Throwing a fun St. Patrick’s Day party doesn’t have to break the bank. You can have fun and keep those hard-earned dollars in your pocket.

How You Can Throw a Killer St. Patrick's Day Party for Under $50

How You Can Throw a Killer St. Patrick’s Day Party for Under $50

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Are your students looking for ways to host fun get-togethers on the cheap? Help them think through their budget, supply list, and how to say no to some big-dollar items. Although this article is about St. Patrick’s Day, these ideas could apply to any party your students want to plan.   

You plan to have the time of your life at your very own St. Patrick’s Day party. But there’s only one problem: Money’s tight. Really, really tight. And you’d hate to disappoint everyone by calling it off.

You could always play hooky or lock yourself in your room and turn your phone on “do not disturb” mode. Or you could make the few dollars that you do have stretch to pay for that party you promised. If the latter sounds like the better plan, here’s how to get started:

1. Run the Numbers.

How much dough are you working with? Before you set foot in a store, jot down the amount of cash you have at your disposal for the party. If you skip this step, chances are that you’ll go overboard and spend money you don’t have.

2. Go Shopping.

With your budget in hand, it’s time to go shopping. But if I were you, I’d be strategic and plan ahead (i.e., make a list) to make sure I don’t run out of money.


Since your guests are coming to have a good time, don’t spend too much money here. Think about it: No one’s going to look around and say, “Wow, the walls are pretty bare.”

Stores like Party City, Dollar General, Dollar Tree, and Walmart usually have great deals on decor. And if you want to maximize savings, stick with solid green and gold or white decorations. The items with Shamrocks or Leprechauns all over them will cost more.

And if you’re wondering about formal invitations, I would ditch those as well. There are tons to choose from at party stores, but a text message or Evite will suffice.

Max Budget: $10–$15

Food and Drinks

Potluck, anyone? Have your guests bring an assortment of scrumptious party foods and tasty treats. Otherwise, you could spend well over $100 on food and drinks alone.

To ensure that you don’t have five of the same dishes, have everyone tell you what they’re bringing beforehand or create a list of budget-friendly dishes and drinks and let your guests choose. (Hint: Pinterest will be your best friend for Irish-themed party dishes and treats.)

Another tip: Skip the party platters, since it’s much cheaper to make dishes on your own. And be on the lookout for coupons and special promotions in the sales circulars.

Max Budget: $25


No need to hire a DJ for your St. Patrick’s Day party. Pandora or Spotify will suffice.

If you have a smart TV, you can stream tunes directly from that. Or have a friend bring over their portable speakers.

Max Budget: free


Now that you’ve covered all the bases, the last order of business is entertainment. You could always buy a few games from the party store or find printable games online, but the cheapest option is to let guests entertain themselves. It may sound like a silly idea, but think about the parties you’ve attended in the past. Did you spend your time playing games or chatting it up? Exactly.

But if you insist, a costume contest or dance competition could be a viable option.

Max Budget: $5–$10

A Final Thought

As I mentioned earlier, you want to start planning now for your budget-friendly St. Patrick’s Day bash. If you wait until the day before to start shopping, expect slim pickings, which will mean more money spent. Most importantly, cash is king — stay away from plastic, and your wallet will thank you. Be safe and have fun!

Check List

  • How will you plan ahead for your party?
  • What coupons and sales promos can you find?
  • What’s on your potluck-style party checklist to send to your friends?
  • What fun games can you find for entertainment that won’t cost anything?
  • Do any of your friends have decorations you could borrow?