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Host an inexpensive spring fling

Laura Carson Miller is freelance lifestyle writer in Atlanta, writing for magazines and the web. Her favorite subjects include beauty, health/wellness, and financial issues. She is also an avid cook, gardener, fashionista and interior st...

Throw a party that's frugal and fun

Now that spring has sprung -- even a bit early in some parts of the country -- it’s time to plan a fun, frugal yet chic spring soiree to entertain your friends and family.

Spring party

There are lots of ways to host a stylish and festive party without breaking the bank. I’ll share some my own tried-and-true ideas and I’ve also brought in the expertise of Coryanne Ettiene of HousewifeBliss.com. Ettiene is entertaining guru, master organizer and phenomenon in the kitchen. She’s ready to cheer you on to a happy place in your kitchen and throughout your home!

Here's how to create your chic and inexpensive spring fling.

Floral accents

I start by purchasing a few bouquets at the grocery store. You can choose colors that carry on a theme you've chosen, or just whichever flowers catch your eye. When you get home, go outside to gather some cuttings from green plants, blooming flowers or bushes in your yard. Branches and sticks can also make for cool arrangements. Also look online for ideas. Now, gather all your vases, big and small, and decide which ones you want to use where. Divide the store-bought flowers among the vases and add greenery, branches, etc., as desired. Adding items from your own yard helps the store-bought flowers go further and also adds a personal touch. If you happen to have tulips blooming outside, by all means add a few -- they are the epitome of spring! Ettiene suggests looking for spring blooms like freesia, iris, tulips, daffodils and vanda when purchasing flowers.

"If fresh flowers are not in your budget, a low-cost floral option is to visit your local garden center and buy a tray of colorful annuals," Ettiene says. Repotting them in bowls or smaller pots will give you the illusion of a great floral spread without the added expense of buying multiple bouquets.

Tabletop

Ettiene and I agree that there is no need to break the bank to fashion an unforgettable table. "Accenting your tabletop with the popular spring color trends that include aqua, fuchsia and the classic white doesn't have to mean splurging on a new set of serving trays, dishes or linens," she says. "It can be as simple as selecting a few inexpensive pieces to accent what you already have to give your table a spring makeover."

I love white dishes for serving and for eating on everyday -- they're so adaptable to all decor options and never go out of style. Look to stores such as Home Goods and World Market for inexpensive serving trays, napkin rings and other festive tableware you can use year-round.

Seasonal foods

The freshest and tastiest food is always whatever is in season. The bonus: It is also the most economical. Your spring fling should be full of seasonal favorites -- you’ll probably have a hard time choosing, as so many wonderful foods are freshest in the spring months.

"Continue the spring theme into your party menu by adding seasonal foods like fresh citrus, bananas, rhubarb, cucumbers, garlic, asparagus, sea trout and crab", recommends Ettiene. "Not only will they be bursting with freshness, but shopping for seasonal food will help keep your food costs low."

With these easy tips and all the lovely spring days ahead, you're primed to throw a spring fling to be remembered for years to come. Why not make it annual celebration? Everyone likes having a party to look forward to, and since it can be put together on a budget, you’ve got no excuses!

More entertaining tips

5 Tips for stress-free entertaining
Simple spring cocktails & mocktails
How to host a spring birthday party

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