So I admit it, I have often wasted countless amounts of dollars buying items I didn’t need to throw a party. When I party planned this way, I was often dissuaded from even hosting because I was under the impression that I had to go out and spend hundreds of dollars in order to the throw the “perfect” party. In my thirst for perfection I thought I had to start from scratch not even realizing that I’d acquired things over time that we all do by simply living our day-to-day lives that could be used and reused for future events.
My light bulb moment came in the form of a filled to the brim water cooler. I should start by saying during this particular occasion when my guests asked me what they should bring to the party my canned answer was “bring what you like to drink” well bring they did. Actually they kept on bringing (which by the way I’m not complaining about) finally they brought so much I had nowhere to store all that wonderful alcohol AND keep it cool. That’s when some genius (who I am forever thankful to) filled my washing machine with ice and put all the overflow of unopened alcohol there. You may be thinking that’s crazy, won’t it ruin the washing machine? To that I say, it hasn’t yet and I’ve done the washing machine as water cooler trick at least 10 or more different times. But it hit me like a ton of bricks! There are items around my house that I already have on hand that can be used to throw amazingly affordable parties! The search or shall I say “research” was on! There had to be more that I had on hand that I could use and reuse, thus saving me countless amount of dollars. I wanted the list to be practical for my Weekender’s, because truthfully, I found a TON of items I know I’m not reusing even if it could save me a buck or two(sorry I don’t care if a plastic table-cloth can be re-used to make curtains).
So here is my list, a simple list, a useful list, a list that is easy to follow, easy to implement and so fool-proof you will be thanking me in your prayers at night years and years from now. OK maybe not that extreme, but it is a damn good list…
When I think of cheap vodka I think headache, hangover, not good for vodka shots! My vodka prejudiced brain was not giving cheap vodka it’s just due! Cheap vodka is not just some poor mans tool to get drunk! Cheap vodka is not your cheap friends attempt at bringing something, anything, to the party so as not to come empty-handed! Cheap vodka can actually be used to preserve flower arrangement’s! Simply add a few drops into a vase and it lengthens the life of the blooms. Don’t believe me? Well Scientific America also backs up this claim, so there! It can also be used to polish and shine those water spot stained wine glasses the dishwasher can’t seem to fix.
Who doesn’t have butter on hand? Like all the time on hand. Yes butter is fattening and Paula Dean uses it way too much in every dish that we didn’t even know CALLED for butter (which in and of itself should make you throw all the sticks of butter in your house away). But butter actually has really healthy and useful qualities as well. First of all did you know that if you rubbed butter at the ends of cut pieces of onion it will preserve your onion?! It does the same with cut pieces of cheese. For my cat lovers with cats who don’t like company, did you know that simply rubbing butter on your cats paws will de-stress them and keep them busy licking their paws cleaning themselves for hours! Someone call the surgeon general STAT!
I am constantly losing the tops to my Tupperware, like really where do they walk away to? Seriously does anyone else think Tupperware lids and bottoms are like the dexterous mismatched sock? You can find one part of the pair but the other vanishes into thin air as if it up and walked out of your house on its own. In times like these, when you’re down to your last bit of margarine or cottage cheese use the containers to store left over food. If you, can keep track of all your Tupperware you deserve a medal and in that case use these wax containers as doggy bags for guests so they don’t walk away with the good stuff.
Empty Wine Bottles
I am never at a loss for 2 things 1)bottles of wine and 2)candles. I have an abundance of both on hand at any given time but that’s just me. If you plan parties, have small children or are a stressful job this may be you as well. In that case save both and use them to create a little ambiance at your next shindig. I kind of like the bohemian vibe you start to get when the wax drips down the sides of the bottle, especially if you use different colored candles.
Entertainment Center As Bar CartImage via The Every Girl
Ikea I love you and hate you all at the same time! I love you for your affordable furniture, your big showroom pulling me in every direction, perfectly designed spaces, the right use of color and texture. You even reward my spending with tasty affordable fatty treats (Swedish meatballs? Soft serve ice cream?) I hate you because at the end of the day I have to put all of said furniture together and all you give me is a freakin Allen Wrench with which to do it! Still this Ikea hack restores my faith in the brand as it is beautifully designed and demonstrates how furniture can be used in so many different ways. Bar carts are all the trend these days and can run a pretty penny but using this fab idea you don’t have to rush out and buy a brand new one. In fact the entertainment center need not strictly be used as a bar cart, I can just as easily see a cheese tray or fruit platter resting there.
So you know the old adage “When life gives you lemons make lemonade”? Well how about “when life gives you lemons clean a chopping board , freshen household equipment and remove that nasty smell from your microwave”! Kinda long and not as eloquent but it works.
I’m always losing the cork once I open a bottle of wine. Maybe it’s the excitement of getting the bottle open, the sound the cork makes being pulled from its hollow resting place of the last year (yes I like cheap wine). Either way that sucker is lost and on the rare occasion when I don’t finish the bottle I never seem to have enough stoppers around to close the bottle. Enter candle stubs! Re purpose your candle stubs by softening the end and molding it a bit until it fits in your wine bottle. No need to put a lot of heat just soften and mold with your hand and plop it on the bottle top. MAGIC!
Beer Bottle Vases
Yes these are beer bottles! Who thought beer could look so good without beer in them? This idea is pretty easy too, simply boil the bottles to remove the stickers and adhesive then remove excess with alcohol. Spray paint the bottles and plop some flowers in the suckers and there you have it!
Pretty easy idea’s to implement right? What idea’s do you think you can use right away? Anything you use around the house that help you pull off fabulous parties? I’d like to hear it so comment and let me know you were here.
Until next time keep the party goin…