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Labor Day party on a budget

As summertime nears an end, many people think about having one last "hurrah" before heading into the fall months. For some that means giving a Labor Day party. Thinking of Hosting a Labor Day Party? The following ideas will provide a starting place to hosting a terrific party, without spending a fortune.

Set a budget. Determining how much money you have to spend for the Labor Day party is probably the first thing to do. Think about what you'll need:

  • Location
  • Invitations
  • Food and beverages
  • Paper goods and utensils
  • Decorations

Once you have an idea of what items you'll need to spend money on, you'll be better able to prepare a budget. For each of the above areas you can save money with a little bit of forethought and planning.

Let's start with location. The cheapest way to host any party is to have it at home. By having your party at your residence, you have more control over who attends and how you decorate. You also don't incur the extra expense of renting a facility.

Decide how many people to invite. Not only will this number determine how much money you'll need to spend on food and beverages, it will also help you know how many invitations to send.

Speaking of invitations, with technology today it's easy to send personal invitations to everyone you'd like to attend by using email or text messaging. Of course, you can also use a computer to make your invitations and mail them if you choose, but that would mean printing them out (paper and ink) as well as postage. Don't forget to ask people to let you know if they plan to attend.

Food and beverages will most likely be the most expensive part of hosting a Labor Day party. Plan a menu and determine how much of each food item you'll need. If you find the food budget getting out of hand, don't be afraid to ask your guests to help. There's absolutely nothing wrong with having a pot luck party. Let everyone chip in; be sure to make a list of who is bringing which items so you don't have all potato salad and no desserts. This same idea can work with beverages, as well.

Paper goods and utensils may be an expense you're not looking forward to. However, using disposables mean you won't have to spend time worrying about your good dishes or having to wash all those dishes later. You can also coordinate your table settings and decorations.

And since you're thinking about decorations, consider what items you can make at home. Enlist the help of your children to make patriotic decorations. Red, white and blue star garlands and Chinese-style paper lanterns in patriotic colors are easy to make and your children will probably jump at the chance to help.

Thinking about how to host a Labor Day party on a budget is good practice for other party occasions. Once you have the basics down, you can plan any party in the future. Consider these ideas and then have a great Labor Day party with family and friends.

Great ways to decorate your garden

Are you thinking of hosting a Labor Day party? There are no set rules for how to decorate for Labor Day so use your imagination. Here are some great ways to decorate your garden once you decide upon a theme.

Many people who host parties during the year have leftover party decorations. If you have some taking up space in your cabinets or closets, why not take this opportunity to use them up? Look to see what you already have on hand and then use home-made items to complete the garden decorations.

Start with lighting. If you're out in your garden or on the patio, you'll need to have some type of lighting. This can be as simple as using leftover Christmas strands or a lighted garland in patriotic colors. You can also use votive, citronella or other candles placed in conversation areas. If you're looking for a more rustic theme, try using hurricane lamps.

Carry your theme through to your food table. Colored table cloths are inexpensive; most can be found at dollar stores. Colored sheets would also work, but they may become stained if food or drink is spilled.

If you're using a patriotic theme, it's easy enough to find colored buckets which can be partially filled with sand. Use red, white and blue streamers taped to a straw which is then placed in the sand. You can also use potted plants in patriotic colors. These can be added to a table centerpiece or used to hold the table cloth down.

Maybe your garden doesn't match with any particular theme. However, if you're keeping with a patriotic theme, you could also place potted flowering plants in red, white and blue colored buckets around the garden's seating area. This will help with decorating according to the theme, as well as fill in flowers around an area which may not have as many plants.

A luau theme is another popular party theme for summertime parties, even if they are for Labor Day. Find Tiki torches to light the party and add to the ambiance. Create a beach out of a sandbox and provide paper or plastic leis for the guests. You could also ask everyone to dress according to theme by wearing "Hawaiian style" shirts and shorts or plastic hula skirts.

If you have room and the time to do so, try to make a fake palm tree or two. This will help decorate your patio or garden. It will also keep with the theme and can be used as a location to set a couple of stuffed parrots. Think of things which are typically associated with the Hawaiian Islands and then try to create something similar for your party.

Don't forget the music! No matter what theme you choose when thinking of hosting a Labor Day party, music will help set the stage. Bring out a portable CD player with music associated with the theme. You may even want to clear an area for guests to dance, if they feel so inclined.

When you're thinking of hosting a Labor Day party, you want to decorate your garden or patio rather than leave it as it is. The decorations don't have to be expensive - in fact you may want to use up leftover decorations from other parties. Using up decorations you have on hand will help keep the costs of the party down, as well as clear your storage area for new decorations for next year's parties.