Archive for February, 2009

Ten ways to a less expensive party!

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Today’s economy is forcing many people to look harder at how to same money on just about everything, this includes planning parties.  A bad economy doesn’t mean you need to not get with friends and family, or postpone that wedding or some other special event.   You just need to focus a little more on keeping to a budget.

Here are ten ways you can save and still have an enjoyable gathering.

  1. Scale down on what is not needed.  First ask yourself if each item on your planning list is needed or just nice to have. If it is needed, can it be smaller, simpler or cheaper?
  2. Take another look at what you can do yourself instead of purchasing.  Have the caterer provide less food and you provide more.  Have a friend or a friend of a friend be the DJ or server at a discount rate?
  3. Comparison shop for your items and services.  One good thing about being in a bad economy, there are more discounts available.
  4. Make your own invitations, party favors, table decorations and what ever else you can do.
  5. Avoid the expensive gift-wrap when something less expensive will do.
  6. Use public facilities for the venue, usually much cheaper.
  7. Try a potluck dinner instead of the host providing all the food.
  8. Provide more vegetables and salads on the menu, these will be less expensive.
  9. Reduce the number of guests.
  10. Plan the menu based upon what is on sale for that week at your local super market.

Remember, the fun and enjoyment comes with the people, not the extras.

Uncommon Party Idea – A Book Party

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

A Book Party is a party theme that can be used for a shower or birthday. The guest of honor is one who loves to read and share books. So for this party theme, think of the library, bookstore and of course all kinds of books.


The invitation can be homemade in the theme of a small book.   Use 3” by 5” or 2” by 4” pieces of heavy paper, 3 to 4 sheets for each invitation.  This can be most any paper, even magazine covers for the front page. Punch 2 holes in the left side of each set of invitation paper and using a ribbon or piece of leather, tie the invitation pages together.  At least a couple of the pages need to have the party description, when, where and contact information printed or written on the front sides.  Also you will need to explain what you expect each guest to bring to the party.  


Each guest should bring one book.   The book could be new or used, any book or you could provide a list of categories or actual titles.  This is usually based upon the “likes” of the guest of honor.  The gift selection can be expanded to include anything related to books such as bookends, bookmarks, book covers, bookstore gift certificates, or a magazine subscriptions.  Now you have the invitations.


For an attractive center piece, place a set of nice looking bookends at the ends of a rectangular shaped potted plant.


The activity can be each guest saying a few words about one of their favorite books or something learned when reading some book or a favorite short story. Or pick a favorite book of the group and have a group discussion of the book.  This is certainly best if everyone has already read the book.


A possible game would be to list 10 to 15 book titles in column A and the list of associated authors, with the names in a different sequence, in column B. The game is to then have each guest try to match the title with the respective author.  Or instead of the authors, use a plot list of each book.


Another game activity would be to write out a list of questions concerning well known books and have each guest try to provide the correct answer.  Here someone could just read the questions to the group and the guests could answer aloud.  Someone will have to do a little home work and read some book reviews


A menu could be as simple as cheese, crackers and wine.  This theme provides something a little more intellectual and more focus than most party themes. 


Note:  This is a continuing series providing party ideas that are a little different and unusual that you may want to use for your next party.