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How to throw a budget party?

October 25, 2012

This was the question I was faced with when deciding whether or not to throw a graduation party for my husband.  He just finished up his last few days as a college student and will officially be a college graduate in a few days. Congrats honey!

Things I was taking into consideration when planning the party: I’m on a budget, I’m frugal, I want to throw a themed party for about 50 people, AND I’m a woman.  Some of those appear to be a bit contradictory, I know.  I decided on a mustache-theme since my husband currently has a serious stache named Alejandro.  I scoured Pinterest for tons of DIY ideas on decorations for a mustache-themed party. I will be doing a future post on my DIY projects in the next several weeks 😉

Mustache Party

Here are the steps to throwing an awesome, frugal party:

First place to start is deciding on a budget.  It’s reasonable to allow for $5 to $7 per person.  This price should cover everything including:

  • Food
  • Decorations galore (lots of DIY)
  • Table and chair rentals
  • Games, homemade photo booths, etc.
  • Supplies (paper plates, utensils, cups, etc)

The second most important thing is figuring out the food.  Are you going to make the food? Cater? Or pick up from a local restaurant?  Unless you have a lot of help I suggest placing an order for pickup at a local restaurant to avoid unnecessary stress. When ordering, one of the most important things is to figure out how avoid the “per person” trap.  If they know you are throwing a big party, add on an extra $10 per person. However, if you order the items you would like separately, you can save lots of money by only purchasing the basics.  Also, consider making the dessert a day or two ahead of time to cut costs.

Location Location Location!!!  Go for a place where you don’t have to spend money!  Your place, a friend’s place? Anywhere that is frugal and or free, and incredibly convenient.  When you start adding $ for a venue, the budget goes by the wayside.

Can you borrow any supplies? What do you already have? You would probably be shocked by how many things you actually have.  I try to be resourceful and do an inventory of what I have vs. what I need. Do you know anyone that can let you borrow a few chairs, a table or a cupcake holder? Don’t be afraid to ask.

Lastly, the decorations need to be awesome, mainly homemade and inexpensive.  I get so many ideas from Pinterest, I think I spend about 4 hours straight each sitting. I would recommend browsing around on Etsy and figure out which decorations you can replicate yourself and which you can pay for.

Hope this helps for your next shin-dig!  Thanks for reading 😉

14 Comments leave one →
  1. October 25, 2012 9:47 am

    Ok those cupcakes are awesome.. did you make them? Congrats to your husband for finishing school. I finished earlier this year and am happy happy happy!!!

    • October 25, 2012 10:42 am

      Thank you!!!! It’s such an awesome feeling when you graduate!!! Congrats to you….no more papers again!!!!!!

      • October 25, 2012 10:46 am

        This was my second time around once in the UK and then in Canada. Best decision i ever made!

  2. October 25, 2012 10:10 am

    How cute! Now I want to throw a party. I just recently got into pinterest and I love it. I used to avoid because it made me want to spend money, but now that I have it more under control I can enjoy with the rest. Mustaches! How cute! Can’t wait to see 🙂

  3. October 25, 2012 11:20 am

    Moustach straws???!!! Brilliant

  4. October 25, 2012 12:40 pm

    Awesome decor, can’t wait to see the rest. Thanks for the tips, I am sure they will come in handy at some point.
    Congrat’s to your hubby, BTW!


  5. October 25, 2012 1:26 pm

    Awesome theme!! And Congrats to your hubby on graduating! Such a big accomplishment!!

  6. October 25, 2012 4:57 pm

    I usually do a BBQ, I specify what I am going to provide (usually sausages and BBQ chicken wings and a salad and potato salad), and then if people want expensive steak they can BYO and cook it themselves if they are fussy, or let me do it if they trust me 😉 I also just buy some bags of chips, a few dips, crackers, and cut up some carrots for the early birds.

    We still have a massive supply of spirits from our housewarming 3 years ago, so all the bottles come out as well as the cocktail glasses, shot glasses and cocktail shaker. I make as much extra ice as I can in the days before. Before we had the cocktail supply stash I used to just make punch. People also tend to bring their own favs like beer or wine.

    We borrow chairs to supplement our stash of ugly plastic garden chairs which I picked up on the side of the road.

    Our house is generally pretty ideal for gatherings of 50 people. We have several pretty big spaces for groups to form. The problem is parking. Last time I had a party I made a lucky dip for those who arrived by bicycle or walked. It impressed a few of the guests. Others car pooled which is also nice 🙂

    • November 28, 2012 2:42 pm

      50 people!!! It sounds like your housewarming was pretty memorable!!! THe borrowing and BYO is the best!!!

  7. John S @ Frugal Rules permalink
    October 26, 2012 6:09 am

    Congrats to your husband! I am sure he’s so glad to be done. Those cupcakes look awesome by the way!

  8. cuparoons permalink
    October 26, 2012 9:11 pm

    Great job on the cupcakes!


  1. Mr.CBB’s Weekly Blog Post Picks Oct 26,2012 « Canadian Budget Binder

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