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You Ask, We Answer: How Do I Throw a Backyard Party on a Budget?
Use Your Surroundings as Decor
Planters on your deck or patio with flowers, plants or herbs serve as instant ambience for guests and make any outdoor space feel immediately festive. Be sure to cut back any dying leaves or to deadhead flowers that are past their prime, and feel free to rearrange the planters to give the appearance of a fresh set-up. If you have an herb garden, snip some rosemary, lavender or thyme and use these sprigs to tie napkins with a festive flair.
Still feel like something is missing? Candles are always a good idea for creating a celebratory and cozy vibe. Grab some mason jars (or glass containers of varying heights, colors and textures) and scatter them down your table, lighting tea lights inside for a warm glow that doesn’t risk getting too hot or the flame too high. Add sand to the bottom of the containers for a beach vibe that has the added bonus of helping to anchor them to the table. Even better: Mix things up on your tabletop with fresh cut flowers from your yard—and don’t forget that some plants and herbs even help to deter mosquitos!
Have Your Guests Share Their Favorite Drinks
Simplify Food Options
Consider making fruit and veggie platters yourself for more affordable snacks; while those store-bought platters are convenient, they’re also much more expensive than cutting your own produce at home. You can make your own dips, as well, and put out a few bowls of chips to satisfy different taste buds. An inexpensive option that’s always delicious? Popping your own popcorn on the stove delivers an impressive yield for very little money—and you can experiment with different flavor profiles (sweet or savory!) for a fun treat.
Lastly, streamlining your main course keeps things easy and more affordable. Whether you go the meat or plant-based route on the grill or mix it up to keep everyone happy, making one or two side dishes with the fresh ingredients of the season adds color, beauty and the right amount of deliciousness to any plate.
Bring the Indoors Out
Grab wooden kitchen chairs, side tables—even a dining table if it’s not too much trouble—and watch your outdoor space come together to create a cozy, welcoming aesthetic for your guests. Add a few blankets, throw pillows or even an area rug, if you’re feeling extra festive…and get ready to celebrate the wonder of being together safely this summer!