I love to throw a good party, who doesn’t? Unfortunately every party is just a few “pins” away from being over budget. Here are a few of my favorite “Penny Pinching” ideas for your next shindig. While the tips are kids specific, they will help when planning any get together.
- Budget – Set a budget and keep it! It sounds simple, but most parties are planned without any budget at all. Start with a total budget and work backwards. Your biggest cost will be food. Keep this in mind when you set the time of your party. Party at lunch? Expect kids to be hungry! Party in mid-morning or afternoon? Think snacks! Feeding a group during off hours will save you close to $5 per person.
- Bye Bye Beverages – Juice boxes/soda will cost you…in more ways than one. The kids will get enough sugar, trust me!!! I like to keep it simple with a pitcher of lemonade and/or tea for adults and bottled water for the kids.
- Go Big – With flowers that is! Every party should have fresh flowers and I promise it can be done for $10 or under. Think big blooms that offer mass coverage. My favorite budget friendly blooms include hydrangeas, sunflowers and Gerbera Daisies. Here’s a $5 centerpiece using hydrangeas, a mason jar, leftover Christmas ribbon and a flag.
- Reduce, Reuse & Upcycle – Reduce your instinct to character theme it up. Disney “Frozen” themed plates will cost you $15 for 20 people vs. $3.99 for purple plates. Or, alternate themed with solid colors to greatly reduce the cost. My favorite spot for cheap party napkins is Ikea, $1.99 for 50 and they have amazing colors. Reuse your linens! Solid tablecloths make the perfect base for your food & gift tables. If you don’t have linens that match, check out the fabric store clearance section for a quick fix. And finally, upcycle. Look for everyday items around your house or at a local theft store that can be turned into party decor. I found a tired wooden board at Goodwill for $3, spray painted it with chalk and it’s now holds the menu for every party I throw.
- Do the Dollar – A great place for utensils, paper products and my favorite customizable item: water beads. Water beads absorb the water they are placed in so why not add food coloring and match the beads to your theme. This 4th of July piece was under $3 using 1 package of water beads, flags (3/$1), food coloring, and existing vase.
- My Favorite Favors – I don’t know about you but I don’t need more tiny plastic toys that break around my house! Either skip the favor or go practical and under $1. Crayons are .50 during back to school, play-dough .75. Use a paper bag with a printable and clothespin and your favors are done for less than $1.
- Decor & More – Think of your food table as the main focus for decor. A simple search for “free party printables” offers endless opportunities to not only label, but decorate as well. Throwing a party this weekend? Love this 4th of July roundup!!
- Grand Entrance – While helium balloons are a common way to welcome guests to the party, they are a budget buster for sure. I love a simple paper lanterns in a tree ($1 each), paper garland, tissue poms or balloons tee’d to the ground as alternatives. My husband isn’t thrilled about this invention, but his golf tees make the perfect balloon anchor. Paper garland and tissue poms are also great alternatives.
- Location, Location, Location – While your house, a park or favorite splash pad may seem cheaper, check out a few local alternatives that work for your budget and offer the convenience factor. Depending on your guest list, you may be surprised that some offer all-in-one packages that are cheaper than a DIY.
- Please & Thank You – For invitations, Etsy is a great resource to purchase customized printable invitations. Most range from $6-$10 and some shop owners will allow you to add on a discounted “thank you” printable as well. If your child is an artist, DIY!! Choose a basic fill in the blank invitation and have them decorate with crayons, watercolors and glitter. Nothing says party like a glitter bomb!
Cheers to a great (and economical) party in your future!