Cheap and Easy Entertaining: Game Night

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Going out can become expensive, even if you aren’t on a budget. Sometimes it’s best, and more fun, to entertain a small group of friends in your own apartment. If you’re looking for inexpensive and easy entertaining, consider hosting a game night.

The best thing about hosting a game night, aside from the money-saving benefits, is how little planning goes into the event. Game nights are simple whether you plan for it a week in advance or throw one with only an hour’s notice. There are three key things to consider for the evening: who you want to invite, what games you will play and what kind of food and drink you wish to serve.

Invitation Considerations

The invitation list should be easy. Generally, you probably only want to invite a handful of people-no more than eight to ten. Keep in mind, if you decide to play board games, that many games only allow for a limited number of players. Invite too many people and someone, or multiple people, are going to have to sit it out. Game nights are a perfect way to get to know your neighbors if you haven’t already. If inviting them sounds appealing, it’s a non-intimidating and fun way to become acquainted.

Selecting Games to Play

You’ll want to have an idea of which games you want to play beforehand. Ask the people you’re inviting which games sound appealing. There’s no need to go out and spend money on all kinds of games. Ask everyone to bring a game or two from their personal collection over to your place. Great games for parties include Taboo, Jenga and Catch Phrase. Of course, you can always play standard board games like Monopoly and Life, but interactive games tend to be better suited to social events and apartment parties. If these kinds of games don’t sound appealing to you or your guests, another popular alternative is playing cards. Cards are very inexpensive. An equally inexpensive-but more creative-idea is to play a game of Charades or Pictionary where each guest contributes a few words or phrases from which players will draw.

Food and Beverage Considerations

Equally important to the games themselves are the refreshments you will serve. Game nights don’t have to break the bank. Part of the appeal is the casualness of the evening-no one is expecting fancy hors d’oeuvres. It isn’t mandatory that you serve anything, but guests will appreciate it if you do. Keep it inexpensive and supply a couple bags of chips. You can also ask guests to bring over a food item or beverage and have a pot luck of party food. Everyone will save money if all guests pitch in their share.

See how your first game night goes and make changes as necessary. Chances are everyone will have a blast and enjoy saving money with an inexpensive evening filled with entertaining games and good company.


Rachael Weiner: I’m a communications professional for a non-profit, which financially necessitates my status as an apartment dweller. Constantly “on-the-go,” I’ve resided in five different apartments across the United States over the past five years. Roommate issues, budgeting, organizing and handling problem neighbors are my specialty.

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