Throwing a Party

Celebrating is an expensive business! 

Ladies will spend on average £206 on the perfect party outfit and £265 million worth of alcohol was drank in Britain during December! 

As a nation, we are guilty of overspending, especially over the festive period! 

But if you're throwing a party we’ve got tips to keep your costs low

Feed your party for less than £20! Cut the cost of your perfect outfit! Find FREE glass hire, FREE venue hire and FREE entertainment

Have a glamourous get together on a money-savers budget!


Need to know

  • It's easy to get carried away when you're planning a celebration. Figure out what you can afford and make yourself a budget allocating funds to food, drink, venue, outfit, invitations, entertainment and other miscellanous costs (although we're confident you can get lots of this very cheap if not for free)
  • Don't feed your guests if you don't have to- it's a HUGE expense that is easily cut by pushing your party back to after dinner
  • If you're feeding guests over the festive period, choose easy finger food. Festive classics such as mince pies, canapes, and savoury bites as simple as mini oatcakes topped with salmon can be prepared in advance and save you lots of time!
  • Use mysupermarket to quickly find food and booze bargains. This may also be the perfect time to use the first time buyer discounts for stores like Tesco and Ocado (save £20 when you spend £80) which you can find on our Supermarket Shopping Guide. Remember the novelty of £ stores too!
  • Try and get your venue for free. If your home is out of the question, have a look at local pubs or even (for the slightly more upmarket) hotels which may let you have a room for free if you use their bar. We just typed our location and ‘hire free party Venue’ into Google and got loads of options. Village halls can also be very cheap, some are as little as £5 an hour
  • We've split our tips into the three levels of partying from the very causal to the ultra-glam!

The Get Together: Budget- £0-£25

Level 1! Are you celebrating an occasion, (birthday...? Day that ends in 'Y'...?) 

  • BYO…(bring your own...) This is the money-savers go-to phrase. You could have a ‘bring a dish, bring a bottle’ party, invite your guests to bring a starter, main or dessert. This is especially good if you’re having a themed party, Oxfam do a fun FREE dine the world party kit
  • Don’t blow your budget on a band or DJ. A personalised playlist is far cheaper and you know you’ll get your favourite songs. Kids party games are also great fun at grown up parties- musical statues is a great way to get your guests to ‘bust a move’
  • Want to watch a movie? Get the free trials of Now TVAmazon Instant or Netflix to access loads of films or use the £5 free credit for Blinkbox to rent a new release for £1

Spotify Premium 30 day free trial

Why we like it:

  • free trial to Premium membership of the online music site
  • play from your mobile, tablet or smart TV
  • stream or download your choice of millions of songs
  • easily build a playlist
  • cancel Premium at any time

Watch out:

  • free service has ads

The Shindig: Budget £25-£75

Level 2! The big party to celebrate a special occasion either at home or in a slightly bigger venue...

  • Cook up a big batch of chilli or curry and serve with dipping chips/ naans, rather than spending loads on finger foods. You'll be able to feed your party for under £20!
  • If you’re looking for a hot new party outfit check out the Secret Sales sites, it is best to buy from these sites well in advance as they can be slow to deliver. Now would be the right time to buy for New Years. Also check out discount cosmetic sites like gorgeous shop and allbeauty for big discounts on your favourite products. 
  • If you've got Christmas parties coming at you from all directions and can't decide what to wear, New Look have you covered. Promotions of up to 50% off run up and around the festive period!
  • If your party is taking place in the comfort of your own home, why not spice up your furniture for your guests? Grab some funky cushions from Cancer Research's online shop and give something back at the same time! 

evite- free invitation site

Why we like it:

  • free e-invitations
  • LOADS of design choice (general templates)
  • you can send out to email addresses
  • RSVP options means you get emails

Watch out:

  • it's an American site
  • we had to 'fudge' the ZIP code as it wouldn't accept UK Postcode, so put it in the main part of the address. It didn’t affect the invite

Revolution Bar- free venue hire

Why we like it:

  • venues around the country
  • each venue has different sized rooms on offer to suit any party size
  • venues are well presented
  • food available to buy

Watch out:

  • you will have to pay a deposit or pre-book and pay for some food or drinks before the night
  • you are committing to you and your guests buying Revolution drinks all night
  • food is pricey- from £8.50 a head

The Soiree: Budget- £75+

Level 3! Are you celebrating a VERY special occasion and want to go upmarket but still on a moneysavers budget? All the advice above stands but here are posh top tips...

  • Want to do posh looking finger foods? It's all in the presentation, visit the supermaket freezer sections to find deals on party foods, Iceland and ASDA are very budget friendly
  • If you need glasses check out Waitrose's free glass hire. The service is absolutely free and you can hire everything from flutes to fish kettles! Treat them kindly though as you will be charged for breakages
  • Haggle! If you are having a party in a hotel they are likely to give you a discount on the rooms
  • CHAMPAGNE There is always a great Champagne deal to be had, Aldi and Lidl are consistently cheap with Champagne for £12 and £13. Waitrose also regularly cut costs on flagship fizz! 
  • Summer Wines Tesco have consistent "by the case" wine deals, some even as much as 40% off. What's more - you can earn Clubcard points with every purchase!

Girl Meets Dress- rent a designer dress

Why we like it:

  • hire a designer dress for a fraction of it's value
  • the biggest site of this kind with the most choice
  • hire an Alexander McQueen worth £585 for £49
  • join mailing list and get a £10 discount card
  • if it doesn't fit you don't pay
  • have three dresses sent to you to try and only pay for the one you use
  • no need to dry clean
  • get 15% off with code BOUNTY15

Watch out:

  • standard delivery (including returns) £9.95
  • same day delivery within London £20
  • insure dress for small tears and spillages £7
  • serious damage chargeable

Majestic Wine

Why we like it:

  • wine warehouse
  • can arrange sale or return with store to get unopened bottles refunded
  • free glass hire for a £1 per glass deposit
  • good priced crates of beer
  • save on RRP when you buy multiple bottles
  • free click & collect

Watch out:

  • for smaller parties deals at supermarkets may prove cheaper
  • minimum buy 6 bottles
  • spend £40 for free delivery

The inside track

  • Are you a frequent party thrower? Invest in plastic tableware and paper plates for an ultra cheap and disposable set up
  • If you've got friends who wear a similar size, organise a clothes swap, you always feeling a bit more glam wearing something that is 'new to you'
  • You can get free make-overs at cosmetic counters in department stores like Debenhams. The Body Shop also offer free makeovers and freebies when you visit your local store.  MAC do ask that you buy a product and it is considered slightly rude to have a make-over with no intention of buying anything- but if you happen to need a new lipstick or similar why not wait until just before your party…
  • DON'T feel pressured to give party favours, but if you're looking for cheap ideas consider homemade cupcakes or (for the nostalgia factor) party bags filled with retro penny sweets
  • TOP TIP for Londoners, if you think you might get a taxi home at the end of the night get the FREE Kabbee app which will quickly find you the cheapest available registered mini cab

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