Happy Friday, my friends. Not only is it Friday, it is the most glorious weekend of the year, Fourth of July weekend! Woot woot! Y’all I’m so excited. When I think of The Fourth, I think of summer parties, and since I love summer parties, I’m sharing my 5 best tips for hosting a summer party on a budget.
Here are my 5 favorite tips for hosting a summer party on a budget:
ONE: Pick only 1 “wow” dish
It’s tempting to go all out on your party spread, but if you do that you could end up blowing all of your party budget pretty quickly. Pick 1, maybe 2, amazing dishes with high quality ingredients to cook from scratch. My current favorite wow party dish is my corn and green tomato salad. It’s perfect for the summer heat.
TWO: Compliment your wow dish with easy prep dishes
It’s too much to be a caterer, party planner and bar tender while hosting a summer party. Something has to give! That’s why I’m a huge fan of supplementing my party spread with pre-packaged dishes. You can always find a few pre-made dishes when you come to one of my parties. My summer favorite is the classic Suddenly Pasta Salad.
You can doctor this up any way you wish. I like to add tomatoes, green peppers, red onions, black olives, and of course, parmesan cheese. There is no way you can go wrong!
THREE: Be smart about your drinks
Just because you are a party host, doesn’t mean you have to supply a full bar. Keep it simple with one signature cocktail, wine, and beer. I’m always a fan of making a sangria for summer get togethers.
Get the recipe for my star spangled sangria spritzer. I don’t think you can ever go wrong in the summer with sangria.
FOUR: Use reusable serving ware
Hands down, this tip has saved me the most money over the years. I always try to buy reusable serving ware, plates, and cups when on sale just so I have them handy for parties and get togethers.
If you are having a huge party, you can still buy disposable plates, napkins, and utensils. Stick to reusable trays and other serving ware to not only add a touch of class, but to make less waste.
FIVE: Get creative with decor
Here’s a tip that will save you a ton of money and time: don’t go to the party store with the intent of buying everything you need to decorate for a party. Instead, think outside the box and decorate with what you have. I’m a big fan of chalk board decorations because they can be used over and over again. I’ve used the banner below in at least four parties (see them here and here)
Don’t have much in the way of decor? Consider buying fresh flowers or search Pinterest for free printables to jazz up your theme.