Graduation Party Savings

Posted by Steph Perine on May 04, 2018

cap and diploma

Whether you’re watching a kindergartner or a college student turn that time-honored tassel, graduations are a big deal. Unfortunately, they can also be a big expense. However, throwing a party for your favorite graduate doesn’t have to mean emptying your bank account. Read on for three tips aimed at helping you host an amazing graduation bash on a budget.

1. Manage Your Menu

Think you’ve got to serve your guests a seated dinner? Think again. Informal meals are not only less expensive, but also more fun. Forget about the fancy spread and consider serving up a casual family-style meal or potluck instead. Simple can still be satisfying. Or, bypass the meal entirely and go with a bring-your-favorite-dessert buffet. We can promise you — no one will complain about a smorgasbord of sweets!

If you’re planning on serving alcohol at your graduation party, skip the open bar and offer beer, wine and a signature cocktail that honors the graduate.

Shopping for food at a warehouse store, like Sam’s Club or Costco, can also help you stay within your budget.

2. Make the Moment — and Your Money — Last

Sure you could hire a professional photographer or go with one of those trendy photo booth rentals, but that will set you back hundreds — if not thousands — of dollars. Instead, save money by setting up a photo station of your own. All you need is an instant camera, plenty of instant film and a guest book. Invite your guests to take photos throughout the party and then add them to the book. (For even more fun, add some props to your photos.) Your guests will love the interactive element, and your graduate will love taking home a sweet and creative keepsake.

3. Decorate “Smarter”

Party decorations can quickly add up, but not if you use what’s on hand. One clever decorating theme for a graduation party is using books as centerpieces. Tie them together with twine to dress them up. Mason jars are also inexpensive — particularly when filled with fresh-cut flowers from the backyard. If you’ve got a black thumb, ask a family member or close friend who gardens to contribute flowers as their gift. Speaking of family members and friends, here’s one last tip:Play to their strengths. If your nephew is a music lover, ask him to make a playlist. Have a neighbor who loves to bake? Ask her to whip up a batch of her famous double chocolate cupcakes. After all, you’re not the only one who is proud of your graduate. Other people will be happy to pitch in to make the day extra-special. This isn’t just a money-saver, but a stress-saver too.