Do you love to throw a good party? Have you ever noticed they can be expensive if you aren’t careful with planning? Yep. I sure have. I love to have people over and have parties or even be invited to a great party or function, but being the tightwad that I am, I don’t like to spend a bunch of money. Momma’s on a budget!
One thing I am pretty good at is having fun on a budget. I love planning parties for my kids and we will sometimes throw a good grown up bash when we get time. So here are a few things we have done to have a great bash on budget.
Cool Party Ideas that Cost Less than $30
Organize Ahead of Time
Let’s start with the boring stuff and just get it out of the way. The best thing you can do before throwing a party is organize what you will be doing. Think about the following before you throw your big shin dig:
- How many guests
- How many kids will there be
- Will you be doing any favors of any kind
- Do you need any special equipment for the food
- Will there be games or entertainment
- About how long will the party last. Will you need to feed people more than once
- Will you provide alcohol (shake your head yes)
- Will you need any special people there-photographer, clown, person who makes balloon animals
- Are you playing any adult games like poker and how much will people need to bring to put in for the game
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Who will you invite
Is this soiree for adults only or are the kiddos invited too? Keep this in mind because kids have mouths and tummy’s that get hungry and they don’t always like adult food. Just make sure you keep the little ones in mind for the party and if that would change the expenses at all. When considering the guest list, are there people who would be willing to bring a dish to pass? Are any of them crafty or would they volunteer to help with the entertainment? If you are doing poker and you need poker chips, who do you know that could bring poker supplies? You know the people you will invite so play off of their strengths when you invite them to get their party on. This can be a huge cost saver when you are throwing the party at your house.
How to cut costs for any party
When you are thinking about having a party, whip out a notebook and write down your ideas of exactly what you are going to do at the party. What food will you have? How many people? Who will bring food, games, alcohol, crafts, etc? Think about everything that will be needed for the party.
Then figure out where you will get the best prices for what you will contribute. If you are in charge of decorations, check the Dollar Store, Dollar Tree and places like this to price decorations. Check clearance at Party Stores. Are there other outlet stores that will give a better discount? Did you have a party recently and do you have anything leftover from the party (silverware, napkins, etc.)?
If you are in charge of food, consider doing the main dish, like meat, and let others bring over the side dishes or snack foods. This will lesson the burden for you with having to make everything and you can save a bit of money in the process. One of my favorite ways to save time meal planning is through the $5 Meal Plan. I now have a binder of go to recipes which makes meal planning simple. You can learn more about the $5 Meal Plan here.
Decorations. I personally hate decorations. I don’t take a lot of time to DIY and I usually throw the decorations away after I use them. I hate spending money on them so I go cheap and I spend as little as possible. I feel bad for my kids.
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Cool Party Ideas
Ok, so let’s get on with the list. Here are some cool party ideas that you could keep under $30!
- Poker party
- Outdoor BBQ
- Campfire party
- Scavenger hunt
- Ice cream sundae party
- Movie watching party-make it an event like a “premier” of a new movie that just came out
- Mexican Fiesta– salsa and margaritas anyone?
- Hawaiian themed party-get some cheap lei’s and make a good Mai Tai. You may not have money left over for food, but hey, after a few Mai Tai’s who cares!
- Character Party- Mickey Mouse, Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers
- Costume party– challenge everyone to wear something they already have or create an outfit from home (WARNING: You may have a lot of ghosts at your party
- Sports party – Watch a game at the house or play backyard football. Yes this can be for adults too
- Capture the flag – We play this in our neighborhood with the kiddos and we have a blast as adults! Throw a beer in there and boom it’s a grown up party too! (You can totally make it alcohol free though)
- Elegant night in – Yes, it is possible to do these and who doesn’t like to get dressed up once in a while. Have your guests wear their favorite fancy attire. Have a nice glass of cheap wine and play a fun couples game or game with the all the kids.
- Yoga party – Know anyone who can do yoga? Invite them to teach an impromptu yoga class in your home. You don’t really need a yoga mat for a party, but guests can bring them if they want. You can do fresh appetizers for food after yoga. Something completely different and fun.
- Dance party – It can totally be an impromptu old school music dance party or you can see if anyone you know is a dance instructor. Or do you know someone who has one of those fancy So You Think You Can Dance video games
- Battleship parties– how fun would it be to have a battleship war! You then have a prize for the Ultimate Battleship Winner! Is Battleship even popular with kids nowadays? Greg and I still play it, but we are a little …what should I say….. middle aged.
- Card games– They are popular among lots of people and I really think they are pretty fun. Euchre parties are big in this area but you could also play other card games for a fun party too
- Cornhole – Have your very own cornhole tournament.
- Host a Jewelry party – There are lots of Jewelry party MLM based companies and you could totally be the host with a few of your favorite people and keep the cost less than $30 all while scoring some new free jewelry.
- Try a fun drink you have wanted to try – I know you love Pinterest (C’mon, it can’t just be me!) I know you have probably found these cute little Mojito recipes or fun little beverage you want to try. Get the supplies and have a few friends or a couple over to try the new recipe.
- Twister parties – This could be dangerous as adults but it would be a blast to watch the kids play or have an adults vs. kids game.
- Jenga match – In our house, Jenga is a ruthless game. We go for the jugular. Make it an event. You can also buy life size Jenga (just make sure to jump out of the way when those things come down…ouch)
- DIY party for the holidays. Do you know anybody that is awesome at DIY? Could they come up with a craft for a party? DIY stuff usually isn’t that expensive. Create a decoration for the holidays. Get crafty, yo!
- Have a bake off. Yep, get in the kitchen and bake some cookies or pies for everyone to sample. Have your guests all bring one recipe and spend some time in the kitchen. It is fun to think outside the box. Find a new recipe you want to try and just go with it.
- You can go outside the home and go bowling. Bowling can be relatively cheap if you price it right.
- Have you ever heard of roller skating? Yeah, you can do that. Everyone pays for themselves and it is a fun way to get out of the house.
- At home manicures. Have your friends bring over one shade or 2 shades of nail polish and paint each others’ nails. It can be like high school all over again. Break out some 80’s music and some Twinkies and how you have a party!
- Do you know anyone good at makeup or who would be willing to come to your house and do impromptu makeovers? That would be fun and totally different.
- Karoake. Who says you need a machine.
- Couples Truth or Dare. Yes, kind of old school but it would bring back high school memories again.
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