Do you like parties, but hate spending a ton of money and time setting them up? Is there someone you care about that you want to celebrate, but the party they want is just too expensive? Do you just like enjoying yourself? Well, perhaps this will help alleviate some of those troubles. Here are a few life hacks to help you save time and money when throwing a party.
Cook Hot Dogs In A Slow Cooker
Assuming you already have a slow cooker, this one will only cost you around three to six dollars. If you and your party guests like hot dogs, this is also much faster than just grilling them. And you can add some seasoning to make sure the dogs get an extra kick. You can use a tall, round or oval-shaped slow cooker, as long as all your dogs fit. Just have them cooked on high for two-and-a-half to three hours. And make sure they’re hot in the center before you pull them out.
Use The Washing Machine To Cool Drinks
What It Is: Extra storage space for drinks
Estimated Cost: Free/$2 for ice
Depending on how much ice you need, this hack could be either completely free or just a few bucks from a bag of ice. If you’re throwing a house party, you probably already have a washing machine. Filling that with ice and putting all the cold drinks in there is much more cost effective. And water’s already supposed to be in there, so as long as you make sure you grab all the leftover drinks from the washing machine when the party’s over you won’t even have to clean it up. Just wait for it all to melt. But just in case, make sure you do any loads of laundry before you fill your washing machine with ice.
Use Frozen Grapes To Cool Wine
Ice is good for a beer and soda, but you might not want to put it in your wine. The water after the ice melts will dilute the taste. Instead, freeze a bag of grapes and use those as “ice cubes” instead. Grapes are already used to make wine, so them melting won’t dilute the flavor at all. Plus you get to eat the grapes afterwards.
Make Boozy Hot Chocolate
For a nice, more adult, holiday party, you should try out this drink. It’s tasty and easy to make. The ingredients are two ounces of semisweet chocolate, six ounces of milk, one-and-a-half ounce of your choice of liquor, and mini-marshmallows. Alternatively, you can just buy some Swiss Miss and whiskey. Just mix it together and you’ll have a wonderfully boozy and sweet drink. It’ll all only cost you between $15 to $20.
Seal Chips With Baby Wipe Container Lid
If you have a baby, you might already have this kind of container on hand. The price for baby wipes is only around three dollars if you don’t though. Instead of opening the top of a bag of chips and pouring it into a bowl, this will have the same function without the risk of wasting any food. Cut off the lid to the baby wipe container and cut open the front of the chip bag. Then just stick the lid on top. You’ll have easy access to chips and they’ll stay fresh for as long as you have them.
What It Is: A handy little DIY speaker
Estimated Cost: $3
This one’s a bit more of an arts and crafts project. It certainly costs about as much, but has a lot more utility. All you need is a few toilet paper rolls, some tape, and solo cups. Tape the rolls together and put them through a holes you cut out on each of the solo cups, one on each side. Then cut a hole in the rolls on the top to put the bottom of your phone through. There are a couple other methods to do this with as well (including using a paper towel roll). It’s just a matter of finding one that uses materials you have on hand.
Boil Water Before Freezing It
If you don’t like putting cloudy ice cubes in your drinks, then this is the hack for you. Cloudy ice normally denotes that the frozen water isn’t pure. If you normally use filtered water, you might not see this that often. But if you don’t have a filter in your house, then you can try boiling your water before freezing it. It’ll take longer, but it’ll purify the water, giving you nice, clear ice cubes.
Make A Watermelon Juice Dispenser
It may not be the cheapest hack on this list, but it shouldn’t cost you too much money, just some cash for a watermelon and a dispenser tap. Just cut open the top of the watermelon, take out all the food inside, and put the dispenser on the side. Then just fill up the watermelon with fruit juice. You won’t be able to use this container long term, but it’s a fun thing you can do to impress your guests. And you can still refill it after it empties during the party.
Cool Warm Wine With A Wet Dish Towel
When you drink wine you normally don’t want it to be warm. You can throw it in the fridge, but wine isn’t normally consumed cold either. You’ll have to wait for it reach that perfect temperature afterwards. To speed up the cooling process, try wrapping it in a wet dish towel. The win will cool at a much quicker rate and save you more time overall.
Do-It-Yourself Bottle Sprinkler
For a party during the summer, especially with kids, having a sprinkler for them to play in could be nice. However, a sprinkler may be a bit costly. Fortunately, you probably have everything you’ll need to make one yourself, as long as you drink soda. Take an old soda bottle and attach it to a hose with some tape. Then just punch some holes in the bottle and turn on the hose. Voila! You have your own sprinkler.
Use Frozen Water Balloons To Cool Drinks
If you’re a bit low on fridge space for cooling your drinks, you can try this for only a couple of bucks. Fill up some water balloons then freeze those before your party. All you’ll have to do when they’re ready is put them in a cooler or some other receptacle. And you’ve got yourself enough ice to keep any number of drinks cold.
Put Cloves In Lemons To Keep The Bugs Away
Throwing a party outside means you’ve got plenty of space, but you’ll also get harassed by bugs. You can try buying bug repellents or citronella candles, but this method is a lot more cost effective. Instead, cut some lemons in half, put cloves in them, and put them around your garden. It’ll be a pleasant aroma to you and your guests, but bugs can’t stand it and will steer clear of your party.
Use Muffin Trays For Snacks
This one’s best if you already have a muffin tray. But if you don’t, it’ll only cost you a few dollars if you want to try this one out anyway. They’re pretty good for holding snacks, whether you walk around carrying the tray or leave it on a table. Each hole can be used to carry a different snack, or even a different dip. Not to mention, muffin trays are very easy to clean.
Put Mayo In Your Cake Mix
This one sounds a little gross. It might even just sound like a bad idea. But putting a little bit of mayo into your cake mix might actually make it better. Chefs and other experienced cooks have actually been doing this for a while. It adds an extra creamy, moist texture that a lot of box mixes seem to lack. Just remember, only put in a dollop. Adding any more might actually cause problems with the flavor.
Use Washi Tape To Label Glasses
Have you ever been at a party where people misplace or lose their glasses? Maybe someone drinks from the wrong one on accident? Well, that’s what the Washi tape is for. Use it to mark and label glasses or cups as people start to drink from them. And if people keep reusing the same ones throughout the night, then you won’t have to worry about getting out any new ones as well and save yourself some money in the long run. And the Washi tape’s pretty cheap too.
Scoop Ice Cream Into Muffin Trays
When attempting to serve ice cream at a party, it can be just the least bit time consuming and annoying to scoop it out of the container. However, you can take care of this problem well in advance. Scoop ice cream into the slots in a muffin tray and put that back in the freezer. When it’s time to serve, you’ve got one scoop of ice cream ready for each of your guests.
Put Cling Film On Plates
Getting cling film is only a couple of dollars and using it this way will really help you save time when cleaning up. Put some of the cling film on each the plates you plan to serve before food gets put on them. Instead of cleaning the plates you can just throw out the cling film afterwards. It’s a real time saver in the long run.
Pre-Make Your Ice
With the drinks flying, and a fair amount of it being used to keep them cool, it’s best to make sure you’ve got your ice pre-prepared. Getting additional ice tray will cost you between ten to fifteen dollars. Assume each person will use around ten ice cubes each, and give yourself at least three or four hours before you begin freezing the ice.
Put An Air Freshener In Your Bathroom
The larger the party, the more likely people are gonna be in and out of your bathroom. Well, with all those guests, you’d want to make sure it smells daisy fresh, for both your guests and yourself after the party’s over. The easy fix it to get nan air freshener for your bathroom. It’ll eradicate any bad odors while replacing them with nice smells. There’s a wide variety of air fresheners you can get, but you can certainly get a good one that also doesn’t break the bank.
Serve Bags Of Chips Instead Of A Bowl
In this day and age, wanting to avoid the spread of germs is a high priority for a lot of people. And eating food out of a communal bowl isn’t the best way to avoid that. If you still want to put out snacks, instead of getting a large, party-sized bag of trips, try getting a variety pack of individual chip bags. It’ll cost you between $13 and $18, but will definitely help stop the spread of bacteria to your party guests.
Put An Egg Carton On The Grill
When trying to start your grill, this is an easy way to see when it’s ready and to speed up the process. In addition to the egg carton, you’ll also need some charcoal briquettes. The briquettes cost $20 for a two-pack, twenty-pound bag of charcoal. Then put a dozen briquettes in each of the slots of the egg carton. Light up the carton and by the time it’s completely burnt away, the briquettes will be lit. Given how flammable cardboard is, you won’t even be needing to wait that long.
Tie Bottle Openers To Drinks Coolers
Bottle openers are small, and sort of easy to walk away with. That makes them easy to lose. When hosting a party that uses bottles that need a bottle opener, try tying the bottle opener to the drink holder. It’ll be easy to access and hard to lose. Some coolers and drink holders also come with built-in bottle openers as well, if you feel like splurging a little bit in that regard.
Serve Salads In Jars If Eating Outside
If you don’t have an effective bug repellant, putting your salad in a jar is a pretty good way to keep bugs out of it. Not to mention, it’ll prevent any other animals from being brought in by the food. It’ll also still keep the food communal and fresh. Alternatively, you can even give each guest at your party their own jar of salad as a part of their main meal. This might set you back $20 to $30, but it will save you a lot of energy and time down the road.
Cook Corn In A Cooler
You don’t want to do this one more than once or twice, as your cooler isn’t designed to be exposed to boiling water multiple times. The plastic will melt and degrade over time. However, if you’re in a pinch, this isn’t a bad option. Line the bottom of your cooler with fully-shucked ears of corn. Then pour boiling water over the corn, completely submerging the corn. Then close the lid and just let it sit for half an hour.
Make A Do-It-Yourself Photo Booth
People love documenting their time at parties. Even people that don’t like taking pictures will often take pictures with their friends. And the silliest way to do this is with a photo booth. Best part is that you can save money and make one yourself. After you pick your location, make a background, as simple or elegant as you’d like. Then, in addition, get some props, appropriate for your party, and add some lights. You won’t be able to make the photos automatic, but finding someone to take the pictures for your guests shouldn’t be too difficult.