yard party

Perhaps the joys of home ownership seem most evident in summer, when the days are long and the sun is high. Whether you’re hosting backyard barbecues or sitting on the porch with friends after dinner, summer gives you the chance to make the most of your residence and enjoy it with people you care about, outdoors.

So if you’re wanting to throw a party that’s extra special, and you want to use your backyard to do it, we’ve got some money-saving ideas for you! With a little know-how, you can cut costs without failing on fun. Consider these tips!

  1. Remember less is more. Follow this overall advice, and you’ll save yourself a lot of stress, as well as money. Rather than overdoing decorations, food or preparations, focus on memorable details like dimmed lighting or an overall sense of style with white linen tablecloths.
  2. Go green. Eliminating the need for disposables—from paper plates to serving utensils to cups—is not only an eco-friendly option; it’s an efficient one. Here’s an opportunity to do something good for the environment as well as for your pocketbook: use real dishes and glasses that you wash afterwards. While you’ll have more clean-up, you’ll have a lot less trash. And if you use dishes you already own, you’ll have virtually no cost!
  3. Keep serving simple. The last thing you want is to spend the night serving meals. Choose to go family style or with a buffet, allowing guests to help themselves! This also helps cut costs by reducing the portion sizes of plated meals. There are lots of ways to turn organizational tasks into fun experiences for guests, as well: Set up a cupcake-decorating station or a bruschetta bar, and let your friends assemble their own creations. This saves you work and eliminates the need to have everything perfect ahead of time—simply display the ingredients!
  4. Do ahead. Try to be strategic in your menu and activities, and find ways to do projects ahead of time. By planning ahead, you can minimize what you’ll need to do the day of the party.
  5. Look for discounts. This seems obvious, but it’s important enough to mention. When you’re shopping for supplies, look for discounts that may apply, whether bulk rates, coupons or special stimulus offers that many retailers are offering. Doing a little shopping around can pay off!

Most importantly, remember that throwing a party is about celebrating your friends, not impressing them. Focus on having a good time rather than a perfect one, and you’re sure to come out successful.