With grad parties, pool parties, and BBQs, we've got plenty of reasons to celebrate right now. But as great as Summer soirees are, you quickly find out what big money suckers they can be when you're the one who's planning. It's as if there's an endless stream of things you need to buy, from the drinks to your dress. But fear not! We've brainstormed ways to throw a memorable fete on a small budget. Ahead, check out seven tips to host a bash that won't, well, bash your wallet.
Hosting a party at your home doesn't always have to drain your wallet — you can be a hostess with the mostest on a littlest budget. The main thing you have to keep in mind is to focus on the experience. If the activity is fun enough, then there's no need for expensive decor and fancy appetizers. Read on for some suggestions on how to entertain your guests on the cheap:
Music swap: Ask friends to come over with their favorite songs, make sure you have speakers set up for all to hear, and listen to some jams all night.
Board-game potluck: Invite over a handful of friends, and ask each person to bring his or her favorite board game plus a snack to share. Take care of the drinks yourself or ask guests to pitch in if things become costly.
Nail party: Do something different from the usual movie or board-game night this weekend — organize a nail party with your girlfriends. Use this as an opportunity to try out fun nail art that would cost a lot of money to get done in a salon
Magazine article club: This weekend, instead of hosting a book club, plan a magazine article night. It's very simple: just pick an article you find interesting and ask your friends to read it too. Then you can all come together over a glass of wine to discuss what caught your attention, what was missing, and more.
Between Coachella weekend two going on and all the music festivals ahead, we can't help but be in tune with, well, our favorite tunes. That's why we're proposing a music exchange to get in the spirit of the season.
It's a pretty simple (and old-school) concept, but one that's gotten lost with all the current ways to listen to music out there. Just ask friends to come over with their favorite songs, make sure you have speakers set up for all to hear, and listen to some jams all night. Bring out wine and cheese, but it doesn't have to be too fancy of an evening.
Chances are you'll end the night either hearing songs for the first time or reviving old ones you haven't listened to in ages. How's that for an easy but fun way to spend the night?
You've worked hard this whole week, so it's time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the weekend! Give yourself a treat this weekend to feel rejuvenated and to make yourself feel good. Don't worry, treating yourself doesn't always mean pricey massages at the spa or weekend getaways. Here are plenty of wallet-friendly suggestions:
- Relive your Charlie and the Chocolate Factory memories and treat yourself to a bar of chocolate. Remember how Charlie savored each Willy Wonka chocolate bar? Eat yours in the same manner and relish every bite.
- Buy yourself a steak and cook it. It's much cheaper than going to a steak house! Eat it while drinking a glass of affordable red wine.
- Grab a few friends and go on a picnic in a nearby park.
- Watch reality show reruns or shows saved on your DVR with a bowl of chocolate ice cream.
- Explore a museum you've never been to.
- Reread your favorite book (maybe The Hunger Games?).
- Go to your local coffee shop and try a new coffee flavor. Bring your laptop with you and catch up with friends and relatives over email.
After months of traveling, gift-giving, and pricey nights out, save money and score quality time with your pals by hosting a board game potluck party. Invite over a handful of friends and ask each person to bring his or her favorite board game plus a snack to share. Take care of the drinks yourself or ask guests to pitch in if things become costly.
A few entertaining tips to try:
- Set up a table to stack all the games and, when guests arrive, ask them to write the name of their game on a slip of paper. Toss all the slips into a hat and draw them throughout the night to decide which game will be played next.
- Create fun, festive decorations and drink recipes that follow the board game theme. Glue Sorry game pieces to the top of cocktail stirrers, swap your living room rug for a Twister mat, or laminate Uno cards and turn them into drink coasters.
- Give the party a nostalgic feel and ask guests to bring the board games they loved as kids. Add to the old-school vibe by creating playlists of the songs that were popular when you were younger.
Have you hosted a board game potluck? Share your suggestions below.
Do something different from the usual movie or board-game night this weekend — organize a nail party with your girlfriends. Use this as an opportunity to try out fun nail art that would cost a lot of money to get done in a salon. Here are a few tips to get the party started:
- Have people bring nail polish: Have people contribute by bringing in their collection of nail polish so you'll have more colors to choose from.
- Use cheap materials: Get creative by using cheap materials such as toothpicks and Scotch tape to help make your nail designs more precise.
- Throw it midafternoon: Instead of throwing the party during dinner- or lunchtime, shoot for midafternoon so you won't have to prepare meals, just snacks and finger food.
- Scour Pinterest: To get inspired, browse Pinterest for the best nail designs. Pinterest is a great source because many of the nail pictures link back to the actual DIY tutorial.
- Serve affordable but great wine: If you want to serve some wine to spice things up, scroll through YumSugar's collection of the best Summer budget wines. There are plenty of great wines at an even greater price tag of around $12 per bottle.
Chances are you've heard of book clubs before, if not participated in one. But a magazine article club? That might be a different story. This weekend, instead of hosting a book club, plan a magazine article night.
It's very simple: just pick an article you find interesting and ask your friends to read it too. Then you can all come together over a glass of wine to discuss what caught your attention, what was missing, and more. It's much easier than a book club because you don't have to pick a date weeks in advance, your friends can most likely find the article online or at a kiosk, and depending on how long the story is, they can read it in less than an hour.
How's that for an easy but engaging weekend activity?
If you're looking for a seriously cute and smart way to display edible goodies at your next gathering, this tiered tray is appetizingly easy and only costs around $5 to construct. All the basic materials needed for this project can be found at your local dollar store, though you'll probably need to pick up your favorite color of spray paint at the home goods or craft store for finishing the tiered tray. So call your girlfriends and invite them over for an afternoon of crafty fun.
The weekends can be a drain on the wallet. It's so easy to let money flow through your fingers when you're enjoying yourself on the weekends. After all, spending time with friends and relaxing is worth any price, right?
Well, you don't always have to spend a boatload to have fun on Saturday and Sunday. There are plenty of great activities that are easy on your bank account. Here's one you probably haven't thought of: dog or cat shows. Picture the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, just localized. There are plenty of local dog or cat shows in different regions, and you can do research to see if there's one being held near you. Entry fees are generally low, and if you're a pet lover, then it's fun to see all the different breeds. You can even buy a toy or two at the show to bring home as a souvenir for Fido.
This weekend, visit the farmers market with a friend, and enjoy the variety of foods around you. Make it a fun trip by trying something you've never eaten before or buying items to bring home and make a dish with. Chat with your friendly farmers, and you might learn an interesting tidbit about the food or a good recipe to try.