As hosts, one of our greatest pleasures is hosting a party right in our own backyards. Staying true to our mission, we want to make that outdoor entertaining (like indoor) is simple and special as possible.
6 Money Saving Tips For A Backyard Bash On A Budget
1] Serve Family Style – plan a menu that you can prepare ahead of time, so all you have to do is pop it on the grill, do a few turns and serve it up on a large platter. Grilling is a great way to feed a crowd, while keeping work and cleanup to a minimum. We suggest grilled barbequed chicken with onions and peppers (purchase a family pack of a cut whole chicken which allows for a variety and is usually the most economical) paired with grilled corn on the cob and grilled pound cake and berries.
2] Set-up a non-alcoholic DIY Drinks Station – days ahead of your party, fill ice cube trays with the beverages you’ll be serving (lemonade, iced tea, etc.) Just before guests arrive, pour beverages into drink dispensers and add the ice cubes you made ahead of time. It’s a great way to keep your drinks (and guests) cool without watering them down. Keep drinks in a spot that allows guest young and old to serve themselves. We love the dispensers below from Pottery Barn.
3] Ice, Ice, Baby – Make sure to have plenty of regular ice on hand too. Our general rule is two pounds per person to give you plenty to fill coolers and top off drinks as needed. This will keep you from running out and to the store mid party and from in and out of the house to grab cold drinks from the fridge. This tip along with 47 others editors and experts are featured in the Real Simple July 2016 issue. It’s a great resource for summer parties, so make sure to pick on up on newsstands now.
4] Serve a Signature Cocktail – Summer Sangria is a fun and economical adult beverage to serve in the backyard. Whether you choose red or white or a batch of both, if your crowd calls for it, have fun mixing it up with fresh fruit. On hot days, sangria with a wine ice cube or two will thrill your guests (just like above, use a bottle of the red or white you’ll be using in your sangria to make wine ice cubes. FYI: wine used in sangria can be an economical choice as you’re mixing it with other ingredients – shop the stores for specials on multiple bottle purchases.
5] Most the Most Of Nature’s Décor – when entertaining outdoors, keep it simple. With nature as your backdrop, play off the fresh green grass, trees and shrubs and add a pop of color with your centerpiece(s). Use cleaned aluminum cans as your containers and fill with flowers from your yard or the supermarket for a touch of special on your table(s).
6] Cue the Music – whether it’s a Pandora station you created or a playlist on your smartphone, connect it to portable speakers to set a fun vibe when entertaining outdoors. There’s no need to hire a DJ or pay extra for a custom playlist.