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Stretching your entertaining dollars

Date: 5/15/2013

(BPT) – Warm weather is "special occasion" season. Whatever your event – a wedding, graduation party, family reunion or July Fourth fete – summer celebrations have one important thing in common. Everyone wants to get the most bang for their buck.

Fortunately, from renting tables and chairs and other needed items, to do-it-yourself decorations, it's possible to stretch your entertaining dollars this summer season. Here are some tips for ways you can get the most for your money, and host an event that guests will talk about well into fall:

• Create excitement with a theme. What will entice people to attend? Will your event be fondly remembered? Get co-workers raving about what a great job you did planning the company picnic. A fun theme can take the place of costlier entertainment options.

• Look for a low or no-cost location, such as a public park or your own backyard. Renting a venue can be expensive. Hosting your event in a no-cost location will allow you to put your entertaining dollars to work in other ways, such as food or decorations.

• You don't need to pay for a dee-jay if you have just one tech-savvy friend who knows what to do with an iPod dock and some speakers. You can further save on entertainment by inviting guests to bring their favorite lawn or board games to the party.

• Don't waste money buying when renting is more cost-effective. If you'll need extra tables, chairs, dishes and cutlery, renting those items from your local rental store can be much more cost-effective than buying. What's more, renting can give you access to items that you might not even consider buying, such as a tent, dance floor, inflatable bounce house or machines for making popcorn, cotton candy or snow cones. You can even rent a photo booth for a really unique and memorable experience. Renting can help you stretch your dollar, create a one-of-a-kind party and never have to worry about where you'll store everything after the party is over. To find a local company for renting equipment and goods that will make your next event memorable and successful, visit to find the rental store nearest you.

• Get creative with food options. Everyone loves a barbecue, but costs can add up when you're buying food for a large number of guests. Start by creating a menu of a few key items that will be sure crowd pleasers. Then, head to your local club store to stock up on main ingredients.

• Save money by sending save-the-date announcements and invitations digitally. It's easy to find free online services that will allow you to send e-vites, receive responses and even track who will be attending – all online.

Throwing a memorable summer soiree doesn't mean you have to spend a lot of money. From renting needed items and getting creative, it's possible to stretch your summer entertaining dollars.

– Courtesy of BPT