For most of us, summer is packed full of fun-in-the-sun activities from June through August. While this is great for your social life, it can break your budget pretty fast. A great alternative to the pricey parties and summer soirees is hosting your very own bash right in your backyard. Soak up the sun without blowing all of your funds with this budget party-planning guide.
Step 1: Prep the space for serving food and drinks.
Tap into some of the outdoor kitchen trends and turn your backyard into a space fit for entertaining. Whether that’s installing an outdoor kitchen or investing in a portable kitchen cart, ease the burden of serving guests outdoors by adding some functionality to your backyard.
Step 2: Add some enchantment.
Once you have your foundation set, it’s time to think about that awe-factor. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get it either. Some outdoor kitchen trends and backyard additions can be expensive, but you can definitely find more affordable alternatives. Your awe-factor can be something as simple as setting up a fire pit for roasting S’mores or a pizza oven that turns your grill into a pie-making master. Hone in on that something special that will give your party a little extra enchantment.
Step 3: Keep things cool.
If you don’t have a pool in your backyard there are other ways to beat the heat. For a couple hundred dollars you could get a pretty awesome water slide set up and there are also tons of fun sprinkler toys that cost under $50. If your guests are up for a friendly fight, water balloons are another way to keep things cool.
Step 4: Light it up.
Installing outdoor lighting can be a little pricey, so opt for lanterns or torches that will illuminate your backyard for a lot less. Some styles cost just a few dollars each and you can fill these with citronella or anti-insect fuel that will also ward off uninvited visitors.
Step 5: Plan your party online.
Create a Facebook Event or send e-vites rather than written invitations and save money on paper and postage. No one needs a snail mail invite for your casual backyard bash, and when you keep your party planning digital, RSVPs are easier to track down.
Step 6: Put together a menu that pleases without the price tag.
The cost of food and drinks can add up fast, but there are plenty of creative ways to put together a great menu without spending a ton of money.
Making your event a potluck, or requesting that guests bring their beverage of choice, is one way to cut-down on costs and make sure you serve something everyone likes. Most guests are happy to contribute and bring something along.
If you decide to handle the menu yourself, stick to seasonal items that tend to be less expensive. Think melons, avocados, tomatoes and corn. Summer produce is delicious and easy to build a menu around.
Cutting down on meat can also cut your costs. Serve up fancy grilled cheese sandwiches with your favorite seasonal veggies, rather than burgers, and drastically lower your food budget.
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