Time to Party! Tips for planning a theme party

Do you love to host parties?  I do!  Ask anyone who knows me and they know that I love to be a hostess.  And not just that, but I love theme parties.  My girls are the same – in fact, at just four and five years old, they already get excited about the party planning process and helping me do things.  They also, surprisingly, are understanding about the need to do things with a budget for a party.   When starting the process to plan your theme party, it is as easy as remember your basic questions: Why? Who? What? Where? When? How (much)?

Theme Party on a Budget Tips

Step one: Why? Identify your party reason!  And since it is a birthday party for us – this also covers Who!

Step 1 Party Reason

Step 2: What?  Pick what your theme will be!

Step 2 What is your theme

Step 3: Where?  Pick your party venue – home, a party place, park.  Check for deals!  Tying into the When – if your dates are flexible, you may save more by choosing an "off common" date.   We chose a children's party place – I had a coupon code to save extra and by using it on a Sunday afternoon when they usually did not have parties, saved even more!  Not to mention, someone else did all the cleaning!

Step 3 When and Where

Step 4: How (much)?  Figure out what your budget is and use that as the basis for everything else.  Will you provide a meal, or just snacks?  Goodie bags?  Order a cake or make one? 

Step 4 How Much

I asked Jon Lal, a couponing and shopping smart expert for some tips on saving money when hosting a party, here is what he had to share:

  • Ask guests to bring a dish (and/or beverages) to cut costs.
  • Try to use decorations you already own.
  • When possible, make your food and decoration purchases online. This is great for non-perishables and items you cannot use coupons.
  • Buy from a discount retailer online, such as Target.com  – you can even use online coupons plus earn cash back, where a portion of your transaction gets deposited in a free account and you request a check when you are ready to cash out.
  • When food shopping for gatherings, look at weekly ads to see the specials and print grocery coupons online for more savings.  (An add-in from Krista: Check out websites that do coupon match ups for your local store to maximize the deals!)
  • If you are using catering, look for a coupon.

Other great places to check for deals on party supplies or snacks: Etsy!  There are some crazy items out there and some may be out of your budget, but there are tons of mom-preneurs on Etsy that want to help you have the best party available and usually will work with you for a reasonable price!  Also, did you know that there are coupon codes that some Etsy Shop owners will put out there for use AND you can get gift certificates!  I like to go onto Etsy and find something that will be my “wow” factor at the party and then I can build everything else around it.   I chose the ladybug cake pops as my "wow" –  not only do these make a great party favor – but you can display them in a way that makes them a decoration as well and that is a two-for-one deal that gives you the maximum for your dollars!

Let me know in the comments what you would like to hear about next!  ? 

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