Whether you want to throw a small birthday party for a friend or an outdoor get together in honor of spring (which starts tomorrow, btw), below are some affordable but charming items, tips and recipes on how you can save time and money, making party planning stress free and fun!
1. It’s okay to use disposable dinnerware for a party, but if you do, I always suggest using bamboo dinnerware. It looks much nicer than your average plastic plates, it’s eco-friendly, biodegradable and much stronger than paper.
2. Drink dispensers are great for guests and for the host! You can do all of your prep-work before the party and not worry about actually serving the cocktails. I found this very affordable and super adorable drink dispenser from World Market. Make a giant batch of your favorite cocktail to fill the dispenser, then let your guests serve themselves. Choosing one cocktail rather than having a few different ones will save you money on ingredients. Also, if you have beer or wine on the side as well, it’s still a nice variety for your guests to choose from. Embellish the dispenser by placing details on or around it, like flowers, garland or lights.
3. Paper cocktail napkins not only work for drinks, but go nicely when served with dessert too. Choose a color that fits your theme and set them out by the drink and dessert stations. They’re also super budget friendly. J
4. Instead of spending a fortune on paper invites and mailing them out, Paperless Post is a fabulous budget-friendly alternative. Although it still costs a small amount to send them via email, you get to choose from a variety of gorgeous designs and customized colors, fonts, envelope liners and more. I used them for our Halloween party and Christmas cards last year, people loved them and they didn’t break the bank!
5. Cheap wine glasses are always good for parties, especially because you won’t be upset if one breaks! I’m not a fan of plastic wine glasses, so I buy glass ones at the Dollar Store. They’re budget-friendly and still classy enough for guests to sip out of.
6. Mason Jars can be also be scored at the Dollar Store (for $1 of course!) and are so versatile! Use them to serve cocktails, as a vase for flowers or as a candle holder.
7. If the party is during the evening, tea lights are the perfect solution for setting the mood. Place them in mason jars and they’ll let off a nice glow throughout the event. Ikea sells an enormous, but inexpensive bag of tea lights.
8. Ice buckets from Ikea are perfect for keeping things chilled, like beer, soda, white wine and champagne.
9. If you’re an avid party host, it’s a good idea to start a collection of white serving platters. You will use them for everything and it looks much nicer when all of your platters are the same white color, which goes with any theme! Target has great deals on beautiful serving ware, perfect for all of your soirees.
Don’t forget the food! Below are some quick and easy recipes to whip up for any party.