So you've decided you're going to host a party. Congratulations! Whether this is a special event or a party "just because," it doesn't have to be an expensive event even with snacks, decorations, entertainment, and drinks. With enough careful planning and come creativity, you can host a party for little to no money!
Keep the Decorations Minimal and Cheap
The decorations and entertainment create the ambiance for your party, but you don't have to go crazy purchasing them. If you're a crafty person, consider making your decorations at home with minimal supplies or supplies you may already have. Want streamers? Consider construction paper loops or bunting with string. A metallic or plain black Sharpie can help you create a personalized banner to hang for your party. Additionally, consider dollar store items to help create the mood for your party. You can find lots of fun things like vases, marbles, silk flowers, fun little toys and more to create centerpieces and various decor items.
Potluck your Party
One of the most fun contributions your guests can have to your party is to have them bring their favorite side item, dessert, or drink to share with your party-goers. Many people will take to the store to purchase their favorite party food item, but some will bring their favorite recipes. Then, you can supply the main course and save yourself some dough. An alternative is to provide small appetizer-sized bites for your guests. Some examples include kabobs, torti-zzas (tortilla pizzas), crackers and cheese with fruit, and chips and dip.
Simple, Fun Entertainment
There's no need for a DJ in this day and age. With your smart phone or laptop and a speaker, any party host can create an excellent playlist of your favorite tunes on YouTube. Additionally, consider using Spotify or Pandora to add some more randomness to your playlist. For other entertainment, group board games and card games are great ways to entertain party guests. Choose games that have rounds or can easily facilitate conversation to keep the entertainment light and fun.
Consider the Time of Day
One last way to save a few dollars is to consider changing the time of day to host your event. Instead of having a dinner party or into-the-wee-hours-of-the-night party, consider hosting for lunch or brunch. Although it may seem silly, guests are less likely to drink (and eat) you out of house and home during the afternoon. You'll still need food and drinks, but you won't have to spend a bunch of money or time on fancy finger foods or specialty drinks.
Remember that when it comes down to it, the party is about providing a good time for your guests. It doesn't have to be an expensive occasion, but with the right planning, you can create a cheap and memorable event that won't break the bank.