Yes, we know. September is almost over, which means #NoSpendSeptember is almost over. But just because this weekend we will probably be looking for ways to cash in on all of our great savings from this last month, it never hurts to have a few good ideas in your back pocket for entertaining without breaking the bank.
Of course, COVID-19 restrictions means we won’t be entertaining more than five people anyway, but it also means that these are the perfect days to host a small, intimate, yet fun get-together. Because honestly, after isolation, we realized that it really doesn’t matter if our spread is fancy or something isn’t exactly perfect — the important thing is getting to spend time with the people you love and who love you right back.
So there’s no need to wait for next September. Here are five ways to entertain on a budget.
This is a classic budget-friendly entertaining option. Everyone brings their favorite board game and a snack, and you and your friends spend hours laughing, hanging out, and playing games together.
If nobody in your friend group owns a board game, don’t worry! One of the best party games ever invented can be created with two bowls, a pen, and a bunch of little slips of paper. Here’s how you play: Have everyone write down a different name of a famous person, a place, or a five-word phrase (no more than five words) on a few different pieces of paper. Once done, fold them up, and put them in the first bowl.
The object of the game is to get your friends (or teams, if you want competition) to guess correctly what is on each slip of paper. Each person has one minute to get their team to guess as many correctly as they can. Once a word/phrase has been guessed, place it in the second bowl. There are four different rounds. When all of the papers have been guessed in each round and are in the other bowl, you move onto the next round — this could very well be in the middle of your turn.
Round 1: Try to get your friends to guess what is written on the paper without saying any of the words actually written down. For example: if the word/phrase is “Courtroom” then you could say “the place where a judge resides,” but you could not say “the room where a judge resides” as ‘room’ is part of the original word.
Round 2: Try to get your friends to guess what is written on the paper without any words or sound effects. For the example of “Courtroom,” maybe you would act out a judge or a lawyer or a defendant.
Round 3: Try to get your friends to guess what is written on the paper with only one word. For the example of “Courtroom” you could say “Judge.” The tricky part with this round is the FIRST word you say is the one you have to use. So if your first word is “Oh! Um…” That’s all you get.
Round 4: Finger puppets. We think this one is self explanatory.
Get in your snuggliest pajamas, pop some popcorn, turn on your Netflix or OSN, and invite your friends over for a movie marathon. You can choose to binge every season of your favorite TV show like Outlander, Sherlock, or Stranger Things, watch only 80s movies, or marathon a complete movie series like Back to The Future, Indiana Jones, or the entire Marvel Universe.
The hardest part will actually be deciding what you want to watch, so the key is to agree with your friends beforehand what you will be binging that night. And if you don’t have Netflix or OSN, don’t worry, get the free trial just for the marathon.
An Iron Chef Dinner Party
This could be incredibly amazing or a complete disaster, and the best part will be finding out which one it is. Tell your friends to bring an apron and to come over ready to cook. The idea is you and your friends have to make a three-course meal (starter, main, and dessert) together from whatever you have in your pantry and refrigerator. No buying anything. Not even an egg. Let the magic begin.
Before you scroll past this one, hear us out. You don’t have to be a granny or even a hobby quilter to make a quilt. You just need an old blanket and some old clothes (t-shirts, jeans, dresses, whatever) that you and your friends were going to donate anyway. A sewing machine is good too, but for those of us who don’t have one on hand, a needle and thread will work just fine.
Cut out a square of a cardboard box — whatever size you want the squares of your quilt to be. You can have different sizes of squares as well.
Then use your pattern to cut up everyone’s old clothes into squares, making sure that you have enough squares to fill out the old blanket (a little wider than the old blanket, as you will lose fabric when you sew the squares together).
Lay the squares out in rows over the old blanket so you have a map of what the quilt will look like. Each person takes a row and sews the squares together. Then sew the rows together until it’s one big quilt topper. Lastly, sew the quilt topper to the old blanket. (You can also buy batting to put between the quilt topper and the blanket for extra cushion, but that is up to you.)
When it’s done together amidst laughing and talking and snacking, quilting parties can actually be a lot of fun. And the end result? You could start a ‘Sisterhood of the Traveling Quilt’, where every month a different friend gets to keep ‘the Quilt.’
You know all of those countless hours you’ve spent on Pinterest, pinning crafts, hacks, and projects that you would love to do someday? Well, ‘someday’ has finally arrived. Tell your friends to choose their Pinterest Project, bring the supplies they will need, and have a Pinterest Party in your living room. If you want to make it even more fun, exchange final products with your friends, so you all go home with something unique and made just for you.
Kill two birds with one stone with this one. Take turns with your friends hosting an organization party. The host should provide the snacks and drinks, but the guests pay for it in labor. Here’s how it works.
Choose a room, a closet, the garage, the kitchen, 0r wherever else you want to reorganize. Have your friends come over, then everyone pitches in from moving furniture, to going through old clothes or boxes and donating them, clearing things out, and rearranging the way you have always wanted to, but have been putting off.
“Many hands make light work” or so they say, so with everyone helping out on one organization goal, it’s sure to be fast and a fun time with your friends. Also, sometimes having an outside eye can help you find that solution for your decorating problem that you couldn’t solve by yourself. Just make sure that everyone gets a chance to host, and be sure to shout “PIVOT!” as loudly as possible every time anyone moves any furniture.