It’s always nice to have a little get-together, at least every once in awhile. What’s not nice is the toll those parties can take on your wallet. The older I’m getting though, the more I sense that gone are days when casual parties and events need to be so showy. Times have changed, a new generation has come of age, and I feel that people are less worried about glitz and glam than enjoying each other’s company. So take a step back from the party planning and take a fresh look at 8 ways to host the best party on a budget. #5’s idea would be a hit for any party, casual or formal.
Bring Your Own Food! Hold a potluck-style soiree where guests bring a dish or two of their own. Pick a theme for the evening to give guests an idea of what type of cuisine to bring. You might also want to assign guests to a particular meal course to make sure you have variety as well as a complete meal. Here’s a list of 40 potluck dish ideas.
2. A No-Dinner Party
Have a no-dinner party by skipping on the dinner and opting instead for a brunch or lunch gathering. Dinner food items are usually the priciest so planning a party for a meal other than dinner will help cut the cost of the event. Check out Pinterest for many mouth-watering brunch ideas and recipes.
3. Bite Sized
How often do you hold a party for a crowd just to end up with way too many left overs that end up wasted? Cut back on food amounts by having a bite sized event. Sliders, tarts, assorted meats… you name it. Anything that could be served for a regular meal can be miniaturized and served in bite sized form. Find a delicious mini Mexican pizza recipe here. Pinterest is also a great place to find hundreds of tasty bite sized ideas.
4. Buy In Bulk
Buying in bulk is typically less expensive per unit. Seeing those lowered bulk price tags can be a bit too tempting sometimes though. Be sure to only buy items you need for your party and refrain from buying things simply because “it’s a good deal”. Read more about buying in bulk from Business Insider.
5. Food Bar
Food bars have become a bit trendy over the last five years or so, but rightfully so. Not only do they allow guests to customize their meal, but food bars also cut down on serving sizes and therefore cost. I also love the versatility food bars present, from taco bars to waffle bars, pizza, or ice cream dessert bars. Whatever your party theme, there’s a food bar to be had. Here’s a list of 40 food and drink bar ideas from Mary Carver.
6. Affordable Supplies
With all the great options available out there, there really is no need to splurge on pricey party supplies any more. Find decent quality supplies at merchants such as Target, Zurchers, Hobby Lobby, and Michaels.
7. Smart Phone Music Apps
Skip the cost of CDs and expensive DJs. Go instead with free to low cost music options from the Smart Phone apps store. Digital Trends shares more about the best Smart Phone music apps here.
8. Electronic Invitations
Cards, envelopes, stamps… sending invitations can really add up in cost! Drop the expense of sending invitations through the postal service and invite guests through e-invitations instead. I personally like Minted, but there are many other available options as well.