How To Throw An Inexpensive Summer Party

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Summer Party

If you’ve been trying to figure out how to throw an inexpensive summer party, you are not alone. Many people are looking for summer party ideas that won’t break the bank, but will still look beautiful and engaging to guests.

There are all kinds of summer party themes and tips that will help you get there. Things can start to add up quickly – between the cost of food to décor to venue – so here is how to throw an inexpensive summer party.

Use Your Own Property

It doesn’t take a lot of money to spruce up your back or front yard. Trim back the trees and pull those weeds because your yard is the ultimate place for an inexpensive summer party.

By using your own property, you are saving on venue expenses and you get to be a little closer to nature during the warmest part of the year. Don’t forget the citronella candles!

Plan the Food Beforehand

Don’t wait until the last minute to grab food for a summer party. The more last minute you are, the more expensive the food can get. Take your time planning out the details for your party. Really think through what type of drinks you will have, the main dishes, desserts, and side dishes.

If you can start shopping the week before your gathering, you can take advantage of two sale cycles at your local grocery store. (Most run Wednesday-Tuesday or Thursday-Wednesday, but be sure to check your local store). Try to let the sales dictate some of what you serve (Polish sausage and burgers are on sale? That’s what we’re having!) and be willing to be flexible if what you were hoping would be on sale isn’t. Find more cheap meals for summer entertaining before shopping.

Make Your Own Décor

Another way you can save on your summer party is by making your own décor. There are so many options that you won’t know where to start. The best way is to pick a theme and run with it. (Red, white & blue? Winter in July? Fairy party?) It is always easier to work from the theme idea on out.

Not looking for anything too specific? Think about pulling holiday and birthday decorations from the attic or ask the kids to draw pictures or come up with creative ways of dressing up the trees, bushes and deck. You can also look on Pinterest for items that you can hand-make for your gathering. With a little creativity, you’ll get lots of oohs and ahhs from your guests.

Keep the Guest List Small

Parties really start to add up when you invite everyone you know. In order to keep your summer party inexpensive, consider keeping your list small. A small party can still be a ton of fun! And if you do invite a larger crowd (my immediate family is 24 people, so I understand the dilemma), gently make sure that everyone is pulling their weight. Find out who can arrive early to help set up, help clean throughout, and help put everything away at the end.

Make It a Pot-Luck

Just because you are hosting doesn’t mean that you have to buy and prepare all of the food. Ask everyone to bring a side dish, drinks, and/or dessert and you provide the main course. If you plan to allow alcohol at the party but not purchase it, make that clear to your guests. You will provide the lemonade, fruit punch, water and/or pop and they can bring any alcoholic beverages. Alcohol can be one of the largest expenses at a party, so it’s okay spread that cost around.

There are additional little money saving moves that you can take advantage of like –

  • Roast marshmallows or hot dogs on sticks from your backyard (or campsite, park, etc.) over a fire.
  • Tape some of your child’s artwork together or use an old shower curtain to make a tablecloth.
  • Make sure that everything you serve would be considered “finger food” and don’t buy utensils.
  • Save on ice by stocking up from the ice machine in your fridge OR freeze grapes and use them as cubes instead.

Planning an inexpensive summer party doesn’t need to be nerve-wracking. You can make it special without spending a small fortune! It really is all about the company, so don’t stress yourself. Invite your friends, spread out the work and have a great time. 

Friends sitting at a backyard dinner table

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