Lets Party Without Breaking the Bank
I just had the greatest party with my friends and family, I wanted to share my ideas on how to plan a fun party on a budget. First things first set out a plan of how many people, what your budget is and what your main food will be. Everyone knows without food and drinks a party is just not complete.
1. How much money you can spend will determine how many people you can invite it's just that simple. You want your guests to have a memorable time so that means food and drinks for everyone.
When you have little or no money to spend but want to throw a great party fear not all is not lost pot luck to the rescue. When I was growing up I can recall many pot luck get together, my family did not have much money but they knew if everyone brought something they could still have a great time but not break the bank.
2. What type of party you throw can be determined by asking yourself what age group your guests are. If you have a lot of children coming then obviously the younger your music choices and food the better. Some parties are for the 21 and older crowd that may include louder music and alcoholic beverages. No matter what age there is always a perfect balance you can focus towards your honored guests.
3. Invitations can be no cost-emails or even in person or over the phone invites all the way to handmade paper invitations. No matter how you decide to invite your friends and family I am sure they will be happy they get to be an honored guest at your gathering.
What type of food to serve can be a hard thing to decide. Some guest may love certain foods while others may not. Don't be afraid to ask your guest ahead of time about food allergies, food likes as well as dislikes. Make a list of food allergies to try to ovoid any problems at your party omit these foods. There are so many great food ideas out there don't be afraid to try something new that your guests may love. If you are doing a pot luck ask guests to bring their favorite dish or even have a theme party such as a Mexican food Fiesta or even a Chinese food extravaganza.
4. Set up before guests arrive. It can be hard to decide what to do first but one of the best rules of thumb so to speak is to start with what might take the longest. If you are cooking out start your grilling & get it done before your guests arrive so you can have more time to have fun yourself. I myself like to shower after I grill my food before my guests arrive so I do not spend the night smelling like a smoke house. I put my food on low setting in my oven so it stays nice and hot while I get ready to have some fun.
5. Designated areas help your party flow. When you have areas for specific tasks such as drinks, food, dancing, quiet area for babies to sleep or larger area for children to play it helps your guests have a great time and enjoy your party. Don't forget to have party supplies available to your guests so they do not have to ask for items such as ice, cups, silverware and napkins. Determine seating and main party areas as well so your guests have plenty of room.
6. Do your work ahead of time so you can enjoy your party. No one feels more unwelcome at a party then if the host is running around like they are not ready for guests to be coming in. If you are rushed and unorganised it will make greeting guests feel stressful and uncomfortable for you both. Make a list of things to do before guests arrive and have it done 1 hour before anyone is to show up. When your guests arrive have the time to give them a small tour of where your food, drinks and important designated areas are so they feel welcome and can enjoy your party fully. If you have a larger group of people don't feel embarrassed to make an announcement of where everything is so they can all enjoy your hard work. Trust me your guests will be talking about how great your party was when you are a great host.
7. To decorate or not to decorate that is the question. For the most part I have parties so often I do not decorate unless it is a special party such as a birthday party or a baby shower. I love to have parties so I try to stretch the old mighty dollar. I make decorations of my own to save money when I do decorate. You can read my hub on Party Decorations on the Cheap side.
8. What type of music to have playing at your party is yet another important question. Most of my parties are for young as well as middle aged people so I have to watch that I have a happy medium when it comes to music. Some people do not like rap, yet others do not like country, still others do not like rock music. When I play music I usuallyhave different areas where the music is playing so the people who like that kind of music tent to migrate to that area. Also you have to opinion of classics that everyone seems to like such as elevator type music playing low in the background.
9. To video game or not to video game that is another great question. I have a lot of age ranges so I tend to have at least 2 different types of video games turned on at any party moment. Having this option for younger guests helps parents to have a great time and keep the kids occupied at the party as well. If you do not own a video game console you can rent a console as well as games at a local game store. If you do not want to spend the extra on this for your younger guests ask parents if the kids can bring their own just make sure their name is marked on games as well as the console so there is no confusion. Have an extra television in an extra room out of the way and the younger guests are sure to have a great time as well as the adults.
10. Clean up can be a big hassle but if you plan for it while guests are at your party they will help without you having to even ask. If you have trash cans in your kitchen and bathroom areas as well as one outside if your party is out doors as well your guests will help put trash where it goes with out having to ask you where the trash can is. So make sure trash cans are readily available so people do not have to find you to ask you where they are. Also clean up as you enjoy your party. If there is an empty dish simply rinse it and place it in the dish washer for later. This not only keeps the area clear to move another item in it's place it also keeps your food area looking nice.
Last but certainly not least have a great time at your party I am sure your friends as well as family will be asking when you are having the next one.
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