From Bachelorettes to Birthdays: How to Save Money Throwing a Party

Posted on 04/19/2010

Whether it’s your kid’s birthday party or your best friend’s bachelorette bash, throwing parties is one of life’s joys. But sometimes that joy can become a burden if it doesn’t fit into the budget. Here are some money-saving tips for throwing parties.

Create a Budget - Get your party planning under control by putting it down on paper. Create a budget for your event so that you don’t spend too much on certain areas. If you need a little help getting started, check out money expert Jean Chatzky’s printable Party Planning Worksheet.

Don’t Rent, Borrow - Rental companies offer a great service, but it comes at a price. Instead of renting tables, chairs or supplies see what you can borrow. Call up friends and ask for card tables and folding chairs. If you belong to a church, check with staffers about getting a temporary equipment loan. Chances are you’ll be able to round up what you need without spending anything but some time.

Skip the Postage - Instead of mailing invites and paying hefty postage prices, use free online invitations like those found at,, or All of these services are helpful - and free!

Start Cookin’ - Caterers are pricey. Instead of hiring a pro, select some easy recipes and start cooking. Need to serve a main course? Find recipes with low-cost ingredients like potatoes or pasta. Want to serve cake? Keep it simple with cupcakes. Get some inspiration for decorating at

Avoid Meal Time - When parties fall during certain times of the day, a full-blown meal is expected. Avoid that obligation by throwing your party outside of meal times. Mid afternoon or late evening hours may be best. You’ll be able to spend less on food for guests, cutting the cost of your gathering.

Split the Cost - Does the entire cost of the party need to fall on you? See if there’s another friend or family member that can chip in. Plenty of parties have co-hosts which is a great way to share the responsibilities and the expense.

By Alison Storm

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