Whether you're a movie buff or a fashion aficionado, Hollywood's most buzzed about event is more enjoyable when you can gossip with friends over celebrity style and debate the list of nominees for best actor. However, hosting an Academy Award party requires more than your typical party fare, since paper plates and pre-made dip fail to capture the magic of star-studded evening.
On the other hand, tapping into emergency funds in the sake of honoring Tinsel Town's finest is a clear waste of money. Consider these red carpet-worthy ways to throw an unforgettable Oscar party on a budget:
1. Spread the Word
By now, most of your friends should know where the awards party is come Sunday evening. But if you've been procrastinating, a broadcast invite via Facebook is a great option to get the word out and rally your crew. For a more festive approach, check out this customized and free Oscar-themed evite.
2. Get Red Carpet Ready
It's not an Oscar party unless you dress to impress, so request that guests arrive in award-winning attire worthy of the red carpet. Hit up second-hand stores or discount retailers like Ross and TJMaxx for affordable evening wear or channel your inner Bjork with a stuffed animal wrapped around your body.
3. Star-worthy Snacks
Being frugal doesn't mean you have to revert to serving Ruffles. A simple shrimp cocktail is an elegant yet affordable hors d'oeuvre that is sure to tickle the taste buds of your many guests. Similarly, frozen treats like mini quiches can be bought in bulk for a savings at warehouse stores like Costco. Cheese and crackers is another quick yet delectable snack all are sure to enjoy. Don't forget to use printable grocery coupons from CouponSherpa.com or their mobile coupon app for additional in-store discounts.
4. Serve in Style
Though serving food on paper plates is practical for a party, the Oscars call for something a bit more upscale. Purchase clear plastic plates and champagne flutes from the dollar store, offered at nearly 50-percent less that other retailers. While you're there, pick up some star-shaped confetti to add a touch of bling to your serving table.
5. Create a Memorable Entrance
Give your honored guests the ultimate star treatment with a red carpet entrance. To keep it quick and cheap, pick up some inexpensive red felt from a nearby fabric store to adorn your home walkway. Add some dazzle to your decor by dangling decorative stars and white lights around your entrance and living room.
6. Designer Drinks
The official beverage of the 2012 Oscars features a botanical-infused vodka with fresh-squeezed sour mix, topped with champagne and a rose petal. You can easily mimic this signature cocktail with tart lemonade, flavored vodka and your favorite Brut champagne. For other Oscar-cocktail knockoffs, check out these recipes from Oscars.org.
No party is complete without a fun activity, and the Oscars provide the perfect opportunity for a friendly wager. Charge a minimal entrance free to your party - think $5 - and create a pool with the collected cash. Then, have guests choose winners for select categories and whomever has the most right answers wins the pool.
8. Goody Bags
Leave the designer diamonds and exotic truffles for the celebrities and create your own goody bags on the cheap. Dollar stores are a great resource for candies and gift bags, and you can find scented candles and other indulgences at Target or Kohl's.
Andrea Woroch is a nationally-recognized consumer and money-saving expert for Kinoli Inc. She is available for in-studio, satellite or skype interviews and to write guest posts or articles. To view recent interviews or for more savings tips visit AndreaWoroch.com.
I'm a former 7th grade Science teacher turned stay-at-home mom that lives in Houston, Texas. I am married to my college sweetheart and have a beautiful daughter named Riley, who definitely keeps me on my toes! I am also involved in starting a small business which would both manufacture and sell an invention that I've patented, called Toothpaste 2 Go. I love interacting with my readers and hope to learn as much about you as you learn about me!