8 Things You Must Do to Throw a Frugal, Fun Backyard Party


Believe it or not, the days are already getting shorter. That means now is a great time to host a little soiree to celebrate the remaining days of summer and create those wonderful memories of time well-spent with family, friends, and neighbors. (See also: How to Throw a Kid’s Birthday Party That’s Fun, Happily Memorable, and Not So Expensive)

Plan ahead, borrow what you need, and make use of what you have to make your bash fun for your friends and family without being a burden on you.

1. Open the Pantry

The trick to having fun on a budget is to make the best of what you have. Rather than write out a list of what you want to have at the party, make a list of what you already have in the pantry, and create your party menu based on ingredients you already have on hand.

2. Ask Friends for Fresh Finds

It you have friends and family who garden, ask them to bring along ingredients for a salad, a homemade salsa, or a veggie tray. You’ll get lots of fresh produce at no cost to anyone.

3. Prep the Traffic Areas

If the party is to be held out in the backyard, clean only the necessary areas like the kitchen and bathroom. Close the doors to your other rooms. Do have a backup, like the garage or the rec room, spruced up in the event of rain. If you live with a busy schedule, do a little cleaning every day, so you are not completely stressed out on the day of the party.

4. Make It BYOB

Don’t let alcohol drink up your budget. Let guests know there will be plenty of food and soft drinks available, but anyone who wishes to imbibe must bring their own booze.

5. Borrow Coolers, Chairs, and Tables

Don’t spend your money on what other people already have. Ask to borrow from family and friends the items you only need temporarily including coolers, chairs, and tables. Coolers are especially important because you can keep everyone out of your fridge during the hot day. Stock several coolers around your yard, and label each with its contents to make it easy for guests to find what they're looking for.

6. Provide Home Comforts

Make sure to set out comfort items for your backyard guests including towels to cover hot chairs, sunscreen, and bug spray. Also consider providing several shady areas for seating either under a tree or under a canopy.

7. Keep It Clean

Outside parties can include uninvited and unpleasant animal and insect guests, so create an area away from the party for trash disposal. Set up several cans with lids and recycling bins for cans and glass. Post a sign for guests to outline what gets recycled. You should also keep a small side table nearby with hand sanitizer, baby wipes, and paper towels. Monitor trash cans throughout the day, and tend to them as they get filled to minimize insects and the potential for trash to blow around your yard and neighborhood.

8. Keep Kids Busy

To keep your adult guests happy and relaxed, you need to consider how to keep the kids happy and busy. Visit the local dollar store and pick up small toys like bubbles, water balloons, glow sticks, and badminton rackets. Also make up a list of good yard games for adults and kids to play throughout the day like egg races. For super-hot afternoons, bring out a sprinkler, and a hose and let kids cool down.

Throw a backyard bash recently? What did you do to make it a success?

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