It’s tough to throw a party for a large group when you’re short on funds.

With the holidays just around the corner, many of us are wondering how we can pull off a big, classy event without looking cheap. It is possible! Whether you’re in charge of your extended family’s Thanksgiving bash or a corporate Christmas party, these great tips will make you the star!

Planning a big party on a budget

Here are a few useful tips on how to throw a party while keeping expenses in check:

Buy in bulk

bulk beer glasses

Get rewarded with big savings for ordering large quantities at once. Apply the “buy in bulk” method to cut expenses on food, drinks and personalized guest favors. Our customized 16-oz. Pint Glasses are a good example. If you order the lowest minimum quantity of 25, you’ll pay $1.45 each. Add 25 more to your cart and the price drops to just 82 cents per piece! The more you buy, the better the deal. (By the way, the pint glasses make great employee gifts for the holidays!)

It’s also wise to buy bulk quantities of party cups and other supplies. A store discount on small packages of these items often won’t reap the same savings.

Stick to the basics

simple party snacks

You don’t have to cater the event with fancy appetizers your guests can’t pronounce. Lots of delicious finger foods are tasty, inexpensive and easy to make ahead. Check out Taste of Home’s 70 Easy Party Appetizers to Feed a Crowd.

The same rule applies to entertainment. Why pay hundreds of dollars for a band or pricey DJ when you can create a playlist of songs you know your audience will love? Spotify offers a free version of Ultimate Party Classics or you can download apps such as iHeartRadio to entertain guests.

Decorate on a dime

easy Thanksgiving centerpiece for big party

No need to hire a decorator or blow money on store-bought table decorations. Scan your house or a dollar store for items that can create the aura you want. You can make adorable centerpiece groupings with different sizes and colors of vases, candles, wood and pine cones. A small, blank or customized table runner can add a big splash.

The home experts at HGTV have some incredibly great suggestions in “33 Easy DIY Decorating Ideas for Your Next Party.” I especially love their DIY Photo Booth, Succulent Love and Decorated Cork Coasters ideas.

Create simple invitations

easy invitations

Email-only invitations might be acceptable for some parties such as large corporate events for employees. But for most big events it makes sense to send out paper invitations with the date, time and other key information.

If you have a talented friend or employee who can create party invitations for you, go for it. If not, give sites such as Canva and Evite a try. Each offers free versions that give you basic templates to customize with a limited number of colors. They will print them for a fee or you can do it yourself with a good printer and cardstock purchased in bulk.

Another money-saving option is to use a postcard-style invitation. The size will help you save money on postage.

Keep everyone safe

It’s important to take a few precautions for the safety of your guests. Start by inviting the number of guests your home or party venue can accommodate. This will make it much easier to supervise and maintain control to avoid problems.

You also should monitor your guests’ alcohol consumption, keep an eye out for spills to clean up, and ensure all electrical appliances are working properly. It’s a good idea to review expert party safety tips before the big day.

To sum it up …

Almost every aspect of planning can be modified for hosting a party on a budget. Don’t get pressured into overspending. Creativity and frugalness are all you need to make an impression.

big party small budget graphic

Shelley Grieshop is a former newspaper journalist who earned more than a dozen Associated Press awards for her in-depth research and writing skills. In May 2016, she joined Totally Promotional as a creative writer. She currently writes company blogs about branding, marketing, logos, wedding planning and much more. One of her life goals is to teach people when to use hyphens and apostrophes.

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