As a host, there can be a lot of pressure to throw a fun party, and that often pushes people to spend a lot just to keep up with the last fun party they attended. The reality is that you can throw an entertaining party with all of your friends without spending a lot -- if you're smart about it.
- Set a budget.
Set a budget of how much you want to spend on a party. The simple act of setting a budget, and sticking to it, will force you to make trade-offs and avoid feeling like you should offer the finest food and drinks.
- Use invitation tools.
An accurate guest count means fewer leftovers and less wasted food -- both of which are enemies of the budget-conscious host. Why buy food for 30 when you will only have 20 people attending?
- Take advantage of your guests' generosity.
When you invite your friends over for a party, what's the first thing they ask? "What should I bring?" Take advantage of it!
- Keep the food simple. Try to avoid dishes with a lot of ingredients or require a lot of preparation time. Fewer ingredients means fewer items to buy, and simplicity means you can spend more time with your friends, rather than spending time making them food.
- Stockpile during sales. Hot dogs and hamburgers seem to always be on sale at the grocery store -- until the week of your party. Stock up on favorites whenever they go on sale, and remember to pull them out of the freezer a day before your cookout.
- Skip disposables as much as possible. Paper plates, plastic utensils and other disposables make cleaning up a lot faster, but they cost more than washing your own dishes. Use as many regular plates and utensils as you can, and supplement with disposable items.
(More at Yahoo!)