Ten Simple Ways to Save Money When Throwing a Party {with Evite}

This post is sponsored by Evite
®. All opinions and content are my own. If you have any questions, check out my Disclosures Page.

We normally throw one big bash a year around our parts. That's partly due to my introverted ways and partly due to finances. I've slowly been collecting tips and tricks as to how to throw a fun party on a small budget. I think a big part of that is letting go of the Pinterest comparisons and instead throwing the kind of party I want. Hopefully it will help us be a bit more social!

Here are ten ways simple ways I've learned to help stay on budget with a party:

1. Shop your house:

My son and daughter's rooms are filled with wonderful things to use for parties. They have tons of cute little baskets and buckets that make wonderful, functional decorations for food tables. Plus I own a million picture frames that can easily be reassigned for a day to help with decor.

Rather than coordinate everything and use prefect serving plates at my daughter's first birthday, I just went with what I had. I used some vintage Pyrex that my Grandmother-in-law gifted us, CorningWare that were wedding presents, and even our everyday mixing bowls. Does it look perfect? No, Was it functional and free? Yes!

2. Know what to get at the Dollar Store (and what to avoid):

The Dollar Store is kind of like a treasure hunt. There's some fantastic stuff in there. But you have to work your way through the junk or bad deals to find it. Check prices elsewhere before automatically getting it at the Dollar Store. I've found things like colored paper plates and silverware are usually a score, but party favors are most often similar price for better quality at Target.

Raining Hot Coupons has a whole article on what to buy and what to avoid at the Dollar Store. Her list looks like a pretty solid starting place.

3. Schedule parties around meal times:

One of the biggest ways to save on parties is cutting down on your food costs. If you do a lunch or dinner you end up serving appetizers, a main course and sides, and dessert. Schedule a morning party and serve donuts. Or have an after dinner party and do desserts only. Non-meal time parties really help me keep my budget under control.

4. Know when to stop at the Dollar Spot:

Is it just me or could you spend $100 at the Dollar Spot too? Knowing when to walk away is really important. Sure, 10 little milk bottles would be adorable holding flowers. But at a one year old's birthday all the kids would rather break the glass and eat the flowers than admire their beauty. Just because its $1 doesn't mean you should get it (or ten of it).

5. Buy with future use in mind:

Want a fancy mason jar drink dispenser? Will you use it a couple times a year? Then it might be worth the expense. But buying large items just for one party doesn't make sense. If I have to buy things, I try to think of ways to use it in the future (storage in kiddos rooms, etc).

6. Go digital with invites:

I still love a good paper invite for major events like weddings. Other than that, I prefer a digital invite. My iPhone is smart enough {i.e. enough of a stalker} to read the details of the invite and automatically add it to my calendar. Less paper clutter and an automatic calendar event? Sold! When using digital invitations I use Evite for two reasons. 1. They have a huge selection of invites for whatever I'm up to. And if they don't have what I want, I can create an image and make a custom Evite. And 2) I think it's way easier to RSVP for guests than other sites. You don't have to log in or create an account if you don't want to. That's huge for me.

I have a bucket list for party themes. I checked a big one off last year with my daughter's Pink and Purple Donut Birthday. A S'mores bar now at the top of my list. And this Evite is beyond perfect for it! Maybe I'll get my act together and have an end of the summer bash!

7. Borrow, thrift, and garage sale hunt:

I am the queen of borrowing for a party. Do you have an adorable galvanized tub that you aren't using? Better bet I'm asking to borrow it. And I'll return it with leftover cake or a Sonic gift card to say thanks. If I plan out far enough ahead, I also try to check out my favorite thrift stores and a few garage sales for what I need.

8. Take advantage of free venues:

I get the desire to avoid a lot of people in your house. I don't want to spend three days cleaning just to have it completely destroyed in five minutes. But I'd much rather spend three days cleaning than pay for renting out a venue. What I really love is hosting kiddo parties in my neighborhood park. It's free, has built in entertainment, and is close and convenient for shlepping stuff to.

9. DIY isn't always the cheapest way to go:

For some, DIYing is therapeutic. For others, its the bane of their existence. When deciding if you want to DIY, I always suggest including your time into the equation. For some, time doesn't matter. Its about saving the money. For others, precious time is worth more than just buying decorations for Party City. Know what's less likely to make you curse the world and go with it.

10. Shop after holiday sales:

I try to plan my kiddos' party themes well in advance. This lets me take advantage of several post holiday sales. Some Halloween clearance candy looks like Halloween candy. Others look the same as all the other candy- just way less.

Another thing to keep in mind is you can spray paint nearly anything. A horrifically awful Christmas charger can be spray painted and turned into the perfect serving platter. Spray paint covers so much!

What do you do to save money on parties?



  1. Such great tips... especially reminding us when to WALK AWAY from the Dollar Tree! Ihave to remember to shop my house more often too. We are like you, we throw a bash a year. Great post!

    1. I can't go in the Dollar Tree too often. It always ends poorly for my budget! Thanks for your sweet comment!

  2. Great list! I like strategically using the dollar store (cheap crepe paper, balloons, and party favors!) and Evites. We happened to have Baby #6 during birthday season this year (now 4 kids within a month of each other) and Evites have been a birthday party lifesaver for us!

    1. Oh wow! That is quite the party month! I bet you're a seasoned pro at saving money on parties!