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Party food is an important aspect of a great party. It is possible to have delicious snacks on a shoestring budget. Here are a number of ideas to help you have a great party. Firstly, establish how much you can spend and stick to it. Be careful not to over cater. Many hostesses are left with huge amounts of half eaten cake and wasted snacks after a party. Something to drink and about two savory and two sweet snacks are more then enough.

Something Wet

Juice mixed with water is far cheaper then sodas. There are ways to make juice attractive to soda addicts. Mix red or green juice in a punch bowl. The kids will enjoy serving the juice with a ladle. For added fun place different colored ice cubes in the bowl. Make the cubes the day before by putting a few drops of different colored food coloring in each ice tray segment. Use outlandish colors like black, blue or purple. Add a bottle of soda water to the juice just before serving, to give the illusion of bubbles.

Something Savory

Make popcorn. It's the cheapest,healthiest and most filling snack available. Sprinkle with a mixture of sugar and salt or cheese flavored powder. Place the popcorn and inexpensive potato chips in large bowls on low tables. This way little guests can help themselves.

Something Sweet

Buy or bake inexpensive plain biscuits. Mix three or four different colors of icing sugar in separate bowls. Let each child decorate their own biscuits with M&Ms, colored sprinkles or other inexpensive sweets and toppings.

Something Special - The Birthday Cake

Don't forget the cake. To every kid his/her birthday cake is something special and worth remembering. A piece of chocolate or vanilla cake goes down well with the young and old at a party. Take a look at these great cake recipes and step-by-step kid birthday cake decorating ideas.

Something to Eat

Depending on the time your party is being held, you may need to feed the guests something more substantial then snacks. Make shaped sandwiches and store in the refrigerator. Take tree slices of bread. Spread two with different spreads like jelly and peanut butter or sandwich spread and cheese. Place the three slices on top of each other. Use cookie cutters and drinking glasses to cut out fun shapes.

If your budget can stretch so far make pizzas. Two toppings are sufficient. You could also serve something like mince and noodles or spaghetti. Color the noodles red or blue for added fun. Remember, that if your are serving food like this you can cut down on the number of snacks.

Something for Big People

If there are adults attending, you will need to cater for them too. However, let you family and close friends come to the rescue. Ask them to each bring a plate of sweet and/or savory eats. They won't mind - people like feeling helpful.

Serve tea and coffee. This is far cheaper then fruit juice or sodas. Make tea in a large tea pot rather then letting each person use a separate tea bag. Borrow one from a friend or your church if you don't have one. Lay everything out so your guests can help themselves.

If it is warm and your budget allows, make an inexpensive ice tea punch by mixing a bottle of fruit juice, cold tea and sugar. Add a tin of mixed fruit pieces and ice cubes with mint leaves in them.

These ideas will help you throw a great party despite financial constraints.

Tania Collins (MissTy) is mom to two wonderful redheads, Ryan and Shannon, for whom she loves throwing parties. Visit http://www.perfect-party-ideas.comrty-ideas.com where we give you all the ideas to throw the perfect party. Get access to over a hundred party freebies
 
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