Organizing life celebrations like Birthdays, baby and bridal showers, and family parties brings so much joy. Getting people together and creating memories to remember is a big job. Still, you can make it all happen without any headaches if you follow these simple tips on saving party supplies and serving budget-friendly snacks and drinks.
How To Save on Party Supplies
Even if you are not planning to decorate your home for a special occasion, some expenses for party supplies are unavoidable. You’d still need to send out invites and consider entertainment and table decor. These easy solutions will help you save time and money on party supplies for your next gathering.
- Skip on themed decor. Table decor pieces featuring popular characters from Marvel or Disney movies could be twice the cost. Instead, go for simple, monochrome decor and spice it up with just a few cartoon-inspired centerpieces. That way, you’ll save money on getting everything, like Frozen or Iron Man themed.
- DIY as much as possible. Even if you are not the craftiest person in the world, you can find tons of free do-it-yourself tutorials on Pinterest on everything party-related. From a “Happy Birthday” sign to dinner table decor, you can do many budget-friendly options with your hands. Create a separate Pinterest board for your party so you can organize all your DIY ideas in one place.
- Incorporate games and free entertainment instead of entertainers-for-hire. Whether you are hiring a magician for a kids’ party or a DJ for an adult birthday, paying people to come to provide entertainment services could be pricey. Instead, think about how you could provide your guests with free entertainment, whether it’s a game night for kids or your favorite Spotify playlist instead of live musicians.
- Substitute fancy invites for free printables or online invites. Weddings may be the only occasion where printed invitations are still expected and encouraged. Use free online invitations services like Paperless Post and Evite for everything else.
- Party at home or in a park. Party rentals often substitute most of the party cost. Instead of paying for the space, throw a party at your house or go for a picnic-style party in a park. That way, you can invest rent money into more food and party supplies.
- Save on balloons. Instead of paying someone for helium balloon decorations, invest in a helium tank that will last you for a long time and make your balloon bouquets and garlands. That option leaves more room for creativity and saves you a lot of cash.
How to Save on Party Snacks and Food
Another considerable expense when it comes to parties is food and drinks. Whether you are serving a three-course meal with alcohol or just desserts with refreshments, there are many ways you can save on food and beverages. Use these handy tips to set up your celebration table, cook inexpensive but delicious meals, and creatively serve your dishes.
- Use a party food estimator to ensure you are not cooking too much food. For instance, Guestimator by Save The Food is an interactive service where you can input how many guests you are having and which meals you are serving to calculate the amounts of each dish. Using services like that ensures you have enough food for everyone with minimal leftovers.
- Go for an appetizer table instead of lunch or dinner. An appetizer table is a budget-friendly version of a three-course dinner for an adult Birthday party, baby shower, or bridal shower. Most party guests are there for small talk and cocktails, so skipping on a big meal is expected.
- Bake your cake. If you are thinking of ordering a custom cake for your celebration, that dessert could cost a fortune. For instance, businesses quoted me anywhere from $300 to $2,000 per cake the last time I inquired in New York. With many beginner-friendly baking kits and online tutorials, DIYing your cake could be a big money saver. Use YouTube tutorials for made-from-scatch cake ideas, buy a pre-made cake, and search for easy-to-recreate cake decoration ideas.
- If baking is not your strongest skill, but you still want to serve desserts, go for home-baked cupcakes and brownies. Even the most inexperienced baker could combine these recipes with pre-made kits available at any supermarket. Another way to save on pre-made dessert kits is to find coupons on these items online or in Sunday papers.
- Skip on expensive cocktails and drinks. Instead, stick to the basics: still and sparkling water, 2-3 simple cocktail options like margaritas, punch, bellinis, and a few sodas. Also, go for big bottles and plastic glasses instead of individual smaller drinks: buying drinks in bulk saves a lot of money.
- The bring-your-own dish option could be a big money saver and a fun contest idea. Instead of a hostess gift or flowers, ask your guests to bring one dish of their choice, whether it’s a homemade dessert or a pre-packaged cheese board. You can even organize voting after a celebratory meal and reward the person who cooked the yummiest dish with a gift.
Serve “SPA water” for a fancy on-a-budget drink option. SPA water is a fancy name for infused water served in big jars with lemons, limes, and berries — with an ice cube option. It costs close to nothing and looks very fancy!
Parties can be a costly endeavor, but if you plan ahead enough you can use your Fetch points to help save on your supplies, be sure to snap every receipt and redeem those points for your favorite rewards!
Katya Bychkova is a beauty and style expert based in NYC. Face mask enthusiast and frequent traveler, Katya is a contributor to top lifestyle publications. She's also the founder and editor of the Style Sprinter blog — a luxury guide to skincare and makeup — since 2014.