If the warm weather isn’t reason enough to throw a party, there are plenty of graduations, birthdays, showers and upcoming holidays honoring mothers, fathers and our armed forces to encourage celebration this time of year. If you enjoy hosting, or often have friends and family gather at your place for get-togethers, there’s a good chance you’ll end up being the entertainer for at least one of these events. That means it’s time to start prepping and planning to make sure you keep the guests satisfied and the party budget reasonable. Just follow a few of these tips to ensure a fun, yet frugal day of celebrating, whatever the occasion.

1. Have a game plan.

Planning a party should always start with a plan. Ask yourself questions about your budget, the number of people you’ll invite, they type of food you’d like to serve and how much of it you think you’ll need. Once you have the basics laid out, check sale circulars, coupons and figure out what’s in season to plan the details. Next up, choose your recipes, write your grocery list and stick to your budget. Getting organized will help you figure out what you already have at home while helping you cut back on impulse buys as you’re getting what you need at the store, saving you both stress and money.

2. Go for the bulk.
When putting together a party menu, buying in bulk is a great money saver. Look at your recipes and check for large quantities of certain items. You’ll end up saving quite a bit on items like cheese, bread, meats and wine at your local warehouse club. Don’t worry about getting too many of the non-perishables on your list like crackers, chips and pastas, as any of these items can still be enjoyed by your family if left uneaten.

3. Share refreshment duties.
Buying drinks for a party can easily put you over your budget. That being said, you shouldn’t have to bear the entire responsibility of providing beverages for the crowd. You can simply prepare plenty of cold water, some refreshing summer drinks like lemonade or iced tea and, if the party will have alcohol, a couple pitchers of sangria. Let guests know what you’ll have available and ask them to bring the extra beverages of their choice along. 

4. Simplify the invites.
If you plan on sending written invites to your party, make sure you don’t get carried away with expensive designs and paper. Instead of using up a part of your budget on ordering invitations, you can create stylish, yet inexpensive ones in the comfort of your own home. Whether you use invitation templates from any of the many websites that offer them free, or you create your own with the tools you have, you’ll be surprised by the fun designs you can put together yourself. An even easier, more economical option is sending them by email.

This post is linked to Frugal Friday at Life as Mom.

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