Breaking News
More () »

Queen of Free: Savings strategies for summer parties

From race weekend to graduations and summer holidays, the Queen of Free can help you throw a memorable party and not break the bank.

INDIANAPOLIS — Memorial Day weekend in Indiana usually means graduation parties and race day gatherings. Father's Day, Juneteenth and the Fourth of July are not far behind.

Cherie Lowe, the Queen of Free, brought her best planning ideas to 13Sunrise for summer parties to help you organize and economize to get the most bang for your buck from the celebration.

In her blog, Lowe said, "The expense of summer parties adds up quickly."

So she outlined some areas to save, including invitations. "Obviously you can use an online social media platform like Facebook or evite to share the good news of your event," Lowe said. But printing your own rather than buying a package with a set number eliminates extras and wasting resources.

There's no need to hire a caterer if you have a cadre of friends who can help with a potluck buffet. Everybody has a special recipe that will elevate your gathering. "An online site like Sign Up Genius may help you organize everyone and/or know who will be bringing what," Lowe suggested.

Keeping your menu simple with a main course, a vegetable, a fruit and a dessert. You'll want to avoid leftovers.

Color themes

"Look for solid red, blue, or black items," Lowe recommends. Red plates, napkins and baskets are versatile and can double for Christmas and Valentine's Day events.

Black is a race day staple, but doubles for graduation events and Halloween. Blue is a popular school color for grads.

Rather than spending on a one-time-use centerpiece, think about an edible attraction like a carved watermelon that says "summer."

Buying your party paper goods on Amazon instead of searching the party stores will save you time and gas. "Be sure you check Amazon’s coupons to see if you can maximize their prices," Lowe said.

The idea is save time in the kitchen so you can spend more time with the people you care about at the actual gathering.

Watch Lowe's full 13Sunrise segment in the video player.

Before You Leave, Check This Out