It’s summer, and that means it is time to get together with the people we care about most. For those of us who like hosting parties and cookouts, learning to entertain on a budget can help ensure a successful and fun event that doesn’t break your wallet. These seven simple tips can help you do your best summer entertaining on a budget.
Make a spending plan and stick to it
The first step is deciding what the event is going to be. Once you have made that decision, make a spending plan for that event, and stick to it. Whether you are hosting a backyard get-together or a brunch with the girls, once you decide, commit to your plan.
Consider a potluck and BYOB event
It is always good form to show up with something when you are invited to another person’s home for an event, in many cases that is a bottle of wine or a dessert item. Take the guesswork out of it and make the event BYOB or a potluck from the start. Doing so saves you time and money and creates the opportunity for a broader variety of tasty food and drinks.
Take a Trip to the Dollar Store
For party essentials, the dollar is a great place to score deals on party decor, tablecloths, cutlery, cups, and other party-related products. Buying items from budget stores can help maximize savings and minimize expenses, while ensuring your party has a fun and festive atmosphere.
Use Your Network
Some of the best events are a team effort, so do not be afraid to ask for help. Ask your neighbor with the folding card table or your friend down the street with extra folding or lawn chairs if you can borrow them. For larger gatherings, borrowing needed items from friends and neighbors is a party-hosting hack that will save you money on your summer entertaining festivities.
Create Designated Stations
Creating stations, for example, one for beverages, one for dessert and one for the entrée and sides, is great as it helps you manage the number of items you need. At the beverage station, offer cups and a way to label them so each guest has their own designated cup or glass, which reduces the number each guest uses.
Sometimes Less is More
For intimate gatherings and even for larger ones, using smaller plates instead of larger ones will help reduce the overall quantity of food guests consume, since most people will not overstuff their plates. This can help you reduce the amount of food you provide overall, while still making certain your guests are well-fed and satisfied.
Break Out the Old-School Party Games
For a free and fun throwback entertainment option, pull out your old-school board games. Choose games that are easy to learn, easy to play, and work for small and large groups of guests. Games like Boggle, Jenga, Connect 4, Battleship, and trivia games are always winners and of course, do not forget to pull the dominoes and a deck or two of cards for some Spades and other card games.