Hola amigos! It’s no secret that throwing parties can be expensive. We might all imagine that we have an endless stash of money to throw over-the-top bangers Jay Gatsby style – but for most of us that is not the case. That being said, I offer you my tried and true tips for throwing a fiesta on a budget!
Tip #1: DIY Chalkboard Signs
Go to your local craft store and purchase blank chalkboard signs and chalk markers. These only cost a couple of dollars each and the finished product can represent something stores charge 4 times the amount of money for. It also gives you the opportunity to create something original. I bought the photo stand for the sign at my local craft store for a dollar. Your guests will be shocked when they learn you made the signs yourself! See some that I created for my fiesta below.
Tip #2: DIY Mason Jar Decorations
Mason jars are so versatile. For my fiesta, I used them to create simple centerpieces. I purchased a case of a dozen mason jars from Target for only $9. I then took a photo and some confetti, filled up my jar, tied a bow and a balloon on it, and voila! The best part is that the mason jars can be repurposed when your fiesta is over.
Tip #3: Hit up the Dollar Store
I hit up my local dollar store for the majority of my party supplies. The drink pitchers, glasses, serving trays, and shot glasses were all dollar store finds. Many of the other items were found in the dollar section of Target. All of these items cost more than a couple of dollars if purchased at non-dollar stores. The customizable banner was a few dollars in the party section of Target. The piñata was a splurge – he cost $15 and was also from Target.
Tip #4: Shop Wholesale Stores
Alcohol can be one of the most expensive fiesta essentials. You can cut the cost by purchasing your liquor from a wholesale warehouse like Costco. I was pleasantly satisfied with the Kirkland Silver Tequila and it put a far less dent in my budget than most name brands would. I also purchased most of my food from Costco and GFS. To make a big, affordable batch of guacamole, I purchased a case of freshly mashed avocado from GFS and simply added in lime juice, onions, cilantro, and some seasonings. It was delicious and far less expensive than buying prepared guac.
Tip #5: Splurge on Some Things, Save on Others
Let’s be honest, there are some things that you just have you heart set on. For me it was my piñata and taco fillings. While I cut corners by prepping most of my taco fix-ins and side dishes, I splurged on Chipotle catering for trays of Chicken and Steak. While this was more expensive than preparing the meat on my own, I weighed out the splurge by cooking the rest myself.
Bonus Tip: Make Strawberry Jell-O Shots
Because it’s a fiesta, right? To make the shots, start by hollowing out strawberries – this is pretty tedious work. If you puncture the bottom of the strawberry, you will have to just eat it and start another because your liquid will leak out everywhere. At least you get a little snack if you mess up. Also, slice the very bottom of the strawberry so that it has a flat bottom to stand up on its own. To make the tequila/jell-o mixture, simply prepare strawberry jell-o according to the box instructions, but replace the cup of cold water with chilled tequila. After you prepare the mixture, carefully fill the strawberries, refrigerate, and wait patiently for them to set.
Do you have any tips for throwing a party on a budget? Share in the comments below!