5 Frugal Fall Party Ideas

5 Frugal Fall Party Ideas October 25, 2010

Fall is here!  I absolutely love this time of year – great weather, beautiful trees, good food, fun holidays ; it’s the perfect time to have fun with friends and enjoy all these things.  My wife and I love having friends over (especially in the fall), but if you’re like us, you want to make sure you don’t go broke by throwing a party.

Here are a few ideas for throwing fall parties on the cheap!

1. Fall Movie Night

Renting a good movie and having a group of friends over is a great way to host an inexpensive party.  You’re movie options are even better this time of year because you can rent anything from a scary movie to a Christmas movie and still fit in the season.

Average Costs:

  • Movie Rental: $1 -$4 (Consider an older movie to save a few bucks)
  • Popcorn: $2 -$4 (A box of popcorn should be fine for a group of 8-10 people)
  • Soda / Punch: $3 -$6
  • Cookies / Snacks: $5 -$8


2. BYOB (Bring Your Own Board Game)

If you though family game night was fun, invite your friends over and host ‘extended family’ game night! Have your guests bring their favorite games and vote on a few to play that night.  Break off into a few groups to play games like Scrabble, Yahtzee, Monopoly, Apples to Apples or whatever you have available.

If you want to keep the group together, see if someone has the game Catch Phrase, Scene It or break out the old classic: Charades.

Average Costs:

  • Soda / Punch: $3 -$6
  • Cookies / Snacks: $5 -$8


3. Fall Bonfire and Co0kout

Get outside and enjoy the cool evenings with a bonfire.  This option obviously works better if you have access to a fire pit and free wood scraps.  A couple bundles of firewood aren’t that expensive and you might be able to find free firewood if someone just wants to get rid of some extra.

Keep this party cheap by providing hot dogs and marshmallows.

Average Costs:

  • Marshmallows: $3
  • Hot Dogs with buns: $5-$15 (depending on the size of your group)


4. Scary Scavenger Hunt

For those of you who are a little more organized and love to plan a party, try throwing together a scavenger hunt.  This is a great pre-movie event that doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or take a lot of time.  With a little planning and some creativity, a scavenger hunt can be fun for a group of friends

Average Costs:

  • There really shouldn’t be much of a cost to putting together a list of items and going door to door…gotta love that!


5. Pumpkin Carving Night

With pumpkins in season, it’s very inexpensive to have friends bring over a pumpkin and have a pumpkin carving night.  Be careful to save and wash the seeds so that you can bake them while you’re carving the pumpkins.  This works great because you can lead right into a scary movie, eat pumpkin seeds, and save money all at once!

Average Costs:

  • Pumpkins $2-3 per person
  • Pumpkin seeds (included) :)



Try to keep decorations cheap with these ideas:

  • Candy corn filled bottles or vases – a colorful centerpiece that’s both edible and cheap!
  • Small pumpkins and gourds  – a few dollars can buy a handful of gourds that can turn your house into a colorful masterpiece!
  • Go Natural! Gather a few sticks, leaves, berries, and cinnamon sticks and tie them together to create a fall bouquet that brings the fall colors into your home.

Who said a party had to be expensive?  Enjoy this time of year with friends and family and tell us what kinds of things you plan on doing?

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  • As a board gamer, I love #2. My husband and I play eurogames like Power Grid and Carcasonne, but it’s the same general idea. We host board game potluck parties, like one we’re throwing for Halloween. The host (us this time) picks a theme (“Finger Food”). Everybody brings their favorite dish and a pile of games and we board game and eat until the wee hours of the morning. :-) Have a great fall!

  • Tim

    My wife and I love board games too – lately we’ve been playing a lot of Settlers of Catan with friends. Carcasonne looks interesting; I’ll have to look into it!

    That sounds like it’s going to be a great time. Thanks for stopping by and have fun with your party!

  • Great idea for a post. I’m still hoping a Risk Night is in my near-term future.

  • A bonfire sounds real good. Our beaches have fire rings at them ready to go for that.

    • Tim

      I love a good bonfire but there aren’t too many beaches here in the midwest : ) Sounds like they have a pretty nice setup for you to use!

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