Ok, let’s set the scene: you are a young professional, past the nights of wild partying that featured in your youth, but you still want to have fun with friends. There may still be snacks and drinks, but now there has to be something more to a party. But, since you are a young professional, you don’t have a lot to spend. How can you open your home and make your friends feel welcome without going broke in the process? Check out the frugal party tips below.
Co-Host and Share the Load
If you have a large-scale party in mind, consider teaming up with a couple of friends and co-hosting the party together. My husband and I, for example, hosted a beer, wine, and liquor tasting party with the help of some friends; we provided a bottle or two of wine and snacks, and two other couples committed to bringing their own alcohol contributions.
We told all the other guest to feel free to bring something if they wanted to, which they did; but even if they hadn’t, we would have had enough drinks to keep it interesting. Without our friends’ help in co-hosting, though, we could never have afforded enough drinks to make it a good “tasting” party.
Free Movie Night
Pool your movie collection with your friends to give you a good, free movie night. When we talk about movies, most of us have said to a friend, “I can’t believe you haven’t seen that!” When you inevitably say that, write down the movie in question and suggest it the next time you’re seeking a fun evening’s entertainment. Add popcorn and a small crowd of friends and you can call it a party.
If you’re a foodie like my husband and I, you end up talking about interesting meals with friends. Perhaps your friend counters with a story of a recent, delicious, home-cooked meal of their own. I suggest a dinner exchange; it’s cheaper than going out to eat and certainly more intimate.
Perhaps you decide to have gourmet burgers one Friday at your house and homemade pizza at your friend’s house the next. There’s no need to make the food, or the party, fancy or formal. Just put on some good music and share your skill in the kitchen. Not confident in your cooking? Maybe you and a friend can cook together, alternating between using your home and theirs.
The beauty of game night is that you can pretty much use what you have on hand and fit it to your group of friends. Trivia games are often a good bet, as well as classics like Pictionary or even good old charades. These encourage some friendly competition and can work whether everyone knows each other or not. Don’t forget the simplicity of card games, though. In general, card games have a slower pace, allowing for more conversation between participants. Add a few snacks and drinks and you have the makings of a great party.
The key to keeping your parties fun and frugal is to keep them low-key. After all, these people are your friends: they aren’t spending time with you so they can be entertained by grand-scale soirees every weekend. The point is to have a good time together, and you certainly don’t have to spend a lot of money to make that happen.
- Plan that Party: Financially Friendly Fun
- Savvy? Tips for Personal Finance Pirates
- How to Save Money with Friends
- How to Cut your Food Budget: Beverages
- 7 Things You Need for a Memorable and Affordable Birthday Party