What’s even scarier than the ghouls, goblins and skulls that will greet your guests for your upcoming Halloween party? You guessed it: the impact it will have on your wallet if money’s tight and you really can’t afford to accommodate the guests who have already confirmed their attendance.
But don’t fret. There are several ways to pull it all off without spending a fortune. In fact, you may have a few dollars to spare when it’s all said and done.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
1. Set a budget
Before you set foot in the store to begin shopping for your Halloween celebration, it’s pertinent that you determine how much you can comfortably afford to spend. Next, you’ll want to withdraw this amount if you don’t already have cash on hand because you’ll be leaving all the plastic at home when you head out. (The latter is a surefire way to keep your spending intact). Even if it’s only $100, at least you’ll know before you go and spare yourself the headaches later on down the line.
2. Create your own invitations
Why spend a fortune purchasing fancy invitations when you can make your own? Doing so may tie up an hour or so of your time, but it beats spending money on a box of invitations that will be glanced at for a second and tossed in the trash shortly following the event.
Another cost-efficient option: Evites or Facebook (if you have an active account). Not only will you preserve paper by going this route, but it’ll be much easier to keep tabs on responses.
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3. DIY decorations
Once you’re all set with the invitations, it’s time to move on to the decorations. If you’ve ever visited any party stores, you already know that Halloween decor can be a little pricey, especially once you load up the buggy with everything you need. That’s exactly why I’m all for DIY decor.
Need a little inspiration? Take a look at these ideas from Reader’s Digest, where they show you how to make Hanging Bats and Ghosts, Vampire Napkin Rings, Bloody Table Runners and much more. Remember that less is more as your guests will be more concerned with having the time of their life than whether or not the decor meets their standards. And if you insist on purchasing decorations, be sure to hit the clearance rack.
Skip the fancy dishes for a buffet style assortment of finger foods. Think chips and dip, popcorn, veggie trays and sandwiches; all quick, cheap and simple. Don’t forget the sweets, but avoid the prepackaged cookies and cakes at the local grocer and make your own. The same rule applies to frozen appetizers; it’s much more cheaper to make them yourself. Also, the later the party starts, the better since your guests probably won’t arrive expecting a dinner.
If you’re hosting the actual shindig, why not have your attendees pitch in on the food to cut your costs? You can provide the eating utensils and they can bring the rest. On the actual invitation, request that guests list what covered dish they’ll be bringing when confirming their attendance to avoid duplicates. This works best when using Facebook, Evite or some other digital invitation platform so you won’t have to make a ton of calls asking guests to change their selection.
6. Bring Your Own Booze (BYOB)
Alcoholic beverages aren’t cheap by any measure. That’s why I always encourage guests of any party that I host to bring their own booze because I definitely won’t have any on hand for them to consume. And I encourage you to do the same if you’re strapped for cash.
7. Homemade Photo booth
Empty out a closet, add a black backdrop with spider webs hanging from the ceiling, and there you have it! A spooky photo booth to capture all the fun and memories of the night you’ll share for years to come.
8. Set the Mood
No need to purchase a Halloween CD. Instead, hook up the speakers to your desktop or laptop, tune in to one of Pandora’s Halloween channels, and blast the spooky jams. To terrify your guests even more, turn on a horror film (because the spider webs dangling from the ceiling of a dark house just aren’t enough).
You can’t go wrong with a costume contest, scavenger hunt, pumpkin contest or game of Halloween-themed bingo. Best of all, these ideas can all be pulled off with little to no money and have loads of fun.
Do you have any money-saving Halloween party ideas you’d like to add to the list? Please share in the comments below.