I’ve had a few of my gal pals tell me that having a baby made them feel like their life was o-v-e-r.
No more coming and going as you please; no more dinners without a weeks worth of planning; these girls felt restricted to the four walls of their home with no escape in sight.
Of course these same girls love their new roles as a mommy. Still, just because they birthed a little one into the world doesn’t mean that they aren’t the same people who enjoy adult time.
I suppose we’ve all been there. Whether you’ve had a baby or not, sometimes we get trapped in the busyness of life and forget that we need time to interact with our friends and family. If there is one thing I’ve learned, it is that if you don’t take time to plan these events, you can go weeks (sometimes months) without investing in the people that really matter. You still maintain friendships with the daily text message or weekly phone call, but face-to-face time is so much better than FaceTime. Pun intended.
So what do you do when you’re on a limited budget and you’re craving some quality time with friends? Throw a party!
I know, I know. Parties are expensive. But are they? Here are three “garden variety” parties that will cost you $100 or less to host and give you some much needed time with the ones you love.
1. Wine and Tapas Party (for adults). So, Steven and I hosted a wine and tapas party this weekend and it was an overwhelming success. I got the idea from my dear Aunt Maria who is the consummate entertainer. Everyone brings a bottle of wine and everyone brings a favorite appetizer that pairs well with their wine. The result? Lots and lots of good food to try with copious amounts of delicious vino to sample as well. The appetizers are a conversation piece (this recipe is from my…You get the idea); and the wine…doesn’t exactly need a reason, does it?
We had about 20-30 people in our home, including a few babies and kids. The best part about a house party that is an “open house” is that everyone feels comfortable. We had kids playing inside and outside. Just about every baby device was being used simultaneously (the seat, the swing, the bouncer, the bassinet). Finally, we had lots of adults in our home; all of whom I was really excited to see. It was such a fun event.
We already had a few bottles of wine that we put out to share; I had most of the ingredients to make barbecue chicken sliders, including the buns; I purchased some ingredients for pesto topped bagel chips with tomato and mozzarella. We got some beer for non-wine drinkers as well. I then purchased a few napkins, flowers for decor, and some store bought desserts.
In total, we spent about $99. That is about $3 per person. You can’t do better than that.
2. Girls night viewing party dessert exchange. I make no excuses for my love for the Bachelor franchise. Every Monday, I get to texting my two best friends about the good, the bad, and the ugly of the show. For the Bachelorette finale, I had two of my favorite CCHS grads over to gab and watch Andi hand out her final rose.
We decided to have a “dessert exchange.” Each of the girls brought a dessert and I had shortcakes baking for strawberry shortcake. I had also made some rice crispy treats the night before, so we had a few desserts to choose from. I, of course, ate a little of each. Although I had a serious sugar hangover to follow, it was totally worth it. It was time I could spend with some friends after little Bear went down for the night.
In total, I spent about $10 for this party. We already have the cable and got to fast forward through the commercials since we spent the first hour or so just catching up and sampling desserts. That is again, about $3 per person.
3. Picnic party at the playground (for kids). For my niece’s fourth birthday party, my sister planned a “puppy party” for all to enjoy on the playground. She had “puppy chow” and a few other goodies to enjoy and all of the kids seriously had.a.ball. One of my dearest friends from high school is also planning a picnic at the playground for her son’s very first birthday party this weekend. She asked guests to bring their own main dish and side to share and she is providing the cake. What a brilliant idea. Kids birthday parties have gotten seriously out of control. Sometimes, I think mommies plan birthdays thinking that if it isn’t “pinnable” they don’t love their children. I digress. The picnic at the playground is a great way to ensure that everyone has a great time; no muss, no fuss, and it cuts down on the cost and clean-up time for everyone.
I haven’t planned this, but I would assume it would land you somewhere around $50-75 all things considered.
Just because you’re short on dough or have a little one doesn’t mean you cannot host a great get together. On the contrary; I’ve found that I’ve become more purposeful with my time and more intentional in conversation. Instead of pouting in your house, lettuce turnip the beet! 😉