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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Dec 2004
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    Tampa, FL
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    171

    how to throw a (cheap) party

    I used to live in the dorms so I didn't really get to throw any parties but now I'm throwing a halloween party and I'm poor. There will only be like 10-12 people there and I'm completely clueless what to do and how to make it as cheap as possible. I'm supplying the drinks (which could be very costly for this bunch.) And told one of my friends that I invited that I was thinking about making it mexican themed, think Dia de los Muertos. Maybe I should switch it to a potluck? AHH! HELP!

    OK, so it's not very urgent, I have about a month to plan this. Thanks in advance!

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  3. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
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    375
    Oriental Trading Company has really good, inexpensive decorations. You still have plenty of time to order from them, and I've heard that their shipping is really good.
    I think thier site is just orientaltradingcompany.com.

    Get thee to the dollar store, and buy some crepe paper, and balloons. But be careful, because somethings, like napkins and plates are more expensive because it's a small pack.

    If you have a Smart and Final near you, they have all kinds of bulk resteraunt supply stuff, and are a good place to go for cups, mixers, and appatizers.
    Unless you make your own.

    If you want a cheap and easy one, deep fried or baked breaded tortellinis are really good. Same with raviolis.

    If you have a trader joes nearby, they have an awesome alcohol selection for nicer alcohols. Grab a few bottles of "2 buck chuck". It's good red wine, for an insanely cheap price, if they still have it. You could probably make a punchbowl of sangria.

    Basically, if you start looking for sales, and stuff, you will totally be able to get your decorations on the cheap. Put in some good music, maybe get a few dvds that are good for parties. If you know anyone with a strobe light, you could maybe borrow, they're pretty good for that party mood. Around this time of year, they usually have them for super cheap on the halloween aisle.

  4. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    San Francisco
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    697
    I've for sure posted it before, but super-cheap and yummy sangria type punch:

    2 liters Safeway lemon/lime, or similar

    1 jug Carlo Rossi red sangria wine (or any other cheapish red)

    frozen berries and fruit, whatever you like-- raspberries and peaches are good

    fresh oranges (if not too spendy), bags of juice oranges are great

    Cut up your oranges into nice sized slices, throw in punch bowl (or in pitcher). Fill the bowl, or pitcher, with 1/2 sangria and, when just about ready to start drinking, fill the other 1/2 with lemon/lime soda and drop in frozen fruit (still frozen to chill down the drink). It is INSANELY good, makes for a happy party and doesn't leave a terrible hangover the next day (even though it sounds like it would). Don't let people see you making it and they will be shocked if you tell them how low-budget it is!

    Oh, and cheap but yummy margaritas (you need a decent blender for this, tho).

    Can of frozen limeade concentrate-- generic is fine, and usually cheap.

    Ice

    Tequila

    Limes for garnish

    Salt if you like it

    Put frozen concentrate in blender, pour in one can of water and then 1/4 can of tequila (or less if you don't like it strong) and fill almost to the top with ice. Blend until nice and slushy. Slice up lime, run around rim of glasses, put salt in a saucer or plate and rub rim of glass into salt to coat, pour margarita in! This recipe makes about 4-6 smallish margaritas, so get a few cans to make a few pitchers (usually at a big grocery the generic limeade is on special for cheap)

    Have such a fun party! Let us know how it goes...

  5. #4
    Senior Member
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    Apr 2004
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    Northern California
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    2,021
    2 buck chuck (which is actually called "Charles Shaw" if you're not familiar and can't find it) is pretty decent, or you could just have everyone bring their odds and ends of liquor and dump it in a bowl with some juice, if it's that kind of party. or make the theme "white trash" and make everyone drink Natty Ice and box wine, or Kool-Ade for the designated drivers. you could make bologna sandwiches with yellow mustard! and serve Jello! i guess that's not too festive, though.

    for a Mexican theme, you could make 7-layer dip (i realize it's not authentic, but hell, it's good) and serve it with chips, make or buy taquitos, guacamole, etc. chilaquiles is really easy to make, and is easy to make vegetarian. i don't know where you live, so there may or may not be a large enough Mexican population to find Dia de los Muertos stuff in stores, but you could recruit some friends to make crepe paper flowers to decorate with.

  6. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    brooklyn
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    600
    Whenever my old man and I throw a party, we NEVER supply the booze. Our friends drink like sailors, and it would cost us several arms and legs. Instead, we tell people that we'll have tonic, gingerale, cola, collins, and OJ and ask each person/couple to bring their booze accordingly. That way, we dont have to worry about the guy that ONLY DRINKS BOURBON... or the girl that HATES BEER (me). We turn our kitchen into a bar, lining up all the mixers and garnishes and let people have at it.

    For snacks, we tend to be minimal... olives from a fancy olive bar, smoked salmon, cheese, bruscheta (sp?) and whathaveyou. the night tends to end with coffee, sambuca, and a few bottles of red. we'll put out some nice, dark/bitter chocolate and folks start to wind down and talk.

    i like parties that start later because I dont feel the need to feed people and accommodate special diets. If people go to a 9oclock party, they arent expecting tons of food. but what i do get i pick up from either whole foods or a international/specialty markets.

    have fun!

  7. #6
    Senior Member
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    Apr 2004
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    Wisconsin
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    We are hosting a "Jimmy Buffet" themed party next weekend, and my good friend who is co-hosting with us, had a great idea. She told everyone that she invited to bring their own meat to put on the grill, a dish to pass, and anything "special" they wanted to drink. We'll provide some beer, whatever liquor we have around, some margaritas and appetizers. That way, people can really eat a main course they like, and drink what they want.

    Normally I am the party planner who wants to do everything herself, but this really is working out well!

  8. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Canada
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    719
    Quote Originally Posted by elixirbeth
    Whenever my old man and I throw a party, we NEVER supply the booze. Our friends drink like sailors, and it would cost us several arms and legs. Instead, we tell people that we'll have tonic, gingerale, cola, collins, and OJ and ask each person/couple to bring their booze accordingly. That way, we dont have to worry about the guy that ONLY DRINKS BOURBON... or the girl that HATES BEER (me). We turn our kitchen into a bar, lining up all the mixers and garnishes and let people have at it.
    We do essentially the same thing - we always make house-parties BYOB, but we usually do buy mix and a dozen beer and a bottle of wine, for those among us who forget, or for our friends who simply can't afford alcohol. We usually end-up with a net increase in booze with the bottles left by our friends, which is kind of a thank-you for hosting the party! If you do this, the $ won't be so painful, and you'll be able to relax and enjoy yourself more.

    I can't resist posting some creepy halloween snacks, in case you are interested:

    Spider Cookies are cheap, easy, and delicious. I omit the peanuts.

    Witches' Fingers. Ew ...

    Monster Eyes can actually be a tasty appetizer. I've done something similar with figs, stuffed with ricotti that has been blended with a bit of maple syrup. Sooo easy, and like, to die for.

    For those who are really, really crafty: The bleeding Heart Cake. Ok, this is gross, but wouldn't you totally want to do this at a party?!?!?!

    del

  9. #8
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    Jul 2004
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    brooklyn
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    okay, so the BLEEDING HEART CAKE sounds a LITTLE scary to me. and hard to make. but, i had seen SOMEWHERE a recipe for a cake that when you stab it, red goo come out. kind of like the poke cakes from the 60s, but a little creepier.

    ill look for a recipe.

  10. #9
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    May 2004
    Location
    Portland OR
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    315
    The sangria sounds good!!

    Elixirbeth -- more info on poke cakes!

  11. #10
    Senior Member
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    Jul 2004
    Location
    brooklyn
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    600
    i think a favorite was lemon poke cakes. heres what you do:

    bake a 9 x 13 sheet cake, best if lemon, yellow, or white. allow it to cool. when cool, poke the cake with a skewer or tooth pick every inch. if youd prefer more lemony goodness, poke the cake with the back of a wooden spoon every 1 1/2 inches. dissolve a 4 oz package of lemon jello with 1 cup of boiling water. add 1/2 cup of cold water. pour jello mixture into holes on cake. allow to cool.

    top each piece with a dollop of fresh whipped cream, or frost entire cake with cool whip.

    IVE NEVER MADE IT... it was my grandmas favorite recipe though. talk about a flash back.

    -- eli


 
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