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Planning a 40th Birthday Celebration on a Budget/Frugal ideas

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

My DH's 40th birthday is coming up in one month. We don't have a lot of money, but I don't want to skip a celebration. He has said that he wants a party with black balloons/tombstones/over the hill theme. I personally don't care for that theme, but I'm not the one turning 40. :-) We live in New England so that will give you an idea weather-wise. Is it possible to have a fun time with $200-300? What would you do with this money? How would you use or stretch the budget? I need to start planning and get invitations out fast. I didn't realize how time had crept up.

 

Also, he isn't originally from the area where we live and doesn't have a lot of friends here, mostly co-workers and such. I'm not sure I'd want to have the party in our apartment, but I will with no other options.

 

Another thing worth mentioning is that he is a recovering alcoholic and hasn't drank in over 4 years, so alcohol will not be an expense. For guests who may not know, should I put alcohol free on the invitations or just play it by ear?

 

Thanks! I've never planned anything like this before and have no clue how people generally celebrate this milestone. 

post #2 of 7

If you won't be purchasing alcohol, that will cut down on expenses significantly!

 

I would skip written invitations and go for free ecards, such as from evite.com.  This will save on cost.  If it was me, I'd mention that it is a non-alcoholic functon.

 

If you aren't keen on using your apartment, is there a community centre in the area, or do you have a common room in your apartment buidling?  Usually these can be rented at little cost.  Otherwise, if you have it at a pub, you could spend the $200 on appies or the like.  If it is at your apartment or a community centre you can do a lot of inexpensive non-alcoholic beverages and appitizers for your budget, especially if you can make them yourself and freeze some in advance so that the prep isn't too intense.

 

I think you can have a great party within your budget!  Good luck!

post #3 of 7

Depends on what kind of party it is.  Appetizers and deserts can be relatively inexpensive to serve (check out the local Costco or Sam's Club or whatever if you know someone who has a membership).  If you want to serve a full meal, it will be more, but trays of decent food are not always that expensive from a caterer.  Ask around.  You might try to ask on Freecycle for the decorations, but even if you don't get any for free, they shouldn't be that much.  As far as non-perishable food goes, you can look for sales on soda, snacks, etc. in the weeks before the party.  If it is soon, you might want to check out the labor day grocery sales.  Which reminds me that an old fashioned hamburger/hot dog type of barbecue at a local park can be a very nice party.  Set up a badmitten net, horseshoes, etc.  Of course you may have a wash out with rain.  I lived in a small house and a couple of times we moved most of the furniture into our bedroom to fit more people.  Kind of a pain, but it got the job done!
 

post #4 of 7
If it was me, I'd have the celebration at a local park (with a picnic shelter, if possible, and also add a rain date to the invite) unless you can find another venue for free or very cheap. And yes to evite or just calling people up rather than written invitations (and do mention it's an alcohol-free event, in case someone shows up with a bottle of something...) The Dollar Tree has a lot of black paper goods and decorations. As far as food... would your guests be willing to bring potluck? If not, making things at home, or buying appetizers frozen from the grocery store, would probably be cheaper than a caterer but I'm not sure, depends how many people you're inviting. Drinks -- I've often done a big bowl of punch, with bottles of seltzer for guests to make their own spritzers, and wedges of lemon/lime on the side. Iced fruit tea with honey has gone over well too and very cheap to make. Music -- set up an mp3 player or something, borrow one if you don't have one. I think the easiest way to host an inexpensive party is to be willing to ask your guests to contribute, and if they are friends they will probably be happy to help. smile.gif
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much for the responses! I did go the evite route and I also made it potluck.  I've also opted to have the party in my apartment, just moving the furniture around a bit. It looks like it will just be a few guests. I might get some main course items from a restaurant (Vietnamese) and make some simple sides. I'm letting folks bring what they want without specifying side/drinks/etc. I'm considering making guacomole, as well as having salsa and tortilla chips available as sides.  I'm having the cake made by a professional, so I won't have to worry about that part. Any thoughts on paper products? Are they considered tacky? Any thoughts on drinks that I could offer? 

post #6 of 7

My first thought for drinks given the food was "something with lime." These look pretty good:

http://www.yummly.com/recipes/lime-juice-drinks-non-alcoholic

Especially the Sparkling Limeade and Non-alcoholic Mango Margaritas! Have a great party!
 

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragana View Post

My first thought for drinks given the food was "something with lime." These look pretty good:

http://www.yummly.com/recipes/lime-juice-drinks-non-alcoholic

Especially the Sparkling Limeade and Non-alcoholic Mango Margaritas! Have a great party!
 

Thanks! Awesome link!

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