Financial pressure is a cause of stress for almost half of the Australian population according to the 2015 Stress and Wellbeing Report from If you’re struggling to balance the bank every month because of a packed social calendar, sacrificing parties and events can certainly help – or you could swap out a more expensive meet-up for one of the ideas below and party your way to savings in 2016.

Sacrificing meeting with friends and family because you’re feeling the pinch isn’t the greatest feeling. Rather than an all or nothing approach, the following party ideas can help you save whilst still being the heart and soul of the party.

Host a clothes swap party

According to, Australia has the highest per capita spending on apparel in the world, and it’s expected to keep increasing. Buying new clothes can blow your budget in a single shopping trip, but choosing to never buy new clothes probably isn’t the answer! However, a clothes swap party is a way to get an item that’s new for you, without spending a cent.

Here’s how it works –

  1. Send out an invite to the event, be clear that clothes need to be in good condition, specify how many garments and accessories to bring.
  2. A snack for the table is also a good thing to add to the “please bring” list – supply napkins for any greasy foods!
  3. Guests take a number from a hat on the way in, and that’s the order that the clothes are chosen.
  4. Everyone can hang their clothes on a rack, or even fold them neatly on a table.
  5. It’s great if you can provide somewhere for trying on the garments so your guests don’t get an item they cannot wear.

Related: 25 home-made products that will save you $150

  1. Consider a makeshift catwalk to model the clothes (Don’t worry, this can just be a well lit hallway)!
  2. It’s a good idea to host your party at the end of the season when lots of people clear out their wardrobes.

A clothes swap on a smaller scale

If you have kids, there’s another option – as kids grow out of clothes often faster than they wear them out. Get your fellow parents together and share those clothes around before getting rid of them. This can be even more helpful for your wallet if all the kids invited go to the same school – a uniform swap can save everyone a lot of money.

iced tea parties

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Refresh your wallet with an Iced Tea Party

On a hot summers day the beer garden can be very tempting, but for a little organisation you could host an ice tea party to save money and raise some funds for a good cause.

The ice tea party initiative is a fundraising event organised by the Australian Lymphology Association. The idea is that you gather a group of friends and host an informal party, serving ice teas and collecting donations that do towards researching Lymphoedema.

  • Lymphoedema has no known cure and is a painful and debilitating disease causing swelling in the lymph nodes.

Ice tea is delicious in many flavours, served cold on a hot summer’s day. Ice tea recipes are often cheap to make, but you can cut spending even further by asking friends to bring any fruits they have growing in their garden.

  • You could even take your party to the local park or beach to avoid cleaning up at home

This recipe for peach and orange iced tea could be a real winner. With lots of fresh fruit and a beautiful deep colour, you can even alter the recipe to give just the right sweetness for your taste.

Cake day!

Make savings sweet with a Cake Party

Instead of meeting friends at a cafe, why not invite them all over for a cake party? If everyone brings a homemade cake, it will often still end up cheaper than all ordering a cake and coffee somewhere else, plus there will be plenty of different ones to try!

Coffee and slice of cake costs around $10 in a cafe, but making a whole basic sponge cake that serves 10 at home costs around $3.57 for all the ingredients (minus filling). Sure, a Black Forest Gateaux will cost more, but sometimes an easy spiced tea cake or a simple sponge can be just as delicious, and a lot cheaper for the ingredients.

  • If you’re worried it’s all a little too sweet, invite some guests to bring a savoury cake, such as these cheesy lunch muffins.

Be sure to have lots of tea, coffee and sparkling water on hand to wash it all down, which will of course be cheaper than buying it from a café.

It’s is good idea to check when you invite guests whether they have any dietary restrictions.

BBQ your way to savings

BBQ your way to savings success

A restaurant invite can be troublesome if you’re trying to save money. Depending on the prices, and if you’ll be splitting the bill, the cost can be significant (even if you don’t eat much)!

However, inviting friends around for a BBQ is an easy way to catch up over a meal without worrying about breaking the bank. When a dinner for two can easily go over a $100, spending a hundred on food for the BBQ, some salad ingredients and a few drinks will feed a dozen people, and you can spend much less by asking guests to bring a dish along.

Ask for specific things to avoid doubling up, and if you know someone has a signature dish, it’s definitely the time to ask for it. Perhaps you decide to cover the meats, or drinks, and ask your guests to provide the rest.

In Australia, any time of the year is suitable for firing up the BBQ. It’s easy to find inspiring ideas as an alternative to the humble snag to take your BBQ to the next level.

A few changes can go a long way to making savings

Making a few changes to how you spend time with friends, celebrate special occasions and make purchases can make saving money painless whilst still keeping your social calendar full.


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