Inexpensive Surprise Parties for Grown-Ups

by Kelly · 1 comment

in Thoughts On Frugality

Sunday was my husband’s 36th birthday. I had already bought him a few inexpensive items, well in advance of the day, but a week before his birthday I decided to throw him a surprise party. I waited until the last minute because I needed to make sure the weather was going to cooperate; with our teeny house we can only have parties outdoors.

Of course I didn’t have a big budget to spend on the party, but I figured that my husband would most enjoy being surrounded by friends and family anyway. I spent less than €40 on chips, vegetables and drinks. I made homemade salsa, a vegetable and dip platter and salmon rolls. I asked the guests to bring other food or drinks to share. I had a stash of paper plates, cups, cutlery and napkins from previous parties, so I didn’t buy any of those.

Two things I could have bought more of: beer and cups. It was a very hot and sunny day and everybody was thirsty! I think that I might buy some plastic children’s cups from Ikea for next time. They cost €1.50 for 6 and they’re reusable, not disposable. Even though that’s a bit more money than paper cups, I like the environmental savings.

He had a great time. There ended up being about 40 guests, who stayed most of the afternoon and into the evening. The kids played in our new secondhand sandbox and rode bikes and skateboards; the adults sat around drinking beer and telling tall tales. At least the men did!

All in all, we had a lot of fun, without spending a lot of money. People brought lots of food, instead of bringing gifts, and spending time with our friends and family was my husband’s best gift of all.

What are your favorite frugal party ideas for grown-ups?

{ 1 comment }

1 Kimberly July 1, 2008

Just a quick note to let you know your article will be included in the 66th Money Stories Carnival.

The post will go live midnightish PST at


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