7 ways to entertain guests on a budget

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Some people are natural artists. They can organize the perfect party seamlessly and effortlessly. From the most delicious food to the amazing decorations, to the best list of guests, the planning of the party looks easy.

Most often, however, the best holidays have a high price. The hiring of event planners, DJs and caterers can result in a quick loss of control of holiday costs. Fortunately, you do not have to spend thousands of dollars for a memorable party. With a little creativity and planning, you can organize a party that will keep your guests raving for years.

1. Start a party fund

First order of the day? Create a budget.

The holidays cost quickly if you do not have a predetermined budget. And worst of all, you could spend too much on one aspect of the party (like drinks) and not get enough for another important item (like the set).

Start by figuring out how much you plan to spend for the whole party. Then divide it into categories, such as food, decor, invitations, entertainment, and more. Then set a realistic limit for each category. You can do it in a simple Excel spreadsheet or on paper. When buying items for the party, be sure to follow each expense.

2. Ask for help

Planning a party can be stressful, but you do not have to do it alone. Instead of calling on an expensive event organizer, ask a friend to organize the party with you. He can take on some of the burden and expense of planning a party.

Do you have a friend who is an amazing baker? Ask him to make desserts. Do you know someone who has the best taste in music? See if she can make the party list to keep everyone entertained all night long. Outsourcing does not simplify your life, it also allows other people to participate in the party planning process. Moreover, it is much cheaper to solicit the help of friends than to hire a professional.

3. Be creative with a decor

No party is complete without decor! Although decorations really bring a festive theme to life, you do not have to blow up your budget. You can save money by looking at what you already have at home.

Instead of buying several centerpieces (which you'll never use again), try mixing a variety of vases, figurines and home decorations. Or, go to the dollar stores to buy candles and votives at an affordable price. Have a hodgepodge of China at home? Theme your party around that and mix and match all your decorations for a whimsical atmosphere. If you are having an outdoor party, hang out a cheap coffee or Christmas lights to create a pleasant atmosphere. (See also: 12 Ideas for Fall, Festive and Cheap Decorations)

4. Provide cheap food

As a party host, no one expects you to serve a five star meal worthy of a Michelin star. The key is to keep your food simple and attractive for everyone.

If cooking yourself, consider making simple meals such as pasta, tacos, chili or barbeque. These types of foods are easy to cook and are appreciated by most people. To add a creative touch, set it up as a station so guests can add their own toppings and create their own dish.

If you are not a cook, you can always prepare meals within the limits of your budget. The trick is to reach the small casual restaurants or catering companies. They are more likely to close a deal and allow you to customize your menu. (Also see: 14 nibbles to serve at your next party.)

5. Set up games

Who said that entertainment must be expensive? There are many ways to keep your guests busy and have fun without having to spend an arm and a leg.

For an outdoor party, arrange some garden games such as cornhole, croquet or horseshoes. Everyone loves these classic games and it's an easy way to bring guests together.

And if you're having an indoor dinner, it's always a good idea to keep some games, such as Pictionary and Charades, in mind. You never know when guests will want to stay late or when there will be a lull in the party. Having some games in hand can be your salvation. (See also: The 5 best board games for adults)

6. Rethinking Alcohol

If you choose to provide alcohol, the costs can add up quickly. It's a slippery slope because everyone tends to have different preferences as to what he's drinking. You risk spending too much trying to buy alcohol for all tastes.

Alternatively, you can be creative with alcohol. Instead of providing a full bar, choose basic drinks and offer several mixers such as juice and soda. In addition, most people will be happy with a selection of beers or wines. On invitations, you can inform customers of the alcohol you give them and encourage them to bring their own drink if they prefer something different.

Or, if you are hosting a themed party, a signature drink can do the trick. Create a themed cocktail and get a jackpot for everyone. Not only is it cheaper, but it does not allow you to play the bartender all night at your own party.

7. Create a playlist

No need to hire a DJ or an expensive band for the perfect party. Create the perfect atmosphere by organizing your own playlist via Spotify.

Start a dinner? Classical and unobtrusive music can provide the ideal background noise. Barbecue in the yard? Try to launch in some countries and pop hits. You can create your own playlist or use one of the many predefined playlists available on Spotify.

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7 ways to entertain guests on a budget