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Halloween Party Planning on a Budget

How do you cut costs and still have a great party? Here's some ideas on throwing a Halloween party on a budget.

Halloween Invitations:

Your invitations set the tone for your halloween party.  Is your invitation light-hearted or totally scary? Is it a kid's halloween party or an adult halloween party?

Tells your guest what kind of party - cocktail party, costumes-are-a-must party, children included or adults only late night shin dig.

What's on the menu?  Cocktails, full dinner, buffet, finger foods and appetizers, desserts?  Give your guests a clue what you're serving so they'll know to eat dinner first or come hungry.

Send invitations out at least three weeks in advance, more if possible.  Make sure you include an RSVP with a date so you can keep a handle on your expenses by knowing how many guests are coming.  Don't use "regrets only" if you need an accurate count.

Halloween Party Food and Drink:

  • Try starting the party later.  If you start the party after 8:00 p.m., guests will have time to eat dinner before they arrive.  You can then serve nibble foods, drinks and bite size desserts.
  • Share the expenses.  Ask guests to bring their scariest or tastiest appetizer concoction.  You can have your party "BYOB" - bring your own booze and you can provide soft drinks, beer and wine. How about Pumpkin Beer? Check out BevMo, Costco and other clubs for deals on food and alcohol.
  • Add dry ice to create a steaming punch bowl, it's worth creating a punch just for the effect! Make a fake ice hand to float in the punch too!

Halloween Party Decorations:

  • Cover your furniture with old white sheets for a haunted, abandoned house feel.
  • Check out the dollar stores for spiders, cobwebs and other spooky decorations.  Cobwebs look great arranged from lighting fixtures, mirrors, shelves and tables.
  • Look to your own yard for dried leaves, flowers and twigs to use as centerpieces or to add to the abandoned house look.
  • Break out the candelabras.  Check out the dollar stores or overstock stores for these and for orange or black candles.  Make sure to keep them away from other decorations or guest's dangling costumes as they reach for food. Hurricane lamps with big candles can protect guests from flames too.
  • Make tombstones from cardboard boxes or foam core board.  Spray paint them gray or black, add cute rhymes and even the names of party guests for a good laugh.  Use a stake taped or glued to the back to create a front lawn graveyard.
  • Ask friends if they have any Halloween decorations stored away you can borrow for your party, you'd might be surprised what they can come up with.

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