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5 Tips for Graduation Parties on a Budget

  1. You don’t need engraved or photo invitations–it’s fine to put something together on your own computer and have the student hand it out to friends, or even just email it. Either way you save on postage.

  3. Choose the menu carefully–you don’t have to serve an entire meal. Most people can’t eat at each party anyway. 

  5. Choose a theme. An example: try having a cookie bar and just serve bar cookies. You can make ahead and freeze, cutting them in various sizes. Or, just serve brownies. If you use store brand vanilla ice cream with it, that can be enough.

  7. If you work with another family, clearly define everyone’s financial and labor responsibilities before you begin. Example: will you use paper products? If so, are you using the less expensive all white products, or the more durable printed paper products? Who is responsible for clean-up? Will you limit the number of guests invited?

  9. Choose beverages carefully–you can serve alot of ice tea or lemonade for the cost of cans of pop. Adult beverages are expensive AND you run into the problem of monitoring who is consuming them.

For tips on the quantity of food to purchase and how to keep foods hot/cold over the hours of your reception, call Families Extension Answer Line (800-262-3804). Hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or email questions to answer@iastate.edu.

                      -contributed by Jan Temple

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