Budget-Friendly Party Tips

Click here for fun ways to have people over when you're on a budget!

by Anne Middleton, on April 22nd, 2016

Hosting the perfect a dinner party, movie viewing event using Netflix or Redbox or even holding a wine tasting event with friends doesn't have to be an expensive endeavor. Here are some budget-friendly party tips.

One Course, Better Budget

Prepping and cooking a complete meal can be tiring and costly. Since meat is the priciest ingredient in most meals, serving an elegant vegetarian dish is a great way to control your costs.

Instead of a full meal, focus on a single theme-like a dessert party. Dessert is everyone’s favorite part of the meal, so why not just skip straight to it? A special treat can be a simple “make your own ice cream sundae bar” that allows you to set up the ingredients, let everyone serve themselves and have time to enjoy your guests.

Consider a hors d'oeuvre party that guests will love. Appetizers lend themselves to bite-size treats that fit any budget. Include low-cost favorites like mini hot dogs or guacamole.

Wine and cheese parties are simple, economical and elegant. Avoid fancy crackers by featuring baguette slices (who doesn’t love crispy bread?) for a budget saving trick. And you can assure you stay on your budget by laying down butcher paper out the table with cutting boards on top and write the names of the cheeses directly on the paper.  No expensive serving trays or fussy utensils necessary. It looks cool, and it's functional too.

Drink Up

Chose to server either wine or beer so you don't have to fully stock the bar. There are plenty of decent, even great tasting, wines out there at budget prices. Data reveals that wine bottles costing $5.00 to $7.99 represent 27% of U.S. wine sales. This same investigation discovered that the average wine consumption per United States resident was 2.82 gallons and that Americans enjoyed drinking wine more at home than anywhere else.   No wonder so many dinner parties feature a selection of wines.

Don’t be afraid to engage in the tradition of BYOB. This gives you a variety of different vintages to sample while staying on a budget.  Tasting and talking about the various wines also makes for good conversation.

Why not go alcohol free? This doesn’t have to be a boring choice.  Consider sparkling water as an alternative to wine at your party.  Fruit ice cubes jazz up this healthy beverage and they are fun to make. Plus, having a “dry” gathering means you don’t have to keep an eye on your guests to make sure it’s safe for them to drive home.


Place candles strategically around the dining area for a basic (and affordable) touch that makes a big difference. Depending on the scent and number of candles, the atmosphere can be intimate or energizing.  For those on the clumsy side or hosting a party with children, use flameless candles as an extra safety measure.


At many parties, the main activity is conversation, which doesn’t cost a cent. However, if you find mingling and chatting with strangers to be dull, or if you’re afraid your guests might be uncomfortable, you can liven things up by hosting a movie night.

Movie viewing parties are an inexpensive option that will keep you on budget when you use the services of Netflix and Redbox. Drama, action, comedy, documentaries, even television shows are available from the entertainment giants Netflix and Redbox.  And new movies and TV shows are being added all the time.

Netflix has a section of thousands of movies and TV shows available to watch instantly on any device that streams Netflix. Many Netflix titles are available in HD. There are never any commercials no matter how much you watch, and you can pause, rewind, fast forward or re-watch as often as you like all for the same price. It's really that easy and low-cost.

Over the years, Redbox has brought millions of families and friends together for movie and game nights. Redbox offers new-release DVD, Blu-ray Disc and video-game rentals through its network of conveniently located, self-service kiosks. Their state-of-the-art mobile app lets you find and reserve your rentals ahead of time.

Redbox is available at nearly 35,000 U.S. locations, including leading grocery, drug and convenience stores so you’ll instantly have access to the type of entertainment your guests crave.  With Redbox, your party will be a success. But beware! Your friends will be back for more and expect the best.

Traditional games have long been a traditional part of all types of parties. Whether you have a large family gathering or a small dinner party for friends, playing charades or Pictionary offers loads of fun and laughs for basically no cost…an outstanding way to stay on budget.

A Final Thought

The right food, drinks and entertain all help set the mood for a party, but in the end, they’re not what matters. After all, what guests are going to remember after they go home isn’t the food they ate or the way the house looked.

When you get right down to it, the real point of party is to have fun and spend time with the people you care about. Spending more money can make your party look more impressive, but it’s the people that really make it an event to remember. A party thrown on a shoestring budget that includes fun entertainment from merchants like Redbox and Netflix can create fond memories.  So toast your budget-friendly party with reasonably priced wine and keep the focus on friends, family and joy.





1. http://www.statista.com/topics/1541/wine-market/