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Graduation Party: Budget Planning 101

Aug 17, 2007
It's that time of year when those who have spent countless hours writing, reading and sweating over exams get to sell back their books and clean out their lockers. Whether graduating from high school or college, commencement is a special event and warrants celebration. This June, thousands of graduation parties will be taking place. Throwing a grad bash involves invitations, food, and decorations. However, before you start shopping, you might want to ask your graduate for economic advice. Graduation party costs can swell quickly.

As the cost of stamps has increased yet again, just sending the invitations can set you back. Perhaps more appealing than snail mail invites are electronic invitations which are fast, fun and free! You can choose from hundreds of invitation templates at sites like evite.com and even upload your own personal jpegs. Save time as well as money, as you simply input your guests' email addresses and send hundreds of invitations simultaneously.

Once you have a headcount you will be ready to order your party fare. Local grocery stores, area submarine sandwich shots and Wal-Mart are reasonably priced and popular party tray headquarters. Meijer.com (store locations are in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky) offers an Internet party planning order system. Deli, cheese, fruit and seafood trays that feed 18-24 guests range from $20-$40. For those looking for finger foods, AppetizersToGo.com will ship its award-winning gourmet appetizers overnight. A 100 piece quiche assortment sells for around $80 while the same quantity of beef and mushroom turnovers costs around $150.

When choosing desserts, options span beyond the conventional. VictoriasHomemade.com full sheet designs such as mortarboard and tassel or a pile of textbooks sells for $150. The newest bakery trend is cupcakes and KraftFoods.com offers a clever take with "Graduation Cup-caps." The recipe calls for a traditional yellow cake cupcake topped with a chocolate-covered graham cracker (mortarboard) and a fringed fruit snack roll (tassel). Frozen treats, such as Dairy Queen sheet cakes, can be decorated and personalized for your grad for about $25.

Also leave some room in the graduation party budget for decorations. Let the neighborhood know of your grad's accomplishment by ordering an eight foot personalized outdoor banner from Bannersfast.com for around $30. OrientalTradingCompany.com offers graduation novelties such as antenna toppers, graduation fortune cookies, and smiley face pinatas all for under $15. FactoryCard.com is also a great site for inexpensive paper products and tableware.

Invitations, food and decorations are the core expenses when planning a graduation party. Let your new grad give you an economics lesson when you establish your party-planning budget since pinatas and beef turnovers may add up to more than you think!
About the Author
Charlotte Beulow is a contributing writer for Access My Library. AccessMyLibrary.com is a service of Thomson Gale. Best known for its accurate and authoritative reference content as well as its intelligent organization of full-text magazine and newspaper articles, the company creates and maintains more than 600 databases that are published online, in print, as eBooks and in microform. Visit Access My Library.
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