Due to rough economic times and needing to cut back, many singles and couples may find themselves feeling isolated from their friends who have tons of cash to spend. Let’s face it, having a social life can have a negative effect on your bank account. Eating out, buying birthday gifts, downing drinks and booking hotel rooms can add up quickly.
Don’t let your need to save money get in the way of your social schedule. Here are some tips for planning events that are free or cheap.
Potluck Theme Party
Host a potluck party where each guest brings a dish. Make sure to keep track of which dishes are being brought to avoid duplicate contributions. Make your potluck party more exciting by creating a theme. A cute theme for an all women’s party could be Sex and the City where all the food brought should be girlie and posh. You can even have someone bring cosmopolitan mix as their contribution so that you can make Carrie’s signature drink. A suggestion for an all guys’ theme party could be sports themed. Guests can bring wings, nachos and beef jerky. These snacks not only match the theme, but are also inexpensive. Raid a local dollar store to decorate for your party. Guests won’t miss their usual pricey restaurant as they are enjoying a fun filled time in your living room.
In the spring and summer months, round up a group of friends and schedule a picnic in a local park. Check with parks in your area for rules about grilling food. Have each attendee bring an item such as hot dogs, buns, sandwiches and pasta salad. When you’re done eating, enjoy free activities as a group such as volleyball and baseball.
Break out your VHS player and a few 80s flicks. Guests can reminisce and vote on which movie to watch. After the film, you can listen to 80s music and offer snacks. See if anyone in your group of friends has an 80s trivia game. Take a walk down memory lane as you try to recall pop culture tidbits from the past. If you want to get really into it you can ask guests to bring a picture of how they looked in the 80s. You can tape all the photos to a wall and make a guessing game out of who is who.
Look for local deals
Be on the look out for local deals. Many bars may have nights where they have no cover charge and 50 cent beers. When you find a great bargain, post the details on Facebook and invite a group of your favorite people. It’s great company, not a great venue that makes true memories. Don’t be afraid to try new places that are easy on the wallet. You may be surprised by the amount of people who thank you for your efforts. There are probably many individuals in your social circle who may be looking to cut back on their spending, but are afraid to be different from the crowd.