Summer is almost here, which means you’re probably planning for a lot of things that will be happening in the near future. You’re thinking of places you’d like to visit on vacations while the weather is nice and you can travel to gorgeous locations. You’re also probably considering all the summer block parties you’ll be going to. What happens if one of those parties becomes one of your own? 

It’s hard to go from someone who goes to all the parties to being the person that actually hosts one. A lot of attention and energy is spent preparing for a party and then hosting it, so that by the time it ends, you’ll probably be so wiped out, you won’t want to clean up. Then you’ve got to consider how much money you’d spend on a backyard bash if you got to host one this year, and that’s when things can really spin out of control. 

You don’t need to burn out your wallet or your stamina in order to host the ultimate backyard party this summer. There are plenty of ways you can figure out how to decorate, cook and host on a budget. Read up on some ideas for how you can make your budget work for you and all your friends, so you can go on to have the best backyard bash of the year. 

Think Everything Through 

The easiest way to overspend without meaning to is to not plan for everything. Let’s say that you invite everyone over and start cooking for the party that morning. You realize you’re missing ingredients, then you don’t have enough paper plates, then you’re out of garbage bags. It all adds up, so think everything through ahead of time so you only have to make one trip to the store. That way you’ll have peace of mind knowing you’re prepared and your wallet is safe. 

Don’t Go Overboard with Drinks

Maybe you’re going to invite over twenty people. You estimate that each person will probably drink one soda or one bottle of water. But what if someone is more thirsty than usual because it’s hot outside? What if they all need extra water? These concerns easily snowball into buying too many drinks and way too many options. You can’t please everyone, so buy drinks that are generally crowd pleasing and if they all run out, they can always grab some water from the fridge or the tap. 

Look for Sales

Not everything you’re going to need will fall into a nice buy-one-get-one package deal, so compare the list of what you need to the kind of sales going on in your area. You can check for sales online at your local stores so you don’t walk in without knowing how the store can help your budget. Things like groceries and decorations could be found cheaper online. You could even liven up the space by using trendy dishes in mixed sizes that you might already own to add to your unique party scape.   

Make Your Own Decor

You don’t always need to go out and buy new things if you’re going to host a backyard bash. Some of the décor can be easily made in your own home with what you have lying around. Think about painting serving trays using rocks from your yard as napkin weights. Maybe that trendy dish you use to put your jewelry in will work for serving small appetizers! You could even pull out your old strings of holiday lights and hang them around your yard to create a fun, homey mood See what you have around your home before you go out to buy décor, since you may be able to use what you have. 

Plan Out Your Menu

The best way to know both what kind of money you’re going to spend on your bash and if people are going to enjoy themselves while they’re at your place is to figure out what food you’re going to serve. It’s easy to learn how to make party foods that won’t break the bank. The key is to use cheap ingredients and make them look phenomenal. Once you’ve got everything out on serving dishes, everyone will think you got the party catered or that you’re the best chef on the block.  

Choose Endless Entertainment

The worst thing that can happen for guests at a party is for them to walk in and awkwardly make small talk for a few hours. Don’t let that happen at your bash! Simple, budget friendly entertainment isn’t hard to find. You can even make your own beanbag toss or invest in a bocce ball set. Everyone can make the rounds through the games without you having to go buy expensive entertainment.  

Know When to Say No

No matter what you do, you won’t be able to make everything perfect. There will always be one person who doesn’t like one of the foods you made or who thinks the music is bad. If you try to bend over backwards for everyone, the cost and quality of your party will spin out of control. Instead, know when to say no. If the majority of the group is happen, chances are that the one or two people who aren’t were probably in a bad mood to begin with.  

Hosting a great backyard bash is all about owning it. Every decision has to be made by you, so sprinkle your personality into whatever you’re doing. Have fun while you day dream and prep for the party, but also know that you don’t need to spend money you don’t have to make the bash a success. 

Think ahead about what you’re going to serve and how you’re going to decorate. Consider who you’re inviting and if they’d be entertained by something like an outdoor game or a TV playing sports indoors. You’ll find the right balance between what you can afford and what will make your guests happy, which is right where you’ll find that perfect party. All it takes is a little bit of planning and thought, and then you can just let yourself have a good time with your friends and family.