Throwing a party isn’t cheap, especially if you want the celebration to be grand. However, even if you do have the money to spend, you shouldn’t do so meaninglessly and end up overspending. And if your budget is limited to begin with, you should be even more careful in planning your expenses.
There are many ways to save some money when organizing a party if you go about it wisely. Be sure to consider and try to use these tips as even a few dollars saved every turn can add up to a hefty sum in the end.
Cut the cost of catering with a food bar or potluck
Food is one of the biggest expenses you’ll have when throwing a party and it’s also one of the hardest to cut. After all, you can’t really skimp on food and have your guests going hungry and angry because of it.
Cooking yourself is the best way to save, but it might not be possible for many reasons. Therefore, you need a compromise, which you can do by setting up a food bar or directly asking your guests to bring some food with them. Brittany of Pennies into Pearls, who specializes in offering a variety of money-saving tips, recommends setting up a DIY salad, potato, or pizza salad bar, depending on the ingredients you already have and the time you have to make it. Also, if you can only do a little, consider how you can incorporate this plan into partial catering.
Potlucks can be partially incorporated into this idea as well. However, those can’t be used for all kinds of events. For example, Birthday parties definitely aren’t a potluck situation. But if you are celebrating Christmas or New Year, having your guests bring a dish each will be good.
At the least, you can set up a Bring Your Own Beverage rule. This will help cut your costs a great deal.
Hit the thrift shops
DIY and rented decorations, furniture, and other things you need to set up the party are great, but not everyone has the talent and, more importantly, time to make them. However, going through all your neighboring thrift shops and garage sales, as well as looking through eBay and Craigslist, is another thing entirely.
Jackson Simmons, who’s been working for years for a furniture rental in NYC and has helped organize hundreds of events for varying budgets suggests looking for big pieces, like decorations and centerpieces, first. Even if the ones you find aren’t a perfect fit, you can modify them with some spray-paint and arts and crafts supplies. Mr. Simmons also highlights that this kind of preparation requires a long time, so you should start shopping at least three months in advance. If you are in a hurry, switch priorities. Instead, buy decorations that will help set the theme and go for the cheapest rented furniture and tech.
Shamelessly replace service with tech
Hiring a DJ or various kinds of entertainers (if you are planning a big office party, for example) can take a huge cut out of your budget. Wouldn’t you rather spend that money on better drinks, catering, and venue?
With modern tech, it’s easy to provide any number of guests with entertainment without hiring performers to provide it. Start with various music apps to replace the DJ. Set up a movie theater using a simple projector and run anything from Netflix series to short clips from YouTube. Set up a few gaming consoles in the corner as many games today are geared toward several players and can offer entertainment even to those simply watching them while waiting for a turn. And the best thing is that you might already have most of the needed tech or you can borrow it from friends. Even renting will end up being cheaper than hiring a cool DJ.