Infographic | 5:41 min read

Hosting Summer Parties on a Budget

Budget and Save

Sunshine, good company, and great food—what more could you want for a summer party? How about tips to keep it all budget-friendly? Read on to find out how!

There’s something magical about summer. Students are off of school, pools begin to open, days are longer, and the weather is warmer! The summertime makes people happy, and there’s no better way to indulge in that happiness than with a summer get together with family and friends. Summer parties are a great way to take advantage of the nice weather and socialize outdoors, something that is hard to do year round. With food prices on the rise, seasonal decor always marked up, and your close circle growing, hosting can get expensive. Learn tips you should consider so you don’t have to miss the summer fun!


The location is important for summer parties, and it all depends on what type of party you're throwing. A barbeque? A pool party? A bonfire? A gathering with summer activities like corn hole?

No matter the type of party, it’s important to plan a budget. Understand the max amount of money you can afford to put towards this summer get-together and then think about your desired location. If at all possible consider hosting the party at your house or backyard. This cuts down on the venue cost and allows you to put money towards something else. In addition to your backyard being free, most parks have picnic tables, room for games, and some even have grills for grilling food.

If someone you are close with has a pool or outdoor patio that you believe can better host the party, and if you’re comfortable having the conversation with them - ask them if you can have the party there! Be upfront about the amount of people attending, and ensure that their property will be clean and damage free. If they were not previously invited, make sure to extend the invite so they feel welcomed. Having the party at a friend's or families house is a sure way to save on a venue.

If you must book a location, such as renting out a community pool or a campsite, make sure to do so in advance. The earlier you reach out, the cheaper it will be. If you book the location early you can be ahead with your budget planner, and can even think of extra ways to make money to extend your budget.


Food is arguably people’s favorite part about summer. Seasonal desserts like ice cream and sorbet and savory comfort foods like a grilled hamburger are great ways to indulge in the summer festivities.

Instead of catering your summer party, consider making food yourself. Hotdogs and hamburgers are a beloved summer tradition, and are also very easy to make. Not only are they easy to grill, it’s also easy to buy these items in bulk. You might also have condiments and toppings in your kitchen to add to the food table. Fruit is a great side option, as it goes so well with the hot weather. There are also many sources online to find cheap recipes that feature items you probably have in your house. 

Inviting guests to bring their favorite summertime dish is another great way to provide a delicious meal. Having a potluck not only reduces your financial burden, but it allows everyone to share their dish recipes and makes sure that there is something for everyone to enjoy!

Budgeting for a summer get together infographic


Party decor is a great way to add to the ambiance of the party. It can make the party feel more festive and help the guests feel appreciated by the level of effort portrayed. Decor can be costly, but there are plenty of ways to stay within your budget.

Consider DIY-ing! Making your own decor can allow you to customize it, and tailor it to your specific party. This not only saves your budget, but also makes for a party your guests will remember! Asking close family and friends to help you paint banners, create centerpieces, or sew together tablecloths can be a fun bonding activity too.

If you don’t have time to DIY, consider checking out your local Goodwill, thrift shop, or dollar store and see what decor you can buy for cheap. People often throw away or donate their decorations after one use. Thrift stores often have a wide array of glassware and picture frames to choose from. Not only is this a cheaper option than buying from a department store, but it also promotes sustainability.


No summer party is complete without a fun activity! Games are a great way to get people having fun, and you most likely have something lying around your house. Buying games and activities is a great investment because you can continue to use them for years. Asking around if anyone would let you borrow a yard game is another great option, and allows you to get a variety of games for people to play! Buying summer games in the off season is another budget friendly tip, as they will most likely be cheaper in the winter when demand is low.


With location, food, decor, and activities considered, planning a theme for your party is the perfect way to tie everything together! You can combine all tips above to create a unique and cohesive theme that will leave party guests in awe while staying within your budget.

If you want food to be the center of your gathering consider a theme with a specific food palette. Popular themes could be a barbeque, picnic, ice cream social, wine and cheese tasting, a lemonade stand party, or a farmer’s market brunch. All of these themes feature food and beverages that are specific to warmer weather, and will let guests indulge in their favorite summertime delights.

If you would rather have the aesthetic be more of the party’s focus, consider a theme that lets you go all out on the decor and activities. This could be a backyard garden party with lots of plants, candles, and bright linens. Buy or grow a few different types of flowers and let attendees bring home their own handmade bouquets. An outdoor movie night is a great way to take advantage of the cooler evenings. Buy or rent a projector, and pin up a bedsheet from around your house, and project a fun summertime movie. Guests can get comfortable with blankets and enjoy the cozy atmosphere! You could also consider a Hawaiian luau party. Plan a pool party with lots of hibiscus flowers and tropical decor. Greet guests with leis and invite them to jump into the Hawaiian oasis!

Summer parties are a great way to create a space for families and friends to gather and enjoy the warm weather. Hosting summer get-togethers can be straining on your budget, but there are ways you can still partake in the summer festivities! By embracing our ideas you can focus on spending time with loved ones in the sun!


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