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The first thing you need to consider when throwing a high school graduation party on a budget is the size of the party. The number of guests that you intend to invite will effect where you can host it, the amount of food you will need to provide, party supplies, etc. If you are trying to keep the costs at a minimum, think about only asking close family and friends. If your graduate wants to have a party with a lot of friends, think about having the party for friends only and then a potluck family dinner at a later time for the relatives.
Once you figure out the number of guests, the next thing you will need to do is decide on a time and place. The cheapest option would be your home since it would be free. If you feel as though your home is not big enough to host a high school graduation party, ask a relative or friend if they would be willing to let you use their home. If you want to host it in a different setting, consider asking your home church. Churches will usually let their members use their facilities for free or at a discounted price. You might also want to look at your local city parks. Many park shelters are first come first serve for free, but many let you rent out their shelters for a fee. This fee varies from place to place, but many are under $150. Contact your local city or county government for more information on shelter rentals and to see if they are available for the time and date you need.
Once you have your time, date, and guest list, you will need to send out graduation invitations. This could be your biggest money saver when throwing a graduation party on a budget. If most of the guests are technologically inclined, you can use a website like evite.com, or create an
event on Facebook. The best things about using these websites is that they are free, they will keep track of RSVPs, and they are easy to create. For the less technologically minded guests, you could send traditional invitations. Go to a place like Target or Wal-Mart. You don't have to spend a lot of money on invitations that will eventually wind up in the trash.
Another way to save when throwing a graduation party on budget is to be smart when buying party supplies. Take pictures of your graduate from birth to graduation and place them all around the party site. People will have much more fun looking at the photographs than anything else. Don't spend a lot of money on special graduation cups, napkins, and plates. Instead, buy plain supplies in the graduate's school colors. The same goes for any balloons or streamers.
You can easily throw your graduation party on a budget and sill have plenty to eat. Try to have your party at an hour where guests won't be expecting a lunch or dinner. Have little snack foods that you can buy in bulk from a place like Sam's or Costco. Instead of a big expensive cake, think about having cupcakes frosted in the school's colors. If you plan to have carbonated beverages, buy the generic, or, better yet, don't serve sodas at all. Try homemade tea or punch which can be cheaper.
The most importing thing to remember in throwing this graduation party on a budget is that it is not about how much everything costs, it is about this child who is quickly becoming an adult. The party is about people being able to come and celebrate this achievement and welcome them into adulthood. The most memorable thing about the party will not be the cake, but the conversations and the love that it felt from everyone for this graduate. The most important step is to enjoy the moment, for it will never come again.