Save Money on Baby Showers, First Birthdays, Bridal Showers, and Milestone Birthday Parties
When you are planning an event you want it to be perfect, and this might be true for many reasons:
- First and foremost, you want your guest or guests of honor to feel appreciated.
- You want all of your guests to have a great time at the event.
- You want to set the stage, create ambiance and set the mood for your party or event.
- You want to show off your skills when it comes to party planning, catering and cooking, food presentation and other party and event know-how.
Whatever your reason, the last thing you want to discover is that you don’t have the money that you need to throw the party of your dreams.
With the cost of gas at nearly an all-time high, the price of just about everything else is up as well, since nearly everything in our society requires transit or shipping of one kind or another. Conversely, after the recession and very slow recovery, the amount of disposable income that you have may be down.
With that in mind, we wanted to share these budget-friendly event planning tips to help you make the most of your party budget and stretch all of your decorating dollars:
1. Set a budget, and stick to it.
While this might sound obvious, many times when planning an event, event and party planners start shopping before setting a budget. They may spot tableware, centerpieces or other party decorations that are “to die for” and buy one or more pieces which end up consuming too much of the total amount of money they have to spend. They end up in the red simply because they did not allocate funds toward (at least these) three major party planning components ahead of time:
- Menu of Food and Beverages
- Games, Activities and Favors
So before you start buying, and even before you choose a theme, take time to sit down with pen and paper (or computer spreadsheet). Write down your total budget amount, and how you plan to allocate the funds.
2. Limit the guest list.
One of the biggest things that will impact the cost of your event is the size of your guest list, because for each guest that you invite, you will need to purchase party supplies like plates, cups, napkins and cutlery. While it may be tempting to invite everybody you know, it may not be possible to stay within the budget if you do. Make sure to include the most important people, and the people that will be most excited about the event. Your sister’s hairdresser’s nephew probably can be excluded from the guest list, but make sure your best friend is invited!
3. Ask for RSVPs and follow up.
While some people are great at sending back, emailing or calling in their RSVP right away, many more are not. But having a firm count on your guest list will help you to save money on refreshments, party favors and other party supplies—money that can then be spent in other areas or kept safely in your wallet! Plan to follow up with individuals who have not yet RSVP’d on your event guest list before you send final numbers in to the caterer or purchase food, beverages, tableware or other party supplies.
Happi Tree Baby Shower Invitation
4. To shop around, or not to shop around, that is the question.
It might seem counter-intuitive to suggest that not shopping around could be more budget-friendly than shopping around, but there are times when this is true.
Shop around to see whether you have found the best resource—this might mean finding (multiple) event and party supply vendors and buying the lowest priced items in your theme, or it might mean finding one party supply vendor who has most of the items you want to purchase in their product line up.
You might find that it is less expensive to purchase more items from one party decorations website because your overall cost is reduced by paying less in shipping. It also makes sense not to shop around if your time is limited; sometimes time is your most valuable resource!
5. Shop for party supplies and decorations online.
As referenced before, with people feeling the pinch at the pump, it might be far more economical for you to do your party supplies shopping online, than to find yourself driving all over town, trying to find just the right event decorations at the best price.
6. Go for the free shipping when it makes sense.
Here at PartyPail.com we offer free shipping for orders over $60. When you want to get the most from your budget, make sure that your overall purchase hits this free shipping marker so that 100% of your dollars go toward the purchase of party supplies and decorations. Of course, if getting your purchase price up to $60 for the free shipping means adding $20 worth of items that you aren’t actually going to use in order to save the $8.99 or $9.99 on shipping, it doesn’t make sense to try to reach that point. So try it both ways! Add all the items you need to the shopping cart and take a look at the total, then add all of the “extras” to the cart, and see if having those “extras” is worth the overall cost difference to you.
Solid-Colored Tableware and Decorations Can Be Mixed in with Themed Items to Save Some Money
7. Add solid color accents to themed decorations.
Once you have a theme, a great way to save money on party decorations is to purchase a few pieces in your theme and then mix and match solid color party supplies (banners, crepe paper streamers, napkins, cutlery, plates, table coverings and other party supplies) alongside your themed decorations. Solid color party decorations are often less expensive than their themed counterparts, and you may be able to reuse any excess at a future event.
8. Buy in larger quantities.
It won’t take you long when shopping online to discover that you get a much better price per piece when you purchase party supplies like plates, cups, napkins, cutlery and even decorative accents and party favors in bulk. While your guest list might not support purchase of party and event supplies in larger quantities, you might be able to do so by purchasing cooperative with a friend or family member who will be throwing a similar type of event at some point in the future, or you may be able to use some of the excess party supplies yourself at a future event (this might be especially possible if you mix and match by purchasing solid color party supplies that coordinate with themed party decorations).
9. Ask around.
Once you have a theme, while you are shopping for centerpieces, table accents, or items to decorate place settings, check with family and friends who have recently thrown similar types of parties or events or who may have kept items from their own parties in the past. They may have centerpieces or other decorative accents that you can borrow to use at your event.
10. Go virtual.
Simple geography (not to mention the high cost of gas and its impact to the cost of airfare and auto travel) might prevent some of the most important invitees from attending an event. One solution is to set up a Skype (or another internet video-conferencing platform) event where guests can “attend” from in front of their own computer.
To make remote guests feel like part of the event, you can send them a personal party guest kit complete with invitation, supplies like (un-inflated) balloons, party favors, treats and a table setting, recipes for one or more of the refreshments that will be served, blow outs, confetti and party hats, and similar items.
Another extremely budget-friendly way to include remote guests in your event is to videotape key moments from the event (such as gift opening, cake cutting or consuming, games or activities or other important things) and then upload short videos to YouTube. Or you can simply take photos of these key moments at the event and create a slideshow to share online by posting to social media or emailing them directly to remote friends and family.