Low Cost Entertaining Ideas

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family having picnic

Got a family reunion or other large gathering coming up? Why not plan a “potluck picnic,” where everyone brings something to share?

Looking for a way to entertain friends or family that won’t break the bank? Here are some simple solutions to throwing a great bash without spending too much cash!

1. BYO Wine Tasting Party

Have some oenophile friends? Consider throwing a wine tasting party in which each guest (or couple) brings a bottle of their favorite kind of wine to share with the group. This way, the bill for the bar isn’t all on you and you’ll have a great platform for conversation among your guests. Just buy some simple hors d’oeuvres or make your own to give the guests something to pair their wine with. Chopped fruit, wheat crackers, a selection of cheeses and some chocolate would do fine.

2. Potluck

Potlucks are great for large family gatherings, where there’s going to be a lot of people to feed. Instead of burdening the hosts with all the food responsibilities, a potluck encourages the guests to bring something to share. You could create a sign-up sheet ahead of time, so everyone knows what everyone else is bringing so there won’t be too much of a certain thing.

3. BYO Crafting Party

Do you have some friends who love arts and crafts or other DIY stuff? Why not host a laid-back gathering in which you and your guests bring materials to work on a craft project? This can be a fun way to learn new projects, while enjoying the company of friends or family. Invest in some basic supplies that everyone can share like glue, scissors, pencils, a protective tablecloth, etc., and you’re all set.

(See related post: “Fun, Cheap Child’s Birthday Party Ideas.”)

4. Game Tournament

Whether you’ve got a stack of board games in your closet, a ping pong table in your garage or a collection of multi-player video games  you and your buddies could enjoy a night of fun as they battle for bragging rights. Invite guests to bring their own games, or use what you’ve got. You could make things a little more interesting by creating some kind of awards system. You could use money, beer, or any random thing you can think of. You could even scout yard sales or flea markets for old trophies and decorate them to reflect your game tournament’s theme!

5. Home Improvement Party

Got a home improvement project that you could use some help with? A lot of people find the solution to this dilemma is to entice their friends or relatives to come help by offering food, drinks and maybe even a little cash. Send out an invitation that says something like, “Pizza, beer and $10 for anyone who comes to help! Stay as long as you can, leave whenever you need! If you have extra supplies we can borrow, they are much appreciated!” Even if you only have 3 friends come help throughout the day, you’ll likely get the job done a lot quicker, and you’ll have the fun of working with your friends, too. As for the cost, if three friends show up, that’s only $30 out of pocket for labor. To save money on the food/drinks, you could make your own pizzas or sandwiches ahead of time, or use coupons.

Got any other ideas for low-cost party ideas? We’d love to hear them!

Anna Platz is an Editor at ForTheBestRate.com, a leading mortgage rate research website, as well as the Lead Contributor to GoodCentsSavings.com, a blog about budgeting and personal finance. Anna is immersed in the world of real estate, mortgage, and home financing and is here to provide valuable resources for homeowners and soon-to-be-homeowners on buying and selling real estate, researching a mortgage broker or lender, and securing a home loan. Check back often for news, updates, and remember that you can find today's current mortgage rates at ForTheBestRate.com. My Google Profile+

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