Affordable Party Planning Ideas and Tips

Planning a party on a budget can be a good way to find reliable and fun additions to your events. In nearly every case there’s a cheaper alternative to an expensive party item, so view a party budget as an opportunity rather than a limitation. Keep your debt management on track and give your credit card a break with these easy ideas.

1. Plan Ahead with Disposable Supplies

If you throw parties on a predictable schedule, make sure to plan ahead when you purchase disposable supplies. Items like seasonal paper cups and disposable flatware go on sale after the holidays, so stock up for next year’s bash at bargain prices.

2. Alternately, Ditch the Disposables

If your parties are for adults, using real dishes and utensils can usually save you money in the long run. To get the most bang for your buck, search for supplies with a simple, all-season design. Even something as simple as wrapping a holiday garland around the base of a dish or laying a themed cloth inside a bread bowl can make every party’s decorations look special for a certain holiday when the same dishes are being used for every event.

3. Keep It Simple with Kids

If you’re throwing birthday parties or other events for children under the age of 10, spare yourself the hassle of going overboard. Kids that young don’t need much to stay entertained, and they can have fun with nearly anything for at least a couple hours. Take a trip to a discount or dollar store for inexpensive, wacky toys and costume items that are tailor-made to keep a kid’s attention for exactly one afternoon. Just $20 is enough to assemble gift baskets or plastic buckets filled with trinkets for an entire birthday party’s worth of children.

4. Collect Easy Recipes

Quick, easy recipes that still make an impression are easy to find on the Internet. To make the stream of birthdays and holidays cheaper and easier to manage, look for a good budget recipe in every basic category. If you’ve got one or two go-to recipes for desserts, appetizers and main dishes for both summer and winter, you’ll be set for any event.

Try to keep things simpler in proportion to the frequency of an event. Cupcakes, for example, are quick, delicious and easy to decorate in an eye-catching way. Versatile designs like basketball or ghost cupcakes don’t require any skill beyond smoothing some frosting on and drawing a few simple lines with decorative icing.

Looking for more cost-cutting tips? Head over to our Budgeting page for more information on how to cut costs without cutting corners.