Staying connected with friends and family is good for mental and physical health. And what better way to celebrate those connections than bringing everyone together for a holiday, a birthday or just because. Whether you’re hosting an intimate party for your closest friends or a larger gathering, you can save money without sacrificing style and fun with these party planning tips:
Invitations: Electronic invitation sites like Evite.com allow you to easily send out free invitations, reminders and keep track of RSVPs. You’ll save money on stationary and postage. If there are one or two people on your list who you don’t think will be comfortable using an electronic invite, buy a small pack of invitation note cards to send out to select individuals, or give them a call.
Décor: Think of what you already have that could make great décor for your party. For example, pull out the tablecloths and candles. String the small white holiday lights to create a festive mood. Re-arrange the furniture to give your home a different feel and make gathering and visiting easier. If you love the look of fresh-cut flowers, pick some from your yard, or purchase from a vendor, and arrange them yourself in vases or recycle empty bottles.
Cups and plates: Although it will mean a load of dishes, you can save money and even add class to your soiree by forgoing paper and plastic for glass and china. Your close friends and family may even loan you things like extra wine glasses if needed. If you do want to purchase disposable items, head to your local dollar store to stock up at the lowest prices.
Food and beverages: If you and your friends enjoy a drink or two at parties, alcohol can be the biggest expense, but there are ways to save with style. For example, consider a signature drink, such as prosecco with a splash of your favorite fruit juice. A party held after dinner can be dessert only, or hold an earlier party with appetizers. If you want to host a full dinner, consider cooking it yourself and asking some friends and family to bring select items. Shop ahead of time to save, watching for the best bargains. For extra savings, check out coupon sites like RetailMeNot.com, CouponCabin.com and Everyday Savings Center.
Entertainment: For most parties, background music helps put the finishing touches on the ambiance. Create a playlist, pop on your favorite CD, tune into your TV’s cable music channels, or find your favorite station on Pandora.com. Beyond music, entertainment can be as varied as interactive games or lawn games, to visiting or dancing, depending on the crowd – all of which are completely cost free and fun.
Of course, the best part of getting together is the company and connections of bringing friends and family together, which, like many of the best things in life, are priceless.