It’s summertime, and there’s no better way to enjoy it than in the backyard with friends. But entertaining can blow the budget and leave you with a fistful of bills.
- Share the Fun – If funds are tight, co-host the party with a friend. Pooling your money doubles the budget and lets you share the work as well.
- Make It a Potluck – Most of your invited guests will ask you, “what can I bring?” So, tell them. You can provide the main course and drinks, for example, and let your guests bring appetizers, side-dishes or desserts to share.
- Keep It Simple – If you’re going it on your own, choose big-batch foods that go a long way on the cheap. Cut-up veggies can share sour-cream dips or hummus with chips and pretzels. Get out the crockpot and cook pasta or chili for a crowd. A taco or hot-dog bar with all the fixings is always fun. Or who doesn’t love burgers from the gill with a few simple salads and S’mores?
- Rethink the Booze – The cost for alcohol can add up quickly, so keep the options simple: beer and wine, or a punchbowl kept full of wine punch, sangria or spiked lemonade.
- Streamline the Décor – Balloons, streamers and a few paper lanterns can dress up the yard on the cheap. Mason jars or assorted glass bottles with tea lights inside can provide plenty of light—and fresh cut flowers right from your garden make fabulous table centerpieces.
- Set Up Some Games – Popular yard games like cornhole, horseshoes or croquet are an inexpensive way to keep your guests entertained and mingling.
- Add Music – You can create a playlist for the perfect ambience or choose a pre-set playlist from Spotify—or tune in ad-free YouTube channel. (But keep the music low-key enough so that it doesn’t intrude on the neighbors.