As soon as the weather warms, I start thinking about leaving my hibernating quarters and getting out and seeing people again. And sometimes I get so excited about it, I even consider the possibility of throwing a bit of a shindig to celebrate the new warmth of our skies. Here are some party tips and tricks for having a great time, on a budget.
Setting is a big decision, and where you decide on can often have consequences for how much you spend. For instance, throwing a party outside will automatically give it a far more relaxed air, allowing you to save money on non-essentials. There are no decorating costs and you can stick to cheap nibblies. Everyone expects to bring their own bubbles and booze, it can stored in an esky and you can surround yourself with the ones you love without putting an ozone-size hole in the budget. Make sure you take setting into account when planning a party, as the reverse is also true. It might seem like a really nice idea to cook a sit-down meal, or provide all the booze, but is it really a realistic idea for your finances.
It may seem ridiculous, but timing is also a crucial factor in keeping down the costs of your soiree. A late afternoon/ early evening gathering is always going to be a much cheaper alternative to something more formal later at night. Obviously, the more formal, the more money that needs to be spent.
While you don’t want to break the bank, this is a party, so you want to put on a good show. Think about innovative ways to have a great time, that won’t cost huge amounts of money. Punch is always good- a never fail. It might cost you $40, but it’ll will be the glue of the evening, especially when people start providing their own recipes. If the night turns a bit cold, why not put on a steaming pot of mulled wine? It’s super simple to make- just get a couple of bottles of wine, some lemon, cloves and cinnamon if you have it and whatever fruit you feel like chucking in. Let it come to the boil and then everyone can congregate around the hot pot of heaven. Likewise with food- have a bit of a budget, and provide good, low-GI food that will keep people going as opposed to thin crackers and chips that will leave them starved. Get thick sourdough and make some homemade hummous. It costs you nothing more than chickpeas, some yoghurt and tahini and is bound to be delicious. Or make a huge batch of veggie soup, and pass it round for a filling and delicious snack.
In this day and age, a DJ is becoming less and less relevant, especially when there are some many fun things you can do for your music. Why not bring your computer out and let other people work on your playlist? By the end of the night, you’ll have an organic memory of the evening. If you’ve all got iPhones, you can share all your music or use it as a remote. Or invite every one to bring their vinyls over and have a retro evening.