4 fun parties you can throw for less than $40
If you’re on a budget, you don’t necessarily have to hold off on throwing a party when a special occasion comes around. Maybe it’s a big birthday or the release of a new season of a show that you and your friends love. Perhaps it’s your favorite holiday or a celebration of a big promotion. Regardless, when the time is right, you should always be ready for a bash — even if you throw it on a shoestring budget.
Looking for some tips on how to throw a soiree without breaking the bank? You’ve come to the right place. Here are four parties you can throw for $40 or less.
- A potluck house party.
One of the biggest costs you face when you decide to throw a party is the food. Lucky for you, there’s one very simple way to avoid this major cost: eliminate the food. Or at least, eliminate the expectation that you’re the one responsible for setting up the entire spread.
Instead of providing all of the grub for the evening, turn your bash into a potluck dinner. Make it into the theme, inviting everyone to bring their favorite side, salad, main dish, or dessert. You can also skip the main course all together and just make it an evening of heavy hors d’oeuvres if that’s easier for your friends. Then you’re only responsible for providing dishes and utensils (paper and plastic are more than fine), as well as drinks if you don’t outsource those. Keep the decorations minimal to stay on budget.
- A Netflix-viewing party.
Another aspect of a party that can get pricey is the entertainment. But when you shape your entire party around a free (or almost free) form of entertainment, your party budget drops drastically. That’s why you might want to consider hosting a party in honor of a new series coming out on Hulu, the return of your favorite show to TV, or the release of a Netflix original movie starring some of your friends’ fave celebs.
Since the party focuses on the show, don’t feel like you need to provide a full meal for your guests. Instead, fill a few bowls with cheap finger foods that are easy to nibble on during the show, like popcorn, pretzels, and veggies and hummus. Stick with affordable drinks, too, like large bottles of seltzer water and soda that you can pour into plastic cups.
- A low-key birthday party.
When you want to commemorate the beginning of another year of life, you can do so without blowing an entire paycheck. Instead of renting out a space or burning through money bar-hopping, host a house party with the help of a few cheap components.
Head to the party supply store and stock up on inexpensive, classic b-day party decor, like balloons and, of course, a celebratory “Happy Birthday” banner. While you’re there, grab cups, plates, and utensils — they’re cheaper when you buy in bulk. Then come up with a menu that stays within your budget. Either opt for a mix of snacks, like the spread at the Netflix party, or get more creative with a pasta bar stocked with some toppings and jars of different sauces. All you’ll need to make ahead of time is the pasta.
- A craftier cocktail party.
If you don’t want to skip the booze at your party, go lighter on the food (i.e., chips and salsa) and focus more on the libations. Make it a cocktail party theme, but instead of stocking a full bar — which will get expensive very quickly — stick to one signature cocktail so that you only have to buy one type of alcohol.
Choose your favorite type of liquor and Pinterest an easy drink that you can make with it, using as few other ingredients as possible. Let your guests know that you’ll be providing the evening’s signature drink, but if they want another cocktail, beer, or wine, it’s BYO.
How to Throw a Holiday Party for Under $50 [Spoon University]
How to Throw a Big Party on a Small Budget [Money Crashers]