I had a lovely surprise party for my husband’s 50th birthday. I borrowed tables and chairs to have enough seating for everyone. We ate from regular plates and bowls.
We ate outside on our back patio.
Pasta Salad (I used green onions and parsley from the garden along with carrots and a can of olives)
Mixed green salad (from the garden) with cranberries, chopped almonds, and feta
Mixed green salad (from the garden) with corn and black beans
Dressings were homemade ranch dressing, balsamic orange vinaigrette, and Italian
Homemade lemonade punch: 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup lemon juice (from my lemons), and thinly sliced oranges (bought at .32 a pound last month) a grapefruit (one of the ones I bought a few months back for around .20 each), 2 limes, and 2 lemons (from the garden). I filled the rest of the large bowl with cold water. When most of it had been drunk, I added more water. (You can do the same with one can of lemonade concentrate, and keep adding water to it throughout a party).
Dessert was lemon meringue tarts. I used a shortening crust to keep the cost lower (than a butter crust). The lemons were from my trees, and the eggs were purchased for $1 a dozen last week.
We had a large number of leftovers, which gave us enough to eat as a family for several more meals. Counting just the amount we ate at the party, it cost me $5.50 to feed 20 people dinner and dessert.
The tables were decorated with cuttings from our euyonmous hedges placed in half-pint canning jars and tea lights in small glass containers.
I only had 3 glass candle holders, so I purchased a few more at .50 each at the thrift store. They will be saved for future parties. I bought the tea lights many years ago.
I decided to purchase enough flatware to use for the party. I bought inexpensive flatware (.22 each for the spoons) at Sam’s Club and some additional white cloth napkins. Both can be used for additional parties, so while they added to the cost of this party, unlike disposable items, they can be used again.
Non-party things that I did to save money last week:
I made a triple batch of laundry soap.
I took my oldest to the thrift store for some much needed new clothes. I spent $40 and bought her:
2 pairs of jeans
1 pair of capris/long jean shorts
3 skirts (I have to fix the elastic in 2 of them)
2 long-sleeved shirts, 1 sweater, and 1 cardigan that she can wear next fall (the cardigan is missing a button so I will need to replace all of them, which isn’t a problem, as I bought a bunch of buttons last year at fantastic price)
4 short-sleeved shirts (1 she will use for pajamas)
I still need to make her a dress or two and some skirts (I have the materials). This is the first time I’ve taken her shopping and the first time I’ve bought pants for her. She wanted some jeans to wear to the archery range so that she can retrieve her arrows from the brush.
I also purchased a few books for the family, including two that were books that we already have, but that can be used for gifts when my daughters are invited to parties. I also bought a like-new board book (.50) that is the same as one that we have owned that was well-loved until it fell apart. It will be a birthday gift for Ivory.
I planted chive seeds and transplanted nasturiums (which had self-seeded themselves) to other spots in the garden.