Are you hosting a BBQ for Memorial Day this weekend? Throwing a party can be expensive but I have a few tips that will help you keep the cost down!
Invites - There is no need to waste money on fancy invites and postage when we live in the digital age! Invite your friends and family through Facebook or send an e-vite through email!
Food - A great way to save money on the most expensive part of a party, the food, is to theme your party as a Potluck! You can even have guests coordinate with each other through an email chain or Facebook invite so no one brings the same dish! Keep this idea in mind for desserts and beverages too. It’s also a good idea to ask your guests to bring their alcoholic beverage of choice. Beer and liquor can be very expensive and it may be very difficult to accommodate all of your guests’ tastes on a budget. So consider adding a “BYOB” clause to your invites! If you don’t think a potluck is a good idea for your party—try buying your food and supplies in bulk! If you have a wholesale membership (Costco, BJs, Sam’s Club) this is the perfect time to utilize it! If you are having a lot of guests it will be cheaper to buy snacks, burgers, sides, plates and utensils wholesale! If you don’t have a wholesale membership, don’t buy one just for the party. See if any of your friends or family has a card and would like to come with you shopping for the party. If not your local wholesale retailer may have a free trial membership that you can use—just make sure you cancel it if you don’t intend on using it since the fees won’t be worth it if you don’t ever shop there! Also, try to keep your menu simple. After all it’s just a barbecue there’s no need for fancy dinner food and just stick to the basics. If you do want to incorporate something a little more pricey/fancy, considering serving it as an appetizer instead so you can make smaller portions of it.
Decorations - Decorations can get pretty pricey but not at the dollar store! Try purchasing some red, white and blue reusable tablecloths or plates and napkins to brighten the place up and use again! And don’t forget about all the old streamers you have hanging in a closet somewhere. A vibrant, colorful theme is perfect for a summertime BBQ. Borrow from a friend who had the party the year before.
Entertainment - Although adults may have a great time just chatting and eating food, kids will need a little entertainment during the party. Depending on your audience you can have a coloring contest for the kids (print out free Memorial Day coloring pages here), sidewalk chalk coloring contest or a water balloon toss. Prizes for winning games can be stickers, bouncy balls, or any other inexpensive item that will entertain the children for the rest of the party! Older children can be entertained with outdoor sports such as Frisbee, wiffle ball, or a relay race! You can also try bringing some games you already have outside like twister!
Have a happy and safe Memorial Day and make sure to share your tips for throwing an inexpensive outdoor party with me!