How to Have a Party Without Breaking The Bank

Everyone likes a good party, right? If you want to throw a party without breaking the bank, check out these ten easy tips.

Pre-Party Expenses

  1. Invitations – You have to invite people to your party, but that does not mean that you have to spend a lot of money. If you are set on sending out paper invitations, try looking for boxed invitation sets rather than getting invitations printed. These are often just as cute, if generic, and they are much less expensive.

However, the easiest way to save money on your invitations is to send out evites. These are emailed invitations that do not cost a thing. Check out for some ideas!

  1. Cleaning – Often times people who have a party will hire a cleaning service to come in and spruce up the house. This year, give yourself enough time to do the cleaning yourself, and you will save a good deal of money. You can even rent a carpet cleaner for less than it would cost to have your house professionally cleaned, in many cases.

Tip: Use a spare bedroom for coats and purses, but close off extra bedrooms and upstairs spaces. This way you do not have to clean as much.

Food and Drink

  1. Potluck – Some people look down on a potluck party, but it is one of the easiest ways to save money when it comes to throwing a party. You don’t even have to make the party an official potluck, and you can enlist family members to help you prepare all the food.

A fun idea is to have a potluck cocktail party where all the guests bring their favorite holiday themed cocktail recipe and ingredients. You can even have a contest to vote on whose cocktail is the best!

  1. Be Casual – Don’t focus on expensive food and drinks. Your guests want good food and a good time, which doesn’t necessarily mean that they want things like crab tartlets. Why not pick up some fruit and veggie platters or cheese and meat platters?
  1. Make Punch – Instead of offering a cocktail or a number of wines, make a festive punch. Why? With a punch, you can get away with using less expensive alcohol. Also limit the types of drinks that you offer, and you will save money.


  1. Pick a Theme – Picking a theme for your party is fun, and it makes it easier to decorate. Color themes are a great way to go because you can decorate for them easily and inexpensively with colored table clothes, napkins, plastic ware, and so on.
  1. The Food Table – It’s easy to decorate your food table and make it your centerpiece without spending any money. Take some old phonebooks or textbooks and use them to make platforms on the table, and then cover the whole thing with a large table cloth. Now you can use the platforms to display your food and/or your decorations.
  1. Ask Your Friends – Ask your friends and family members if you can borrow their decorations for your party. This is a great way to save some money.


  1. Games – Pick a fun game which requires a lot of interaction and team work.  Games like Taboo are great for bringing people together and getting a good laugh.
  1. For the Kids – If you know that many of your guests will be bringing kids, it might be a good idea to set up a kids’ activity station. Inexpensive activities could include setting up a table with finger paints or coloring books. You can ask an older child to act as a babysitter. If the babysitter is your child, try offering a reward, like the use of the family car on Saturday night, instead of money.

So, there you have it. 10 ways you can have a party without breaking the bank. Remember, spending time with friends and family and having fun shouldn’t have to be expensive.

So, do you like to throw parties? What kinds of things have you done to cut down on the cost?

This post was written by YFS.


How to Have a Party Without Breaking The Bank — 22 Comments

    • You don’t have to spend too much to have fun. Focus on things that interact with the crowd. Games like taboo, pictionary and twister come to mind.

  1. I love to throw parties & host my friends for dinner. I usually go with a potluck according to a various theme we’ve set in advance, but if I cook, I tell the others to bring the alcohol to cut down on costs.

    • Good call on the BYOB. Providing alcohol can really blow your party budget out of the water. I usually say BYOB or I make a rum punch that everyone would love.

  2. I always provide the meat and salsa. Everyone else brings the beer etc. Works out great, most folks leave their beer behind;-)

  3. I think it’s ok now in this day and age to use electronic invitations. Unless, you’re having a formal event such as a wedding a paper invitation shouldn’t be required.

  4. We have a weekly potluck with our friends. We used to go out to eat together but obviously that became quite expensive so it involved into a potluck. The best part about it is that it just happens every week- there’s no wondering if there will be a meal and we don’t make other plans for that night.

  5. I think people forget how to have fun economically. Sometimes it just takes a little bit of planning, and that can be part of the fun. I have found that I sometimes enjoy some of the simplest things the most. Of course, this isn’t always, but it certainly happens enough.

    • I agree you shouldn’t have to spend a ton of money to have fun. If you do have to spend big bucks that means your friends aren’t really that interesting.

  6. Enjoyed reading this. Last year I had this bet with our friends that I will serve three course French menu for £1.50 (about $2.80) per person. And I did – the dinner menu is somewhere on my blog. We had a wonderful evening and I loved solving the problem. Sadly, the wine was an entirely different matter altogether.

  7. Whenever we have parties or even go to parties, dinners or the such, it is very common to bring a dessert or a dish. It makes everything a lot easier on the host.

  8. Great tips! If it’s not a huge party, you can save money cutting up fruits and veggies yourself. Definitely hit the dollar store for things like decorations.

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