Want to have people over without spending more than you can afford? Use these tips to plan a fun party on a budget.
Party Planning Tips on a Budget
Good food, good drinks, and great company add up to a memorable party. You don't have spend a small fortune on a delicious and hearty meal. Skipping the alcohol can do its bit to help you stay within budget. Other elements of a party don't matter much so long as you're among people who care about you.
So, consider these practical tips to throw a party on a modest budget:
- Make a budget
- Keep your guest list small
- Decide on one appetizer and one main course
- Make your own dessert/Use the chocolate you already have
- Substitute alcohol with non-alcoholic drinks
- Reuse party decorations/Make your own decorations
- Send digital invites
Why Are Non-Alcoholic Drinks a Great Option For Your Budget Party?
Non-alcoholic drinks aren't necessarily cheaper than their alcoholic counterparts. Making non-alcoholic drinks involves an intricate manufacturing process and quality ingredients. Moreover, their rising popularity also presents opportunities for makers to hike up product prices. That said, there are affordably priced NA drinks, and non-alcoholic marketplaces do have items on sale from time to time. You just have to look in the right places!
Other reasons for adding NA drinks to your party menu are:
- A pleasant and elevated party atmosphere
- Nobody gets drunk and disorderly
- Everyone feels included
- No temptations for former drinkers
- You don't wake up with a hangover
Amazing Non-alcoholic Drinks for Your Next Party (and budget food pairings)
Whether you're having friends, colleagues or family over, our recommendations in non-alcoholic drinks will help you prep like a pro.
A shandy is a refreshing summer drink made by mixing beer and lemon soda. Simply choose a cheap non-alcoholic beer and add fresh lemonade/lemon soda - your beer cocktail is ready!
- Big Drop Brewing's Pine Trail Pale, a pale ale beer with rosy floral aromas and crisp, lemon and citrus bite
- Big Drop's Coba Maya, a light, crisp lager with a herbal aroma of German noble hops
- Salted nuts
- Carrot cake
2. Gin and Tonic
Refreshing and easy to make (gin, tonic water and lime garnish), this drink is popular at summer and spring parties. Ready the highball glasses and garnish (lime wheels, strawberry, raspberry, lavender and so on), and give guests gin tonic bottles so that they can make pour their drink individually. Consider Sir. James 101 Gin Tonic, a winner of multiple awards, which has an attractive aroma of fresh citrus fruits and botanicals, and a soft bitter taste with hints of gin flavor
- Cucumber sandwiches
- Chocolate/Chocolate cake
3. Vodka/Cape Codder
Vodka is a versatile party drink. You can have it with soda or add mixers to make refreshing and inexpensive cocktails, such as the non-alcoholic Cape Codder, which simply adds cranberry juice to non-alcoholic vodka. Or you could try the non-alcoholic Splash Cosmopolitan, a spirited blend of cranberry and bright citrus notes.
- Inexpensive cheese (Gruyère/Comté/Manchego/Pecorino)
- Mini burgers/Potato pancakes
4. Rum Daiquiri
Rum is a staple at Christmas parties. Like vodka, you can have it neat or use it in a variety of cocktails. Non-alcoholic rum tastes a lot like actual rum whether you have it straight or make daiquiris, mai tais or punch.
To make a daiquiri, add non-alcoholic Ritual Rum Alternative, lime juice and sugar syrup to a shaker with ice. Strain the mixture and garnish with lime.
- Cheese/Indian samosas
- Chicken sandwiches
- Any fruit
Anecdotal evidence points to tequila's almighty capacity to make people get drunk fast. If you're looking to up the ante at your party or hosting an ice-breaker and want to people to shed their inhibitions quickly, non-alcoholic tequila shots or margaritas could come in handy.
The earthy, spicy nose and smoky agave-forward palate of Spirit of Tequila elevates your mood and recharges your body. Add orange juice, lime juice and sugar to it and your margarita is ready.
- Pork enchiladas
6. Bourbon/Mint Juleps
The official drink of the Kentucky Derby is less known outside of the American South. If you're looking to try a new type of cocktail at a low-cost, non-alcoholic mint juleps should be on your list. Apart from NA bourbon, you only need sugar, water, fresh mint and shaved ice to make this sweet, cooling drink.
- Chicken casserole
- Apple crumble
7. Lemon Drop Martini
One of the easiest and cheapest non-alcoholic cocktails you can make, lemon drop martini uses NA vodka, lemon, triple sec and simple syrup (a mixture of sugar and water in equal parts).
- Spiced nuts
- Apple/Pumpkin pie/Vanilla ice cream
A bottle of non-alcoholic rum, some sugar, lime, mint, and club soda is all you need to serve mojitos in style at your next party.
- Chips and guacamole
- Homemade brownie
9. Vodka Strawberry Lemonade
Yet another simple and cheap party cocktail recipe involves combining vodka, lemon juice, strawberry simple syrup and water. To make the syrup, add sliced strawberries, granulated sugar and water to a sauce pan. Whisk it and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer for 20 minutes. Strain the syrup into a container, allow it to cool and stash it in the fridge.
- Ham sandwiches
- Banana cake
10. Royal Tea
Fit for a king but affordable to everyone who doesn't wear a crown, Royal Tea is one of the more interesting NA cocktails you can serve at your next gathering. Combine NA gin, Earl Grey tea, and a bit of sugar and lime, and you're good to go!
- Indian curries
- Chocolate/Chocolate cake
11. Tequila Sunrise
A less potent cocktail but delicious all the same, Tequila Sunrise is a mix of tequila, grenadine syrup and orange juice.
- Fried chicken
A Parting Tip - Keep Things in Perspective
While planning in advance and in detail is effective in cutting costs, aiming to find the cheapest possible party idea, non-alcoholic drink or party food can make the process overwhelming. If you can meet your budget, congratulate yourself on a job well done and look forward to the celebrations ahead.