There are few things in life more uncomfortable than seeing a party host trying hard to save money. They are basically saying, “Have a great time – just so long as it doesn’t cost me much money!” It gets awkward. I once was at a party where the host was obsessive about people keeping one disposable cup through the entire night. Many guests felt like they were at work. The host kept an eagle eye on everyone to make sure they didn’t use too many cups.
No, this post isn’t about saving cups. It’s about thinking beyond cups. It’s about how to save money discretely. There are many ways of doing this. Let’s get started:
A Show-and-Tell Party
Think about what your friends like to show off. And then throw a party around that theme. Instead of getting a band, have your friends bring their own guitars and go crazy on your back porch. Do your friends enjoy baking? Throw a baking party where everyone tries their hand in the kitchen. Many parties can be fun without bringing outside entertainment.
Potlucks are fantastic for many reasons. One of which is the money saved. Every guest brings a particular dish. This isn’t too difficult for everyone yet it’s very easy for you as a host. It’s nice only having to worry about serving utensils instead of a complete meal. One tip: Only do a potluck if the community getting together is a tight-knit community. Otherwise, people will be leery to eat food from strangers. Makes sense. They’re especially good if you want barbecue or do some grilling on the cheap.
A Late-Night Party
Forget food. Throw a party after everyone’s eaten. Just provide cheap snacks like chips, salsa, popcorn, etc. To save on party snacks, stock up during Super Bowl season. Not all snacks will keep but chips, salsa, popcorn have a really long shelf life. Something to think about.
Although keep in mind what your friends are like late at night. If they turn into animals, make sure you don’t leave out anything you cherish. You’d hate to be penny wise on snacks but pound foolish on your one-of-a-kind painting.
A Discounted Party
I mean ‘discounted’ in the best possible terms. Think about it like this. Say you work at Omaha Steaks. You probably get an employee discount. Use it and throw an epic backyard barbeque for your friends. You’ll save money from the normal costs but the meat will taste just as good. Use your perks to help your friends.
I knew a kid in college whose parents owned an electronics store. He had a lot of TV’s so he would invite people over to have LAN parties. It worked out really well and didn’t cost him much money at all.
My parents own a farm. That means they can have fun parties in the country, without renting a place. These ‘destination’ parties can be a lot of fun. It usually turns into an entire weekend of fun – not just one night.
For a great party at a discounted price, think of what you can do to reduce the costs in a not so obvious manner. It’s about getting creative and planning ahead. Anyone can yell at guests to only use one Solo cup. But not everyone is smart enough to employ the secretly frugal tactics outlined above. Enjoy the party!
I’m a personal finance freelance writer and webmaster. I welcome you to visit me at www.thefrugalpreneur.com