing. And it’s all free.
The best part is you can send a reminder, or tell your friends about any changes (eg. bad weather).
3. Split up decorations
Share the burden of decorating the party with your friends and family. Everyone should go to a bunch of “cheap” decorative stores to buy various items you can find.
On party day, everybody brings what they got, and you decorate the place together. Don’t forget items you can find outside, for free.
4. Free music
There are now countless options to stream and play digital music. Whether you have an MP3 player with speakers, or a computer with Spotify/Songza/Pandora on it, the options are almost limitless.
And if you personally don’t have a music collection, you can always ask your friends to bring theirs.
5. Combine parties
Instead of having a big birthday blowout for your own, singular, birthday, why not celebrate the date with other friends or families whose birthdays coincide (or are close) with yours.
You can share whatever the costs, and have double the amount of guests (and fun).
6. Simple is better
Wanting to dazzle your guests with champagne is one thing, but it’ll be pretty pricey. Instead, opt for a more “communal” experience, like a BBQ party where everyone can bring their own meat(s).
A good barbecue in a nice place, with delicious drinks: as simple as it gets. It’s the kind of perfect party your friends will remember for years.
7. Shop smart
When it comes to shopping, go for bulk or wholesale stores (Costco, etc.). You can stock up on specialized stores dedicated to restaurants, if you’re planning on purchasing a large number of specific items.
8. Share responsibility
Ask your guests to bring a dish, a dessert, or a drink. Get organized so they do not all bring the same thing.
You can even organize a team of volunteers who will help you to serve the food, and clean up at the end.
9. Small festive dishes over large ones
They won’t be necessarily expensive either. Avoid pricey ingredients, and fold back to simple and delicious things that everyone loves: dips, pita bread, raw veggies, etc. When it comes to main dishes, pasta, salads, savory cakes or quiches are also very popular. You can prepare all these things in advance, and freeze them for later.
10. Have a dozen mini-parties
Rather than inviting 40 friends to a party once a year, invite three or four over for dinner once a month, for example. You will lay out spending over a year, and you won’t feel obliged to send proper invites, make new decorations, buy a ton of food. Best of all, you’ll have time to talk to everyone there.