Frugal Game NightWhen the economy is not at its best and our budgets are tight, we often cut back on entertainment. But you know what they say about all work and no play. Not only does it make life dull, it’s not good for our mental health. So instead of giving up everything that’s fun, why not just choose less expensive ways to have a good time?

One way to do this is to have a game night with friends and family. Here’s how to set up a fun-filled evening at a bare minimum of expense.

* Invite guests by phone, or design invitations on your computer, print them out, and deliver them by hand. Invite as few or as many people as you like, because they will be helping out with the expenses.

* Ask each guest to bring a game of some sort from home. It could be a card game, board game, or some other type of game, as long as it’s appropriate for all ages that will be participating.

* Also ask each family to bring some sort of snack and a bottle of soda, juice or tea. The snack doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. Chips, pretzels, peanuts or gummy bears are perfectly suitable choices, because the night will be more about playing games than eating. Or if you prefer, you could start early and have a potluck dinner before you play games.

* Break out your CD collection and find some good tunes for the evening. If you don’t have much to choose from, hook your MP3 player up to the stereo or burn a CD for the occasion. Include a variety of music so that everyone can hear something they enjoy.

* Pick up a snack, a drink, and some cheap paper plates and cups at the grocery store. If you want to decorate, buy a pack of balloons from the dollar store, blow them up, and tape them up in the corners. Leave a few loose in the floor for kids who are too young to play board games to entertain themselves with.

* How the party is structured will depend on the number of guests. For a small party, everyone could play one game and then move on to the next when that one is done. For larger parties, you could set up stations with the various games and divide the guests up into groups. Each group can play a game, and when everyone is done, the groups can move to the next game on their right.

Game nights provide an inexpensive way to socialize and have fun. If you’re looking to trim your entertainment budget, they’re the perfect solution.



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