School’s almost out, temperatures are rising, and outdoor get-togethers are adding to the calendar… summer is “officially” here! Whatever it is you’re celebrating – from a holiday weekend to a birthday – it can get expensive. However, there’s several ways you can host a fun summer get-together for friends and family on a budget. So roll out the grill, dust off the patio set, and follow these steps for hosting the ultimate summer bash on a budget:
Plan it out & make your budget
Visualize what your party will look like. Ask yourself, how many people are invited? What do I want to serve? Do I need entertainment? And of course, how much am I willing to spend? Often, we spend more money when hosting a gathering due to overthinking it. Take an inventory of what you already have. You never know, you can find that you have enough paperware from your last party to get through this one.
Ask guests to RSVP
Having a headcount of how many people you can expect to show up is essential to avoiding overspending. Get a number of exactly how many kids will be joining, too.
Make it a potluck
Don’t be afraid of asking your guests to bring a side dish or dessert. Your guests will ask if they can bring anything to help, so be sure to take advantage. Plus, a potluck is sure to keep the gathering more casual and you’ll have a wide variety of food.
Hiring any type of entertainment can get expensive quick. You don’t have to rent a bounce house or get a band. Having a speaker with your playlist is just fine! If you have kids attending, check out the garage to see what toys and games you have lying around. If you have a pool, make sure guests know it’s open. Once again, don’t overthink it.
Take stock of the liquor cabinet and see what you have extra of. Use those items as ingredients in creating your very own signature or themed cocktail! No bartending skills necessary, a quick internet search will do the trick – but red, white, and blue themed drinks will be a hit. For kids, make a punch bowl or make big quantities of iced tea and lemonade. Buying a variety of sodas can get expensive! Don’t be afraid to make the party BYOB, too.
The prep step
Heading to the store is the most crucial step in sticking to your budget. Before you go, get an inventory of what you have and what you need. Make a list of what your guests are bringing and stick to the guest count that replied “yes.” Be sure to use coupons and take advantage of any holiday weekend deals. For decorations, stick to what you have and what you can borrow.
By following these tips, you can throw a fun get-together all while saving some money for the rest of your summer activities. Taking the time to plan it all out will go a long way in keeping your costs in check!