Get thrifty: 3 money-saving simcha ideas your guests will love (if they notice at all)!

Too many people spend more than they can afford (or need to spend) on throwing a simcha party. In a b'mitzvah year (September to September), we find people end up spending more and more! (Any ideas why?)

So we thought we'd share some of the money-saving ideas we've seen people use to great effect. And trust us, their parties were certainly no less memorable. If it's noticed at all, being thrifty can add even more loveableness!

1. Dispense with frills.

The main ingredients for a memorable simcha are - in order - love, place, entertainment, food and drink. In that order. Everything else is optional.

comes free, and it's limitless. Remember: all your genuine friends and family want to share your special occasion way more than they'll remember fancy-schmancy gifts, chair covers, stationary, variety, and portions of food far too generous to consume.

Place is important if you want to party. But don't feel you have to book a posh nightclub, hotel, function suite, or restaurant. Actually, some of those are worth looking into because they can include catering. But, if you want to be smart, look at alternative venues like your own home (local for most of your friends), your local council's facilities (like the library in Borehamwood), or your shul hall. Any

Entertainment is next on your list. DJs tend to be cheaper than bands if you want to boogie. And there's a wide range in pricing for DJs. Sure, you get what you pay for. But it is possible to find a couple of local teenagers who could DJ for £200.

Food and drink is there to stop people passing out as a minimum. You can serve amazing fish and chips for around £2.50 a head if you're lucky enough to have an awesome fish 'n' chippy like The Golden Plaice. If it's kosher you're after, read lower down to see how negotiation can get you what you need.

2. Negotiate

Negotiation is a skill in itself. But, through our connections to TREACL (the sales consultancy), we know that negotiation is far more successful if you do it in a loveable and open way.

Tell your suppliers about your financial circumstances and any limitations. Don't be shy! What? You think you're the only people who don't have enormous pockets?

Tip: Even seemingly affluent people can't always afford a limitless simcha budget, or want

If you're open about what's affordable then your suppliers know they have to fit your needs if they want the business. Tell them what a difference their flexibility will make to your and your child's lives.

And be flexible enough yourselves to listen to the professionals' ideas. For example, insisting on raspberries to decorate your deserts at a strictly kosher event will cost a bomb! (See if you can work out why.) At JIGGLE.IN We give ideas for free!

3. DIY

The biggest costs are for people's time.

So, anything you can do yourself should save you a lot of money! And, your own efforts mean far more loveableness!

For example, print or email your own invitations. Design them on PowerPoint. Decorate the place yourself with things you buy online or make yourself. Balloons are ridiculously cheap, and there are stunning, modern varieties. Long strings of LEDs are glitzy, stunning, and cheap online too!

Buy your own booze from a supermarket by watching out for special offers. MC yourself, or get Auntie Judy to do it for you.

You are not alone

Remember, there are a lot of people in the same boat when it comes to affordability. And it's (thankfully) more commonplace to think more about what's appropriate for a simcha then how to spoil people rotten.

It's stressful spending a lot of money, though. And it's stressful working out how to get the most bang for your buck. Give us a call in strictest confidence for an open conversation about it.

And please share your own money-saving ideas in a comment below!


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