Everybody has a friend or friends that loves to throw parties or entertain. Maybe you have friends that are good decorators or artistic. Maybe you have a friend that saved all of her cool table runners or mason jars from a great outdoor wedding. Pool your resources, be creative and borrow anything you can that would work for your party. Maybe it’s a friend’s awesome vase or re-using displays or decor from a friend’s previous party. Nothing says frugal like FREE!
Dollar Store It Up
Dollar stores get a bad wrap and when it comes to parties, they don’t need one! Any budget savvy party throwin’ diva will tell you, there aren’t just diamonds in the rough there…there are straight-up diamonds! Patterned snack cups, paper straws, little neat containers for party favors, candy, favor boxes, solid plates in round and square, and on and on. No one will know and it can be just you and the change in your pocket’s little secret. Or you just can blab about, “Can you believe I got this for this price?!” That’s my favorite. Wallow in the victory.
Save BIG on Printing With These Tips
Buy a REEM of white card stock (110 lb minimum-that’s what I buy) at Staples or like copy center and use your own card stock to have your files printed on. One reem will last you a bazillion parties and save you big!!!! Supplying your own paper rather than paying per piece saves you loads per order and you have lots of paper for future orders. Another important thing to know is that copy centers charge you per cut so a 4 x 6 invite fully cut invite will cost you up 40 cents PER invite more, JUST FOR THE CUTS! I typically save 12 dollars or more for each order and can get all of my invites (usually 25) and party packages items like cupcake toppers etc. for 8 dollars! It really doesn’t take that long to make your own cuts and you can get the same product(s) for SO much cheaper.
Staples is by far my favorite copy center to use and they are so helpful and full service copiers. You email in your order with all of your specifications and boom. I even put in the special instructions, “Please pull a ream of 110 lb white card stock for printing these items and add that to my order.” It’s a great and easy process and I got 0 dollars and 0 discounts from Staples for saying that.
Have Favors That Pull Double Duty
Consider “giving” a favor that is one of the party activities. Did kids make sand art at your party? Did they tie-dye shirts? Did you serve drinks with crazy straws in non-throw away themed cups? Send them home with them! Favors can pull double duty even beyond the activity being the take home favor. You can also use your favors as table decor/centerpieces. Why buy both favors and table decor when they can be one in the same and save you some money? If you make your table decor an activity that also goes home as the favor, then you have won at life.
Invest In Reasonable/Versatile Party Pieces
When I say invest, I don’t necessarily mean “make a big financial investment”. I simply mean, if you see a neutral table cloth you like at Home Goods, buy it an re-use it at as many parties as you can think. When Target has glass jars or glass milk bottles or pitchers in the one spot aisle, stock up and have a set you can use over and over as drink ware at several parties. An ultimate way to be frugal is to build a supply of highly usable items so that what you do need to buy at each future party, goes down and down
Spray paint is my BFF. Just asked my husband who thinks I would even spray paint a fabric chair. Oh wait, I did that. Sound too good to be true? Dang. It was, girl. It was. But moving on…Take your metal cupcake stand and spray that puppy in as many shades as you have parties. Paint that basket, re-cover the fabric, change out the ribbon on the banner, paint the pots, do what you have to do to make what things you have, work for you over and over again.
Save on the Cake
I use to decorate cakes from my home and they are awesome and WORTH the money when you pay for the skill, cost, time and labor from a home decorator BUT, it isn’t typically very frugal. Consider buying a smash cake for any age of child so that they have their own personal themed cake but then, supply cupcakes for the rest of the guests. You can build really cute displays around a smash cake and truly, with the right icing and a basic icing tip, most anyone can make great looking cupcakes. If you make them yourself, you can save big bucks. Buy a small smash and save on the 35 person serving cake.
Chuckie Cheese is great if that is what you want, but it is also like paying for 10 kids to go to Disney World. Chuckie don’t come cheap, honey. Try going outdoors for your party. Mother nature comes cheap or free. Consider renting a pavilion at a park which costs basically nothing. Here in my town, it’s 8 dollars for 2 hours. Or, if you want to book a place, try a week night or off-peak hours to get a less busy facility and sometimes, better rates! Do you go to church? If so, check with your church because depending on the place, they will often let you use their facility. You can also do a double party where two friends host together and split the cost. Think a double party for 2 BFFs. There is a gymnastics facility locally that does splits for people often: same deal, half the price for you. When it comes to venue, think outside of the box on how you can save money and when you can, pick one that allows you to bring in outside food and drink. That way you have what you want, at the price YOU can control.
Other Saving Savvy Tips
Avoid helium. Due to the helium shortage, 6 months ago I paid 40 dollars for 2 mylar balloons and 12 plain latex balloons. BOOOOO. Try searching Pinterest for creative ways to use balloons that don’t involve paying for the gold priced helium.
Never pay more than a dollar for tablecloths. I almost always use plastic table cloths. You can get them in almost any color, shape and size at dollar stores and just pitch them when you are done. You can use tutorials to make them ruffled, layered, and so on. I always buy contrasting colors and make table runners.
Try to keep your party favors 2 dollars or under per guest. It can be done. Years ago I did these over-sized balls for my 1 year old’s birthday. They were a substantial, affordable, decorative, fun and practical gift for the little tots and was season appropriate.
Enjoy, Pin and SAVE!