I’ve shared before how you can save on your child’s birthday party, but saving money on your tween or teen’s party is a little bit different. There are some things to keep in mind to throw a great party on a budget!
VENUE: Consider having the event on a night other than Friday or Saturday. Those are the most common days of the week for parties, so they are considered “prime real estate” and the price can be more. You might be able to negotiate a reduced rate if you opt for a Monday or Tuesday night instead.
Or, better yet, choose a location that is free! Perhaps a friend has a large back yard or your church offers gym space for a reduced rate. Sometimes you have to get creative and think outside of the box.
INVITATIONS: Ditch the paper and go for evites! They are usually free and can save a lot of money. Not on that, they are much easier for your guests to remember to respond, which can give you a better headcount when determining how many to count on attending.
DECORATIONS: Teens more than likely aren’t interested in balloons and streamers for decorations. You could just pull out the christmas lights and set up a dance party layout. Set up tables and chairs around the perimeter of the room and string lights from the ceiling. Another idea is to ask your teen about his/her favorite colors and find items such as linens, vases or other items (on sale). Just by using splashes of color around the room, you can spruce up the most boring space (and remember, the guests won’t remember the decor in six months).
Stick with plain paper plates and cups — the colored items are the same. They just cost more. Remember that in 3 hours all of those items will be tossed into the trash can, so it truly is a waste of money.
MUSIC: If you really can’t afford a DJ, why not download your teens’ favorite songs onto your computer and pipe it through the venue’s speaker system? If you really want a DJ, but can’t afford one, see if you can’t find a friend to help. If you must hire a DJ, then just make sure you scale back on other ares of the party to compensate for the cost. Read the fine print of the contract so you know exactly what is expected of your DJ.
FOOD / DRINK: Most teens seem to love pizza. It is easy and can be quite affordable. Sign up for all of your local pizza parlor’s emails and/or coupon mailings. Ask family and friends to to do the same. Then, as you get closer to the day of your event, you can collect the coupons you will need to save money. If you can’t combine coupons on your purchase, ask friends to place orders too so you can save.
If you know someone who works at a bakery or grocery store, see if they can purchase items for you, utilizing their employee discount. They might be able to help you stretch your food budget.
If you must go it alone, then start watching for sales a few weeks before your party and stock up when you can. Pay attention to expiration dates on sodas and chips so that you don’t end up serving stale or flat items to your party guests.
Remember that while you want your day to be perfect for your teenage, you certainly don’t want to still be paying for it at their next party!