This post is about cheap graduation party ideas that everyone will think you splurged on.
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Graduation party season is probably one of my favorite parts of the year. There's tons of food, everyone's getting together to catch up, and we get to celebrate someone's milestone.
Suddenly, when it comes time for you to throw a graduation party for your own family member, the actual costs of a graduation party start to come into light. My family couldn't believe the expense!
This post shows you genius ways to cut costs in your graduation party without cutting out the quality. Believe it or not, you can throw a cheap graduation party on a budget! Follow these simple tips, and admire all the money you saved on your cheap graduation party.
Cheap Graduation Party Ideas
1. Dollar Store - But Price Check!
Having a graduation party on a budget sends people flying to the dollar store. To get DIY decor, this is usually a fantastic idea to save money! However, make sure that you price check! I've found some items at the dollar store that are many times cheaper on Amazon or at Target. Here are some of my favorite Amazon finds that are actually cheaper than my local dollar store!
2. Thrift Decor
Thrifting is a money saver like you would not believe. I try to thrift as many items as possible, since I can save so much money on nearly brand new items. Once you have your party supply list created, make sure that you check out all local thrift stores to see if you can check anything off your list for a cheap price.
3. Skip the Venue Cheap Graduation Party
Shockingly, it's become common practice to hold your graduation party somewhere other than outdoors at your house. Don't feel pressure to do this! Graduation parties that are held right at your house are so much cheaper. A backyard graduation party makes it so much easier to transfer all of your items.
4. Share the Party
A popular money saving trend that I've seen for graduation parties is making them a joint occasion. This splits the cost between families, and makes the whole graduation party affair a team effort. If your graduate has a friend that's close to them, consider this option!
5. DIY as Much as Possible
After you create your party supply list, especially in the decor section, try to mark off things that you can do yourself. Pinterest is just full of how to DIY graduation party decor, so utilize these resources! Lots of items that come in bright colors from the dollar store can be easily painted to match any theme.
6. Set a Budget Cheap Graduation Party
Hosting a graduation party on a budget starts with the most essential part - actually setting your budget! Here's a graduation party planning bundle that includes a space where you can set your budget.
7. Utilize Free Resources
You'd be surprised how many free resources exist for people planning parties on the internet. Type in keywords such as "graduation party planner" or "graduation party printables" and you'll be able to save some serious cash while planning your party in style!
8. Make it a Family Event
When my family threw me a graduation party, they made sure to get everyone on board. My grandparents brought food, my moms friends help set up, and I make sure to recruit some of my friends to help out. This not only saved money, but I made some of my best memories spending time with some of my favorite people.
9. Cook it Yourself Cheap Graduation Party
Catering is a great option for taking away a lot of stress and saving a lot of time. However, catering is one of the most expensive additions that you can add to your graduation party. Even if you think you're the worst cook in the world, it's worth it to figure out how to make your own food or recruit friends and family to help you.
Here are some of my cooking essentials for hosting a cheap graduation party! And check out this article on graduation party food ideas.
10. Use your Backyard! Cheap graduation party
Not only is using your own backyard to host a party becoming trendy, but it saves a ton of money. You'll likely have to rent out some chairs, tables, and potentially a tent, but you cut down on any venue costs and you have the convenience of transferring food and party supplies a super short distance!
11. Host it Open House Style
In the midwest, an open house style Graduation Party is pretty much the norm. Typically, invitations will include a period of time, such as 12:00pm-4:00pm, and people will come and go as they please during this time. This style of party hosting allows people to just pick up some finger foods, maybe make a sandwich or two, and be on their way. This saves a ton of money on your food purchases!
12. Keep the Guest List Small
Another great option to reduce your Graduation Party costs considerably and throw a cheap graduation party is to keep it to a small and intimate party. A great way to make sure the grad is still recognized (and gets some gifts in the mail) is to send out graduation announcements, rather than graduation invitations. Then, you can keep a very exclusive list for a small, in-person get together.
13. Fill Your Own Balloons
If balloons are going to be a big part of your decor, make sure that you price check filling your own balloons compared to getting them from the dollar store. Surprisingly, you can save a lot of money if you need to fill a lot of balloons by filling them yourself!
14. Sift Your House for Decor
Go through your house to see what you could use for decor. For example, my mom had lots of card stock and burlap, so she made our own signs. We also had tons of jars, which my mom painted to make into centerpieces. Using these items from around the house rather than buying them new saved a lot of money. Put together a mood board on Pinterest, and go through your house to see if you can DIY anything with the items you already have!
15. Start Planning Early
This is probably one of the biggest tips that you can get! If you make your graduation planning lists early, keep an eye on sales, and ask friends and family to help you out, you're bound to save a substantial amount of money. Plus, planning early takes away a ton of the stress of putting a party together last minute! You'll be on your way to a cheap graduation party that's super planned and goes together nicely.
16. Take Your Own Photos
Another new discovery that I made when research graduation parties in other states is that people will usually hire a professional photographer. Just like catering, this is a worthwhile investment, but not vital. If you have your own camera, or even a high quality phone camera, assign the role to one of your party volunteers (like a child's friend) to take pictures during the day.
If you're hesitant about this method, let me assure you - I actually took all of my business photos and graduation photos on an iPhone 11 Pro Max. Highly recommend!
17. Electronic Invites if Possible
Lately, we've been seeing people utilizing Facebook electronic invitations or even a fancy graphic in an email more and more for invitations. In the digital age, this is a fantastic money saving option. Canva, a super user friendly graphic design website, will allow you to make invitation graphics completely for free. Pop those into an email and you're all set!
18. Decorate With Personal Photos
Personal photos are the best decor for a graduation party because they’re budget-friendly and sentimental at the same time! Parents are bound to have tons of photos of their graduate already lying around the house, and if they don’t, they’re super affordable to print at your local pharmacy. You can display them with clothespins or on a wooden pallet to add a personalized and nostalgic touch to your party.
19. Wooden Crates and Pallets
Don’t sleep on wooden crates and pallets as graduation party decor! Decor expenses can really add up, so crates and pallets are a great alternative. You can use wooden crates to prop up other decor, food, guest books, or photos. If you want to go for an outdoor picnic style, use a wood pallet as a low-to-the-ground picnic table.
20. Food Bars
Food bars look super elevated, but most of the food can be bought cheap or in bulk. Especially if you go for food bar ideas like a popcorn bar, walking taco bar, hotdog bar, or candy bar. These are crowd-pleasers that won’t break the bank!
This post showed you 20 genius ways that you can throw a cheap graduation party everyone will think you splurged on!
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