We are all eagerly waiting May and June, when (we hope!) the restrictions on social mixing will finally be lifted, and we can see our family and friends at last. If you are planning to celebrate the occasion by hosting a summer party, here are some tips to help you organise the occasion without blowing your budget.
- Buy the food in bulk
It will work out much cheaper to order discount food online than to stock up at the supermarket. Serving easy to prepare food such as hot dogs with tasty toppings will help to keep life simple. Mustard sauce and ketchup always go down well! Chopped onions, fried tomatoes and grated cheese are good too—give your guests a few options.
Order plenty of snacks for guests to nibble while they mingle. Look for cheaper by the case deals and bargain haul boxes for things like cakes, crisps, sweets, and soft drinks, and set them out in large sharing bowls around your house or garden. They will soon be snapped up!
For something more substantial, it is very easy to put together big bowls of pasta, rice, or potato salads. Add some side dishes so guests can choose their own extras, such as chutneys and coleslaws.
- Be your own DJ
There is no need to hire an expensive DJ for the occasion. It is very easy to compile your own playlists from your favourite tracks, or use a music streaming service like Spotify or even YouTube. If you haven’t got any speakers suitable for outdoor use, ask around your friends and family to see if someone has one or two you can borrow for the event.
- Ask guests to bring a bottle
It’s cheap enough to order a case or two of soft drinks online, but when it comes to alcohol, the bills can mount up. Have some cans and bottles at the ready, but make it clear to your guests that they should bring their own booze!
- Spruce up your outdoor furniture
Make sure your outdoor furniture is clean and in good repair. For extra comfort, add some cushions and throws. Put a few rugs around on the lawn if you don’t have enough chairs, or ask your guests to bring their own. If you are having your party in the evening, think about putting up some lanterns and fairy lights which you may have left over from Christmas.
- Buy discount disposable partyware
If the event gets a bit lively, you don’t want to risk your favourite crockery getting broken or trampled into the grass. Order a pile of disposable paper plates, cups, and table coverings and napkins to spare your best dinner sets and favourite wine glasses. Paper partyware is very affordable, and it will also save you a lot of washing up at the end!
- Tidy up your interior décor
If the weather turns bad, your guests may retreat inside, so you will want to make sure the house is looking its best. Give everywhere a thorough spring clean, and if you have time, maybe a fresh coat of paint in the main rooms. Pop some scented candles or oil diffusers here and there to keep the rooms smelling fresh and pleasant.
- Treat yourself to a pampering session
Don’t forget about yourself—start a good skincare routine so you look glowing by the date of the party, and perhaps treat yourself to some new make-up for the occasion. A brand-new lipstick is guaranteed to put you in the mood for celebrating. A coat of fake tan can also give you a huge confidence boost. Choose an easy-application mousse to avoid streaks.
- Plan for the kids
If there are going to be children at the party, you will want to make sure they are not bored and causing mayhem after half an hour. Stock up on some toys and games to keep them occupied, such as colouring books, arts and craft sets, and bats and balls. Check with parents to see if there are any fussy eaters, so you have something in stock for them.
To encourage kids to eat something relatively healthy, try dipping pieces of fruit in melted chocolate and leaving to cool. You could also make some ice-lollies by pouring fruit juice into lolly moulds and leaving in the freezer overnight. Another great party snack for kids is chunks of banana and strawberry on a stick, with the ends dipped in melted chocolate.