Want to throw an awesome holiday party, but don’t have the funds? Don’t worry, these quick tips will help you get on your way to throwing the best bash ever all under $50.


Get Creative With Crepe Paper


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Most party stores offer high quality and cheaply priced streamers. Buy streamers that match your holiday color scheme and decorate your home or apartment on a budget. Streamers can be used as curtains, canopies, tablecloths, and so much more.

Combined streamers and balloons for a more festive look.

For even more ways to decorate with streamers check out this blog post.

Streamers: $2
Balloons: $1 (optional)

Take Advantage of Freebies


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Many websites offer free images that can be used as decorations for birthdays and most major holidays. Print out cute garlands, cupcake wrappers, and even name tags for free.

For a free Christmas printables click here.

Throw it back to your childhood by making snowflakes and taping or stringing them up in garland fashion. For a modern twist try placing cut out snowflakes in geometric patterns. Most people have construction paper or printer paper laying around their house, so no need to purchase materials for this decoration.


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For intricate and refreshing snowflake designs check out this origami website.

Garland: $0

Snowflakes: $0


Charge “Admission”


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Have your guests bring their favorite holiday movie as their “admission ticket”. This way there will be a variety of movies to choose from. Whether you end up watching Elf or The Polar Express, this entertainment is free. All you have to do is believe and this party will be under $30 faster than you can say Kris Kringle.

Alternatively, you could ask guests to bring games, like Cards Against Humanity, for more free fun.

Movies and Games: $0

Fresh Beats for Free

Music is an important element in creating the party atmosphere. Whether you want to play trap, country, or traditional Christmas music, create your playlist for free. Spotify is a great alternative to a DJ or purchasing music on Itunes. So lay down some cool tracks to set the perfect mood for your holiday hoe-down.

Too busy to make your own playlist? Check out Spotify’s pre-made holiday playlist:

DIY Photo Booth


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Using the streamers you already purchased and free photo booth printables, construct your own photo booth. The streamers will serve as a background and the printables will be the silly accessories. Encourage guests to wear ugly sweaters to top off their photo booth swag.

Get an assortment of photo booth printables here.

Photo Booth: $0

Salt Dough Ornaments


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This easy craft can either be incorporated into the party as an activity or hosts can make them as party favors. Relatively easy to make, the number of salt dough recipes on the internet is enormous. Pro tips for the perfect ornament suggest baking temperatures around 300ºF and placing a bowl of water in the oven to prevent cracking. Additionally, food coloring can be used to dye the ornaments.

Check out this mom’s blog post for a recipe and more helpful hints.

Don’t have cookie cutters? You can make simple shapes with many household objects like cups and plates. But if you want more festive shapes, check out your local dollar store for a bargain on cookie cutters.

Cookie Cutters: $1
Salt: $0.86
Flour: $1.37 (non-rising)
Food Coloring: $3.48

Food and Drink

Who could forget the most important part of any party. Instead of paying for food delivery or catering, make your own meal. This may sound like a daunting task, but choosing the right food is essential.

Pasta Party


Photo by Abigail Wang

Pasta is one of the easiest and cheapest foods to make in bulk. You can make 24 servings of Ppasta for only $3.89. Make your own pasta using less than ten ingredients, or purchase some pre-made sauces for $8. Similar to a restaurant taco bar or salad bar, make a pasta bar for your guests. Serve plain pasta of all shapes and sizes in a couple large bowls. Have sauce and toppings on the side so guests can make their own pasta creations.

Another problem hosts face is the limited amount of plates and utensils in their homes. Once again, make sure to stop by your local dollar store to get a great deal on plates, cups, and utensils. You can grab 70 plates and plastic cups for only $6 dollars. This way you don’t have to worry about the mess of cleaning up and there will be enough plates for all your guests.

Pasta: $3.89

Sauces: $8

Plates and Cups: $6



Photo by Yau Chan Ho

Spice your party up with some sides and snackage. After dinner guests can munch on wings, chips, salsa, or whatever else you feel like having. A pound of pre-made wings can be purchased from Whole Foods for $6.85, while chips and guacamole can be purchased for about $7.50. If you’re feeling culinarily gifted, choose from over 29 party dip recipes.

Snacks: $14.35



Photo by Kelly McAdam

Don’t know what to do with all those extra candy canes? Use extra holiday candy to prepare awesome treats for sweet toothed guests. A personal favorite, candy cane dipped Oreos are always a hit. They are a great dessert to use as party favors and they only take 5 minutes to make! Get the recipe.

Family Size Oreos: $3.50

Candy Canes: $3.98



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Many people are afraid to make their parties BYOB in fear of angering guests. But the reality is that alcohol is the most expensive part of any party. Cutting out the booze saves hosts around $20 minimum while planning their party budget. Anyway, this may save you some stress later in the evening in case your party gets too out of hand. This is a sure fire way to have your party stay as neat as your whiskey.

For anyone keeping count, the total for this awesome party comes out to $48.43. So party on Wayne, you just learned how to throw a get together for under $50.