cheap parties http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12365/all en-US You Can Throw a Fun and Affordable Holiday Party — Here's How http://www.wisebread.com/you-can-throw-a-fun-and-affordable-holiday-party-heres-how <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/you-can-throw-a-fun-and-affordable-holiday-party-heres-how" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends-christmas-party-450076653-small.jpg" alt="friends christmas party" title="friends christmas party" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Holiday parties are a fun part of the season, and hosting one can be a blast. The trick is to throw a fun party without spending your gift shopping budget to make it happen. Luckily, there are some easy ways to make your party fun without breaking the bank. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-budget-gifts-you-can-bring-to-a-holiday-party?ref=seealso">7 Budget Gifts You Can Bring to a Holiday Party</a>)</p> <h2>Pare Down the Guest List</h2> <p>The more the merrier, right? It's not quite that simple if you're the host (AKA the treasurer). Consider whittling down your guest list for the party and you'll save a good chunk of change while providing a more intimate gathering. If you still want to invite that old co-worker, fitness instructor, and the mailman, then go for a potluck or BYOB (more on that in a moment).</p> <h2>Get the Timing Right</h2> <p>If you don't want to serve a full meal and deal with all of the requirements it brings, try having your party at a non-eating time. Eight at night or later is acceptable for not providing dinner unless you state otherwise. Plus, many people will go out to eat just before, and therefore won't need a snack until later. If you'd like to have a less boozy gathering that won't last until the wee hours, a Sunday evening party is perfect. For a (nearly) booze-less gathering, host a cookie or tree-trimming party in the afternoon, and you can squeeze by with warm cider and cookies.</p> <h2>Decorate Resourcefully</h2> <p>There's no need to blow your budget on party decorations. For lighting, simply gather all of the candles you own and cluster them on a main table before lighting them. Or buy a couple of strings of cheap holiday lights and <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/home-organizing-new-uses-for-old-things/new-uses-mason-jars/night-light">stick them in jars</a>. Instead of buying expensive flowers, take trimmings from an evergreen tree, branches with berries, and pine cones and make a seasonal arrangement.</p> <p>One of the easiest ways to decorate for a party is to use food. Put those pretty cookies you made (or your nice friend brought over) on a platter. Put pretty citrus on plates and in bowls for decoration, and then use them for cocktails or snacking. Fill bowls with candy that guests can snack on and take home.</p> <p>You can even make decorating the central theme. Have a tree-trimming party and either have everyone <a href="http://www.redtedart.com/2012/09/15/homemade-christmas-tree-ornaments/">make decorations</a> as an activity when they arrive or bring an ornament with them as their contribution to the party.</p> <h2>BYO All Sorts of Things</h2> <p>Don't be afraid to ask guests to bring key items with them to your party. The most common example is to have people bring their own drinks, such as wine. This tried-and-true method can majorly cut down on a big party budget eater: alcohol. You can get more creative with BYOB and have people bring a mixer and you supply the liquor for a nice cocktail bar (or reverse it and have your guests bring the booze). Or have a holiday wine tasting, and have everyone bring a bottle to share.</p> <p>Throw a cookie party this year &mdash; ask guests to bring cookies to share and create a sweet display. Supply a salty snack or two and something to drink and you're done! If you're having a smaller gathering, have guests specifically bring cookies for decorating and <a href="http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/best-sugar-cookie-icing-ever/">provide the icing</a> and sprinkles for a fun afternoon.</p> <h2>Feed Your Guests (Without Going Broke)</h2> <p>Food can be a major expense for holiday parties, but you don't have to spend big to have a great time. A potluck is a classic way to nearly eliminate this expense, and it's a fun way to socialize and sample new dishes. Try basing your potluck party around a theme, even if that's just &quot;holiday meal,&quot; and let everyone know what you're making as the main course so they can plan accordingly.</p> <p>It's no secret that when it comes to food, it's almost always cheaper to do it yourself. So forget catering, and get thee to the kitchen! Even if you're not a cook, you can whip up some easy but satisfying snacks. Try swapping a pricey cheese platter for a <a href="http://pocketchangegourmet.com/homemade-cheese-ball-gifts-from-the-kitchen/">homemade cheese ball</a> with crackers and crudites (slice the veggies yourself &mdash; it's much cheaper than buying them cut up at the grocery). Bread fills people up, so put out a variety of <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/slideshow/toast-crostini-recipes/?slide=1">crostini</a> to nibble on. And a bowl of homemade popcorn is super cheap and always a hit.</p> <p>If you can stand the clean up, use your own &quot;real&quot; dishes, utensils and glasses. If your crowd is too big or the lack of a dishwasher makes it all feel impossible, head to your local dollar store for disposables.</p> <h2>Festive Drinking The Cheap Way</h2> <p>If you're offering up drinks as part of your party deal, a great way to please a crowd is with punch. It frees you up to use cheaper booze without anyone being the wiser, and you can stretch the alcohol with mixers. An <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.browneyedbaker.com/hot-apple-cider-rum-punch-recipe/">apple cider punch</a> or mulled wine are great for a winter party and can go a long way.</p> <p>If you want to serve a proper cocktail, consider using prosecco. It tastes and looks festive, but for the taste and the bubbles, it costs much less than it's counterparts.</p> <h2>Free Entertainment</h2> <p>No party is complete without a soundtrack. Find <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.pbs.org/specials/2013-holiday-playlists/">holiday playlists</a> on an online streaming or radio service and just press play. Put Christmas movies that you own or are streaming for free on your TV in the background (or perhaps a <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rH79BmeeM0o">crackling fireplace</a>). Mix things up by playing games like Celebrity, Who Am I? and <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.wikihow.com/Play-Mafia">Mafia</a>, all of which are totally free and great fun with a group.</p> <h2>Affordable Gifting</h2> <p>If you'd like to include a gifting element, an always fun and budget-friendly game of Secret Santa is an easy solution. Set a spending limit as low as you like and let people get creative. That way, everyone (including you) only has to buy one gift instead of 15, and it's a fun party game. You can also send your guests home with gifts, but make them dual purpose: gift your party decorations (such as ornaments), or pack everyone little gift bags with an assortment of the cookies they brought.</p> <p><em>What are your tips for an affordable holiday bash?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-can-throw-a-fun-and-affordable-holiday-party-heres-how">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/throwing-awesome-parties-on-a-budget">Throwing Awesome Parties on a Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-frugal-birthday-party-games">5 Frugal Birthday Party Games</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-budget-gifts-you-can-bring-to-a-holiday-party">7 Budget Gifts You Can Bring to a Holiday Party</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-things-good-hosts-never-do">14 Things Good Hosts Never Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-122-scrumptious-super-bowl-party-snack-ideas">Flashback Friday: 122 Scrumptious Super Bowl Party Snack Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment cheap parties holiday party party party drinks party food Mon, 08 Dec 2014 22:00:07 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1264764 at http://www.wisebread.com Throwing Awesome Parties on a Budget http://www.wisebread.com/throwing-awesome-parties-on-a-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/throwing-awesome-parties-on-a-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/backyard_party.jpg" alt="Backyard Party" title="Backyard Party" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you start living on a budget, you might think parties will be the first thing to go. But consider an important philosophical question &mdash; what good is life without parties and revelry? You work hard, and it's not so you can live in a tiny apartment and eat rocks. It's worth splurging on the little things every now and again. Even when you do decide to indulge a bit, you can do so on a budget. Put simply &mdash; you don't need a ton of money to throw a killer party everyone will remember. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/class-without-tons-of-cash-frugal-cocktail-party-ideas">Class Without Tons of Cash: Frugal Cocktail Party&nbsp;Ideas</a>)</p> <h2>What Makes for a Great Party?</h2> <p>A great party is made up of four key elements, whether we're talking about your 6-year-old son's birthday party or a cultured soiree for the grownups. These elements are:</p> <ul> <li>Good People</li> <li>Good Food</li> <li>Good Drinks</li> <li>Fun Stuff to Do</li> </ul> <p>The first and fourth can be free. If you're partying on a budget, you're probably going to be able to do a better job on the middle two than you might think.</p> <h2>Good People</h2> <p>Good people is something that I can't really help you with. You either know them or you don't. Fortunately, getting them to your party is easier (and more affordable) than ever. Putting the word out on social networks, then gently reminding people to show up is a sure-fire method of packing your party with interesting people. One of the biggest gambles people take when attending a party is knowing if anyone good will be there. A Facebook page for your party will let people know precisely who to expect. Make sure to get people to RSVP!</p> <h2>Good Food</h2> <p>If you want a party with truly good food, you need to start cooking. While you can purchase bulk foods at discount prices, you've moved past the point in your life where a bag of Cheetos in a bowl counts for party snacks. Instead, focus on doing either one large thing very well or several little things that all stand out. It's easier than you think to prepare snacks, and while I'm not going to advise anyone to serve nothing but Ritz Crackers, you ate a ton of Ritz Crackers with cheese on top when you were a kid for a reason &mdash; they're delicious.</p> <p>Don't write off the idea of having a potluck, either. These aren't just an excuse for you to save money on cooking supplies. Particularly in foodie circles, you'll find that a potluck is a bit like a rap battle. Everyone is going to be bringing their &quot;A&quot; game. This allows you to have top-quality food at your party with little cost to you, while also making an affordable party even more of an event.</p> <h2>Good Drinks</h2> <p>Let's assume that by &quot;good drinks&quot; we mean &quot;good drinks for adults,&quot; by which we mean &quot;booze.&quot; Building a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cocktail-time-great-budget-liquors">home bar on a budget</a> is a whole article on its own. However, there are some guiding principles to filling your bar with good drink that are especially applicable when hosting a party:</p> <ul> <li>Nearly every cocktail can be made if you have a bottle each of scotch, bourbon, gin, rum, and vodka. Barring either expensive taste or prolific drinking ability, a good bar set up is going to put you back about $50.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Take care of wine and beer by encouraging guests to BYOB on that front. Stress that you will take care of the hard stuff, and no one will have a problem.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>As if this needed saying &mdash; better doesn't always mean more expensive, and a lot of this has to do with taste. The present author can't stomach Bushmill's, but loves drinking Grant's neat. Conversely, he understands the appeal of Grey Goose, but not Bombay Sapphire. Your mileage may vary, but the ultimate determiner is always taste.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If your friends are the &quot;Kool-Aid + Booze = FUN!&quot; types, a large bottle of just about anything will do. A bottom-shelf handle of Bourbon and another of vodka will probably keep this crowd happy. We know that college is over, but whatever. Some people aren't super choosy, and that's OK.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p>Put simply &mdash; set a budget, stick to it, and buy the most diverse liquor cabinet you can afford.</p> <h2>Fun Stuff to Do</h2> <p>This literally does not require a dime of expenditure on your party. &quot;Fun stuff to do&quot; might mean nothing more than enjoying a meal and good company. It might mean something as elaborate as projecting a film onto the wall of your apartment. Many times the good people part takes care of this. Still, even the most well-intentioned parties have a habit of dying grizzly deaths. When this happens, rely on the following:</p> <ul> <li>Mental <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-family-friendly-games-for-your-holiday-party">games</a> seem to be coming back in style. Having a copy of a question book like <i>If...</i> or a game might elicit groans from cynics at first. See how many cynics are left in 15 minutes.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Forget what your mother told you &mdash; people love talking about politics, sex, and religion.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>While it won't work with CDs, going through a pile of old, musty records is quite an experience, especially at the end of the night when a party is dying down.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Even just natural social graces can count as fun stuff to do. If you are a particularly adept matchmaker, you will also be good at introducing people in such a way that no one will notice or care that witty banter is &quot;all&quot; your party had to offer.</li> </ul> <h2>Getting the Most Out of Your Low-Budget Party</h2> <p>A lot of throwing the perfect low-budget party is appreciating the simpler things in life and paying attention to the small details that matter. Think back on the best parties you've ever been to. What is it that made them great? Chances are, it had little-to-nothing to do with how much money was spent. The secret to revelry on a budget is recognizing that it is far more subtle things that make for a good time.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nicholas-pell">Nicholas Pell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/throwing-awesome-parties-on-a-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-save-money-at-the-bars">4 Ways to Save Money at the Bars</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-for-beginners-10-recipes-for-kitchen-newbies">Cooking for Beginners: 10 Recipes for Kitchen Newbies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-moonshine">How to Make Moonshine</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-thermoses">The 5 Best Thermoses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-aluminum-and-stainless-steel-water-bottles">The 5 Best Aluminum and Stainless Steel Water Bottles</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Food and Drink Home alcohol cheap parties cheap snacks hosting Thu, 17 Nov 2011 11:36:30 +0000 Nicholas Pell 787805 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Frugal Birthday Party Games http://www.wisebread.com/5-frugal-birthday-party-games <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-frugal-birthday-party-games" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/birthday.jpg" alt="Birthday" title="Birthday Cake" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My daughter recently turned five. In case you don&rsquo;t know, birthday parties are a big deal to a five year old. Our family lives in a third world country so we knew we&rsquo;d have to get creative when it came time to plan our birthday games. In the end, we came up with some great games that the kids absolutely loved. My wife and I loved the fact that we spent less than $10 on the games for the birthday party.</p> <p><strong>Frugal doesn&rsquo;t mean boring.</strong></p> <p>For some reason, people think that frugal must mean boring. To plan a <a href="http://christianpf.com/birthday-party-on-a-budget/">frugal birthday party</a> just means you&rsquo;re going to find the best activities that don&rsquo;t cost a lot of money. Make sure the games you pick are unique. Most of these &lsquo;homemade&rsquo; games will work once, but perhaps not every time. The novelty is what is exciting to the kids.</p> <p>As a parent, you need to set the tone. We were really excited about the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-throw-a-kids-birthday-party-thats-fun-happily-memorable">birthday party</a>, my daughter was excited, and that was infectious. Everyone had a great time playing these birthday games.</p> <h2>Homemade Bowling</h2> <p>Take six empty two liter containers and fill them up with a few rocks to weigh them down. Set up the containers like bowling pins and have the kids stand several feet away. Give them a ball and sit back and watch. I was responsible to set up the pins and my wife fetched the ball.</p> <p>As a side note, we didn&rsquo;t even have a ball so we used a coconut. Unfortunately, after about 15 minutes, one of the girls threw the coconut instead of rolling it &mdash; no more ball, so no more bowling.</p> <h2>Create Balloon Animals</h2> <p>Yes, you could spend $100 or more and hire a clown, or you could get online and learn how to make balloon animals. In our case, we chose the latter, and my wife had all the kids make their own balloon animals. It&rsquo;s amazing how simple it is to make a little puppy dog out of a balloon. The kids loved the challenge and kept laughing at how different each dog turned out.</p> <h2>Funny Face Competition</h2> <p>Pull birthday guests out one by one and have them make a funny face in front of the camera. (Don&rsquo;t take them to a different room, just pull them to the corner.) Ask one of your adult helpers to take pictures of each kid making a funny face. Load the images onto the computer and invite everyone to judge to see which picture is the best, most creative, funniest&hellip; Keep making up categories until every kid is a winner of one category.</p> <h2>Pin the Nose on the Clown</h2> <p>For this game, you&rsquo;ll need someone with an ounce of artistic talent. Draw a clown picture on a large piece of paper, and then tape the picture to a wall. One by one, each kid gets blind folded and spun around with a sticker in hand. The winner is the person who puts their sticker closest to the clown&rsquo;s nose.</p> <h2>Bubbles Mania</h2> <p>On a warm and slightly windy day, we gave all of the kids a little bubble container. Of course, anything involving kids and bubbles is sure to be a success. After the kids play independently, you can stand up on an elevated porch, ladder, or pickup truck and blow bubbles. Encourage the kids to pop all the bubbles before any of them touch the ground.</p> <p><em>What frugal birthday games have you played that were a success?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/craig-ford">Craig Ford</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-frugal-birthday-party-games">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/throwing-awesome-parties-on-a-budget">Throwing Awesome Parties on a Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-can-throw-a-fun-and-affordable-holiday-party-heres-how">You Can Throw a Fun and Affordable Holiday Party — Here&#039;s How</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-cheap-fun-things-to-do-this-weekend">47 Cheap, Fun Things to Do This Weekend</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-hobbies-you-can-start-for-under-10">25 Hobbies You Can Start for Under $10</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-celebrities-with-shockingly-low-net-worths">6 Celebrities With Shockingly Low Net Worths</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment birthday party birthday party games cheap parties Tue, 03 Aug 2010 13:33:05 +0000 Craig Ford 195442 at http://www.wisebread.com