Everyone loves a good holiday party, but it's summer that really gets the party goers to come out of their winter hibernation. If you want to be the host with the most during the summer party season, you may want to think about ways to budget for each event. Parties can be extremely expensive, and if you don't find ways to keep costs down, you can find yourself in debt by the time the summer is over.
Don't Hire a Caterer
Many people like to hire caterers for their summer parties because it is so much easier to have someone deliver the food already prepared to your doorstep. Also, cleanup is much easier, as the caterers usually provide plastic plates and utensils that can be thrown away rather than washed. However, this is much often more expensive than preparing the meal yourself. If you are having a huge party, go to a store where you can buy things in bulk and stock up on burgers and hot dogs. These are relatively easy to grill up and serve to your guests. You can save money, prepare your own food, and still have fun at your own party. If you buy your own food, you can save up to half the cost of hiring a caterer. If you are interested in having someone cater your party, shop around. If you hire someone who isn't associated with a huge company, it may be possible to negotiate prices.
Ask for RSVPs
Having spontaneous, open house parties can be really fun, but can break the budget. If you don't know how many people are coming, it can be very difficult to plan how much food to get. Planning ahead a little bit and asking for RSVPs can give you a number of guests to expect, and it can help you decide how much food you need to buy to keep your hungry guests happy. It can also help you prepare as far as how many beverages you will need to provide for your guests. Beverages can be one of the most expensive parts of any party, and there is often no good way to get rid of leftovers, so having a number of guests in mind can be good for your wallet.
Plating an extravagant meal in your backyard might seem like fun according to some of the chefs you watch on television, but it can also be very expensive. First of all, in order to make those beautiful, plated meals, you need to make sure you have all the ingredients on hand. Spices and herbs can be extremely expensive. Plus, it will keep you in the kitchen most of the evening. Sometimes it is best just to keep it simple. Plan a buffet where you can prepare most of the food ahead of time. When your guests arrive, serve them a cocktail and put the food in the oven or on the grill. That way, you can participate in your party and serve great food all at the same time.
Since beverages are so expensive, and since most people have specific preferences as to what they like to drink, it is totally acceptable to ask people to bring their own beverage. If you provide the food, it is the least they can do. Plus, if they bring just what they want to drink and nothing more, you won't have leftover cans and bottles cluttering up your fridge when your guests go home.