Summer is the season when everyone lets loose a bit and parties a bit more. Unfortunately, all the leisurely activities can add up and cause your wallet to take a big hit. Hosting summer parties and get-togethers can be expensive, especially if you host them often. The good news is that you don't have to scrimp on the summer party fun. All you have to do is follow a few tips and you'll be able to keep the summer parties going while keeping as much money in your wallet as possible.
Make the parties BYOB
I know some people feel strange about asking guests to bring alcohol to their party, but the majority don't actually mind it. Most guests will ask if they can bring something anyway; let them know the bottle of alcohol will be their contribution. Besides, it allows them to know that they'll have their preferred drink of choice on hand.
Invest in reusable dinnerware
Sure paper plates are easy, but they get used incredibly quick. Each guest usually goes through multiple paper plates, utensils and cups per party. At least with reusable dinnerware, you can wash them off then put them back out again. You also won't have to worry about stocking up for future parties since you'll already have everything you need on hand.
Host the parties outdoors
Forget about hosting summer parties inside. Sure it's air conditioned, but that can make your electric bill skyrocket and you'll have to deal with a lot of people in a small space. Host the parties outside either in your backyard or at a local park and you can have a lot more room. You also won't have to panic if something spills on your floor or someone tracked in dirt onto the carpet.
Use electronic invitations
I don't remember the last time I got a paper invitation to a party. Some may think that paper invitations are the way to go, that it helps guests remember when the event is, but it's actually the opposite. I used to constantly lose or overlook paper invitations even if they were put up on my fridge. When I get electronic invitations, I immediately plug them right into my calendar and set a reminder for a week in advance so I won't forget.
Making a basic pasta dish, even if you make the sauce yourself, is incredibly inexpensive and it serves a lot of people. You likely don't want to serve a hot pasta dish, but there are plenty of cold pasta recipes to make that are just as inexpensive.
What summer party is complete without some type of water? Whip out the water balloons, sprinklers, hoses and even kiddie pools so kids and the young-at-heart can cool off in the heat. Just make sure that the kids are well supervised and that the water is nowhere near the food so you can prevent any problems or disasters.
Hit the dollar stores
Some have an aversion to shopping at dollar stores, but it's where I get a lot of basic items that are used during summer parties - ketchup, pickles, mustard, fries, buns, soda, etc. It's much cheaper than in the grocery store, especially when you compare prices. There are many who are worried about the quality of the food at dollar stores, but I don't just shop there because it's inexpensive, I also do it because the food is grocery store quality for less money.
You don't have to be someone who skips hosting summer parties because of the expense. You'd be surprised how far you can stretch your dollar when you search for alternative ways to throw your party. The best part is that while you keep extra money in your wallet, your guests won't even notice any difference from previous summer parties.
More from Lauren R: