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Photo by Taylor Kiser

7 Tips for Organizing the Best Budget Party in Atlanta

You don’t always have to spend a lot of money to entertain guests and friends. It doesn’t matter if your crowd is small or large or whether you are renting a place or having the party at home. Here are some good ways to cut your expenses, yet organize a fantastic party in Atlanta which everyone will love. 

#1: Create a budget

Creating a budget goes a long way in helping you estimate the total cost of your party. List every item you will need to buy and cut down on expenses on items that you can do away with. Using ingredients and decorations that you have at home or substituting certain items is a good idea.

Most of the time your guests are not going to notice how much money you spent on the decorations or the food as long as they are having a good time. If time permits, create a party fund in advance so that you have enough to spend when the time comes.

#2: Make it a potluck

Having a potluck can help cut down on how much you spend on food. If you don’t want to call it a potluck, term it as a “recipe exchange” or “shared dinner”. Just because you are hosting the party does not mean that you have to be worried about providing all the food. 

A potluck also makes your guests feel more involved and it brings in plenty of variety to the table. Allow your guests to pitch in and bring their favorite dish, dessert, or drinks.

best budget party

Alt text: Image showing a variety of food at the dining table

#3: Plan low-cost meals

Even if you have to provide all the food including the main dish, it does not have to be expensive. As long as it tastes good, everyone is going to enjoy the meal. Some options for high-volume foods that are lower in cost are pasta in sauce, stews, salads, soups and chili. 

Focus on dishes that are easy to prepare, and ones that you know will be on most people’s list of favorites. Another tip to keep in mind is that you don’t have to include meat in all the dishes. Offer a variety and maybe make one or two meat dishes with vegetarian sides. Buy meat wholesale at lower costs and freeze it for later.

#4: Cook at home

Cooking at home instead of buying food or catering from restaurants will cut expenses. Prepare dishes that you can partly cook and freeze in advance. On the day of your party, defrost or continue the rest of the preparation and serve. 

Use pre-boiled pasta to make lasagna, or bake meatballs in advance and freeze them. When buying ingredients for your food, it is better to opt for whole vegetables instead of pre-cut and cleaned packages. Clean and freeze your vegetables in advance to save time while cooking. 

#5: DIY decorations

For decorations, use what you have on hand and incorporate them into your theme for the party (if you are having one). Repurpose old decorations and use them in a unique way. Decorate the space with inexpensive colored paper and create signs, banners, posters, or make a DIY photo booth in one corner. 

Get help from a friend or make it a project for the kids! They are going to love a decoration project that they can help you with. Simple balloons, ribbons, fairy lights, and nice cushions always make the place look great and they don’t cost a lot. 

#6: Save on alcohol

Yes, alcohol is expensive and it really spikes your budget! Why not have a signature drink at your party or buy only one or two types of alcohol and make a punch? Buy liquor at wholesale stores or collect coupons in advance.

Most people like sparkling wine, so give mimosas a try. Spice things up this time and serve other beverages like blueberry tea in large pitchers and let your guests help themselves to the drinks.

An appetizing punch is a good substitute for liquor at a party

Alt text: An appetizing punch is a good substitute for liquor at a party

#7: Send out digital invitations

Unless it is a wedding or a big celebration, you don’t have to print and mail invitations to your guests. There are plenty of free templates online and many websites that allow you to create your own invites. Just download one that fits your theme, edit it and email or text them to your guests. 

Better still, create a private page on Facebook and send out your invitations to everyone there. If it is a potluck it’s a good idea to exchange the names of dishes (on the page) that each person is bringing so that there are no duplicates.

At the end of the day, your guests will not remember what decorations you put up, or whether you served the most expensive wine at your party. What they will remember is how you made them feel.

So greet them with warmth, have good conversations, put on some music, organize some fun games and simply make sure that everyone has a great time!

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