Fall is a great time for parties – Halloween, costume parties, harvest parties, and of course, Thanksgiving. While it’s rewarding to throw a great party that your friends and family talk about for months to come, it usually entails a large amount of unplanned spending which can quickly derail your bank savings account or max out your credit card. Planning ahead and following a few of these tips can help you throw great parties without feeling financial stress.
Make your own food and decorations. If you’re expecting a large number of people at your party, it can be tempting to take the easy way out and purchase pre-made food, snacks, and drinks. Making your own food using recipes that are easy to modify to larger batches will save you a ton of money and give your guests more topics for conversation at the table. I don’t recommend trying new recipes for large events without testing them ahead of time on a smaller scale. You’ll be wasting both time and money if your new recipe doesn’t turn out.
Decorations are a little trickier, especially if you’re not a crafty person, but you can try:
- Enlisting the help of a craft-saavy friend
- Borrow books and magazines with fall decorating ideas and how-tos
- Keep it simple. After all, if you have great entertainment, food, and fellowship, no one will notice if the décor is a bit lacking.
Pick a theme and ask guests to bring a dish to share and swap recipes for. Not only is this a fun way to learn more about people, their tastes, and their cooking abilities (or lack thereof), it lightens the financial burden to you as the host without appearing cheap or stingy.
Shop at the dollar store. If there’s anything a dollar store does well, it’s party supplies. Most dollar stores stock a good variety of themes and colors for your party supplies as well as inexpensive but fun party favors. And, if you’re feeling really inspired, you can get creative with some of the odd but cheap items often found in dollar stores and add some unique flair to your party.
Make your own costume. If you’re hosting a costume or Halloween party, consider making your own costume instead of spending money on a cheap store-bought one that might not make it through the night, let alone be worth your investment of $20 or more. Check online by searching ‘costume ideas’ to find a look that suites your taste, and then look in your closet to see how you can imitate or modify it using items your already own. You might even be able to make use of some of the outdated clothing in the back of your closet by compiling a retro costume.
Entertain with the classics. Board games, especially trivia games, are great entertainment for large groups without breaking the bank. Try tweaking a classic game with variations based on the theme of your party for even more fun. Pick some great music, and you’ll be good to go.
Follow these tips and you’ll see that throwing a great fall party doesn’t have to be expensive for you in order to be fun and memorable for everyone.