Can you smell it? That glorious three day weekend smell? That first hint of summer? Chances are, you're more than ready to kiss winter good-bye. There's no better way to usher in the carefree days of summer with a Memorial Day party. Make it a budget friendly one, and you'll have even more reasons to celebrate!
Celebrate at Your Favorite Local Park
Fingers crossed that the weather will hold up where you are, because nothing says Memorial Day like being outside. Parks are the perfect gathering spots for enjoying the holiday. Snag an area early to set up, since other people may have the same idea. Not only are the parks free, but they also come equipped with activities for everyone to enjoy. Suggest your guests bring a soccer ball, softball, kickball – any ball really, and you can't go wrong. Even better? Your home will still be clean when you get back to it after the party
Naturally, you'll need some flags (check out party sized flags on the cheap at retailers like Michael's, Party City, Walmart or Target). Pair these with some empty tin cans that you've painted red, white or blue (this is a great project to do with the kids!), and you've got some great centerpieces that can also be used to hold silverware or napkins.
The food can be a decoration in itself. Whip up your usual batch of rice krispie treats and color them in red, white and blue, and you've got an easy, low cost, and cute way to celebrate. Or try easy patriotic pretzels – dip your pretzel sticks in candy coating, and cover with red, white and blue sprinkles. These are also great fun for the kids to prepare, as well as eat. Even better, these snacks are totally affordable.
Signature Drinks and Beverages
If you're not careful, you could easily exhaust your budget on beverages. A great option is to offer a signature drink, and then ask your guests to bring wine, beer, or other beverage to share. Mix up a batch of simple sangria (it can even be as easy as a bottle of chardonnay paired with a liter of ginger ale and some yummy frozen fruit) and you'll have an easy, refreshing drink for your guests, and you'll be saving a bundle.
You can always go full on potluck to cut back on costs, or you can request that your guests bring along their favorite side dish. This will also cut down on the amount of time you'll need to prepare for the festivities. Most people have favorite side dishes from years of family celebrations, and it also makes a great conversation piece to share the stories of the dishes' origins, as well as go-to recipes.
Be sure to offer several options for grilling for both your meat minded and veggie friendly friends. Depending on the size of your party, buying in bulk can be a great option for saving, particularly in the burgers and dogs variety. If you're feeling ambitious, you could also try your hand at concocting some veggie friendly patties, using black beans as your base. But if it's convenience and great deals that you're after, buying in bulk is likely going to be your BFF.
Have fun celebrating while saving, this Memorial Day weekend! Be safe everyone.