In the summertime, everything seems sunny. It’s a nice time to head outside and invite some friends to a backyard party.
If you’re on a budget, you might worry about hosting. You want to spend time with your friends and family, but you need to keep it affordable.
Well, send those worries on their way! I’ve got some great ideas for entertaining on a budget without missing out on any of the fun.
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There’s nothing like having a barbecue in the backyard. It’s simple, it’s frugal (depending on your choice of food), and it’s always delicious.
Keep your costs down by choosing budget-friendly cuts of meat. Hamburgers and hot dogs are simple and give you an All-American menu.
You can dress up your burgers and hot dogs with special toppings such as:
- a variety of mustard flavors
- Pickles, relishes, banana peppers, olives, or other salty choices
- Condiment choices such as barbecue sauce, hot sauce, horseradish, ranch dressing, chili sauce, salsa, chipotle mayo, and more. Guests can create their own flavor combinations.
- Grilled veggies or fresh avocado
- Corn chips or potato chips as a topping
Round out your menu by asking guests to provide a side or dessert, potluck style. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Provide pitchers of your favorite drinks, or put cans of pop into a cooler. Or fill a wheelbarrow with ice for a unique way to serve drinks.
Set Up and Decorations
You don’t have to spend a fortune to give your backyard that party atmosphere! Use what you have on hand. You can fill in extras with great finds from the dollar store. (You’d be surprised at the many options there.)
If you’ve got a picnic table or a table that’s easy to move outside, set it up.
No table? No problem! Improvise one from saw horses and a sheet of plywood, an old door, or boards. You’ll get a rustic look. If you aren’t happy with the materials you’ve used, cover it with a pretty tablecloth. Here’s a cute idea for making one from bandanas.
Now set out some centerpieces. You can fill mason jars with wildflowers. Or drop a citronella tea light inside them for double duty: ambiance and pest control!
For lighting, string up Christmas lights. Place them in trees, along fence rows, or put up a few poles to hold them above your guest’s heads.
If you have a theme for your night, use household items as decorations to get guests in the spirit of the evening. Read on for theme ideas.
Entertainment: Choose a Theme
Music Providing music helps your guests to get in the groove. It’s easy to do this using your phone with a bluetooth speaker. Or pull out a radio and put your favorite tunes on.
A theme can keep your party moving. Here are some ideas:
DIY Casino Set up a backyard casino night without the risk of losing all your money! You can create a casino night by handing out chips to guests as they arrive.
Set up a variety of casino style games including Black Jack, Texas Hold ‘Em, and roulette (you can get a roulette set from Amazon for under $20). Set up a slots app on a tablet or computer.
Outdoor movie If you own a projector (or can borrow one), set it up to play a great movie on the side of a barn or a white sheet. Keep the popcorn flowing!
Minute to Win It Games These games are designed to play using typical household items. You can set it up without a lot of work or money spent. Maximize the fun by having prizes for the biggest winners! Make a funky homemade trophy or pick up some candy bars.
Bonfire It can be fun to just build a bonfire and stand around roasting marshmallows. Be sure you have a permit if required by your neighborhood.
Board games Pull out some of your favorite board games for guests to enjoy. The louder the better! Games like Pictionary or Would You Rather can keep a large group engaged for a long time.
With these tips, you can host guests often this summer without breaking the budget.
What’s your favorite way to entertain guests?