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9 Ways To Plan An Awesome Viewing Party Without Breaking The Bank

Themed snacks, decorations, and binge-watching all without breaking the bank.

1. First things first: actually have a budget!


Decide how much you feel comfortable spending before you start purchasing anything. The rest of these tips will help you stick to that number!

2. E-send your invitations.

Jim Henson

If you're hosting a big viewing party, it may be tempting to send paper cards to your guests. But that can be expensive. Instead, shoot everyone an email. Flex your creative muscles and make an e-vite inspired by the show or movie you'll be watching. People are more likely to respond when the invite is a showstopper.

3. Consider giving out a super-cheap (but super-thoughtful) party favor.


It's something most of us haven't experienced since we were kids, which means you don't have to spend much to make party favors that will make your guests feel special! Lean into the nostalgic angle and put together sweet sacks that tie into the theme of the party. Remember to get creative (and save some money) by choosing fun, unique containers!

4. DIY decorating is your friend.


When you're working on a budget, it's best to keep it simple. One way to decorate in theme while keeping your wallet happy is to decorate using a color scheme. If you're watching a movie, think about which colors you think inspire that movie. You can make it even more memorable by doing some DIY decorations!

5. Get the space ready for your friends.


Make sure you clear paths to rooms like the kitchen and the bathroom. Along with your normal seating, arrange some pillows in a cozy way on the floor so your guests can plop down and enjoy the flick. And remember: Ambiance is everything, and it doesn't have to be expensive!

6. Make it a goodie-packed potluck.


If you're looking to really chow down for your viewing party (maybe you're doing multiple movies or a TV marathon), make your party a themed potluck. Ask each friend to prepare a dish and/or snacks. (For example, if you're watching Harry Potter, you could have someone prepare a "Butterbeer mug cake" to put in glasses or Golden Snitch cake pops, etc.)

7. But no matter what, make it BYOB (bring your own bottle)!


Alcohol is expensive. Have guests bring their own drinks and then set up a self-serve bar cart/table so that guests can help themselves while they watch.

8. Make a themed bingo game.


A bingo game is especially good if your viewing party is for a new episode of a TV show that everyone is watching for the first time. Lots of sites offer free bingo card generators for you to fill out online and then print out. Someone cries? Put down a chip. A character says their catchphrase? Put down a chip. Wine thrown in someone's face? Put down that chip!

9. Let. Your. Friends. Help!


Don't be afraid to ask friends to chip in. That's what friends are for. If a friend offers, provide them a list of what you have already, that way you're not getting double of something. The best thing you can do is be specific.

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