Tag Archives: parties

Graduation Season: Surviving the Cost of Parties and Presents

Summer is nearly here and along with that comes an onslaught of graduating seniors set to embark on big changes and exciting adventures. While it’s a time of celebrations and congratulations, graduation season can become stressful—if you let it.  Whether you have a long list of parties to attend or the pressure of planning a superb party for one of your own,  you should know that  keeping costs low usually decreases your stress levels too.

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All of these party item can be found on the tackiest shelf in the 99 Cent store...but sometimes tacky is so bad it's good.

All of these party item can be found on the tackiest shelf in the 99 Cent store…but sometimes tacky is so bad it’s good.

Embrace a DOLLAR STORE party with open arms

I feel pride (not shame) when I say I pulled together a graduation party for my fiancé last spring after he finished his Masters program by purchasing and using only dollar store items.  I spent less than $15.00 total to round up the final items that I didn’t already have at home—such as napkins/paper towels, cups, plastic ware, paper plates, serving bowls, serving trays, tablecloths, streamers, confetti, and pitchers. To me it only makes sense to spend little amounts of money on things that will end up in a dumpster the next morning. Save your money for a nicer gift!

All items in this picture can be purchased at the 99 cent store!

All items in this picture can be purchased at the 99 cent store!

A variety of colors of plastic ware are available in packs of 45 at the 99 cent store!

A variety of colors of plastic ware are available in packs of 45 at the 99 cent store!

All items in this picture can be purchased at the 99 cent store!

All items in this picture can be purchased at the 99 cent store!

Cheesey graduation cap centerpiece, cupcake display, and cupcake liners are all cheap at the 99 cent store!

Cheesey graduation cap centerpiece, cupcake display, and cupcake liners are all cheap at the 99 cent store!

In addition to planning a becoming the VIP shopper at your local discount dollar store, you can save money while planning a graduation party by using some of these tips too!

*Buy some (if not all) of your food using the money you typically spend on groceries. This might require you to eat cereal for dinner for a few days—which when you think about it, isn’t really that bad…no dishes :)

*If people offer to help you, let them help you.  This is where I have failed in the past and continue to fail frequently now, so I’m not passing any judgment on someone who tends to reject help. BUT…I’ve learned that the people who tell you they want to bring food or want to help set up before you even consider asking them usually really, truly want to do play some part in planning and/or providing for the big day. LET THEM HELP YOU. It might save you money, but more importantly it makes them happy and usually makes things more fun for you!

*BYBIB. Buy your beverages in bulk.

*Forget about all of the small details, because everyone else will too. Most people will not notice if you had nice napkins or serving trays or a cheap, plastic tablecloth from Dollar Tree (and if they do, they might need to talk to someone who can help them set their priorities straight), so don’t waste your time or money on them. FOOD and FUN should be your top priorities, if enjoyment is your goal.

*Borrow what you can. If you don’t have enough items like coolers, chairs, and tables stowed away in your storage room—ask your friends if you could borrow theirs for the day. Just remember that they are doing you a favor so you need to be the one that picks it up, and return it in a timely manner in good, clean condition.

How cute is my mom on her graduation day?

How cute is my mom on her graduation day?

3 gifts

1. Write someone a heartfelt letter – Loving letters are waaaaay underrated these days! A letter is so personal and meaningful, and it is something they can keep forever. Who wouldn’t want to have a concrete reminder that someone is proud and impressed with what they are doing with their life?!? Plus, you don’t have to worry about giving a duplicate gift!

2. Gift baskets Gift baskets are excellent ways to make practical gifts more fun, especially if you have multiple graduation parties to attend. You can find some great ones at this website: How Does She

3. Make it personal I am always going to choose warm fuzzy feelings over worth in dollars, so I am biased when it comes to thought vs. money spent. That being said, a gift that demonstrates you have taken the time to deeply consider what someone would want or buy/create a gift that represents who that individual uniquely is will be more meaningful than a price tag. Invested time is a valuable currency.

Congratulations to anyone who is moving up or moving out this graduation season!

Dream Big! –Juno

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 Brittany