St. Patrick’s Day parties and decorations make up a billion-dollar industry, but you don’t have to overspend to celebrate. Save some green with these tips for throwing a St. Paddy’s Day bash on a budget.
1. Skip the invitations. Unlike a wedding where it’s etiquette to mail invitations, you can make your own rules with a St. Patrick’s Day party. Forgo the invites and send a text or email invite instead.
2. Stay home. Host your party at your own place, rather than going to someone else’s house or going out. As long as you have enough room in your digs to entertain your friends, you’ll save money by skipping the cost of gas, high-priced alcohol and cover charges.
3. Dress the part. As much as you don’t want to get pinched on St. Patrick’s Day, you don’t want to spend a fortune on your festive attire, either. As you plan your wardrobe for your shamrock shindig, pull out something green from your closet instead of buying anything new.
4. BYOB. Ask your partygoers to bring their own booze and other beverages. Alcohol can be one of the most costly purchases of any party, so have your attendees chip in and save you some dough.
5. Shop for budget supplies. You’ll likely want to set the stage with green and gold balloons, streamers and a few party favors. But don’t go all out on decorations. Shop on a budget at stores such as Dollar Tree or Party City. You’ll be using these supplies for only one day, so don’t overspend on them. For example, you can grab a Shamrock beaded necklace for 99 cents from Wal-Mart.
6. Make your own eats. Instead of ordering takeout or opting for catering, make your own meal for the party. Try a traditional Irish recipe. Use this as an opportunity to test out festive baking ideas from Pinterest. Green food coloring likely required.
7. Seek out retail sales. Last year, retailers threw their own celebrations with deals and discounts inspired by the March holiday. Check out Amazon‘s Luck O’ the Irish-inspired price cuts. Look for bargains at department stores and party supply retailers, too.
8. Use coupons. In the absence of flashy green retail sales, be on the lookout for coupons. Use apps from RetailMeNot, The Coupons App and Coupons.com so you’ll never miss an opportunity to take some dollars and cents off your total.
9. Search for freebies. When you can, get party essentials for free. Borrow from friends, reuse things around the house or find supplies online. About Home compiled a collection of cyber St. Patrick’s Day freebies, including printable greeting cards, decorations and computer wallpapers and clip art.
10. Provide your own entertainment. You don’t have to purchase a single game or activity for your St. Patrick’s Day party. Instead, keep the fun going with what you already have. For example, listen to some Irish tunes like this St. Patrick’s Day inspired streaming-music list.
11. Move it to the weekend. Save money by throwing your St. Patrick’s Day party on Friday or Saturday instead. That way, you can purchase discounted party supplies, as retailers traditionally cut prices after the holiday is over.
12. Set a realistic budget. Before you officially begin party planning, set a realistic amount of money that you’re willing to (and able to) spend. Then hold yourself accountable with an app like Mint, a free money manager that tracks your spending. Don’t go into the red when you celebrate the holiday of green.
13. Treat your credit like debit. If you use your credit card to purchase supplies, use it wisely. Making purchases with a credit card (as opposed to a debit card) can protect you if your financial information is compromised and can even earn you cash back depending on your card. But don’t charge more than you can pay off. View your credit card as a debit card and make purchases only that you have money in the bank to pay for.
Follow these tips to throw a festive party without emptying your pot of gold to pay for it.
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This article was written by NerdWallet and was originally published by USA Today College.
Image via iStock.