Ten Party Project #1

>> 1.12.2010

The Ten Party Project will be just as it sounds: I’ll host ten parties in 2010. The parties will range from small dinners to a giant New Year’s bash. All will have similar set-ups including: invitations, entertainment, food, décor, and budget. I’ll recap (and sometimes plan) them here on the blog with full budget breakdowns.

To begin my 2010 goal of hosting ten parties, I decided to go with something small and casual. My alma mater, University of Texas, was in the BCS Championship so finding a reason to celebrate was easy!

Party #1:
BCS Championship Football Viewing Party

For this low-key event, invites were given through a mix of text messages and emails. Invitations went out less than a week prior to the event.

The football game provided all of the entertainment for the evening.

To keep costs low, the menu was simplified to three drink options (Coke, Dr. Pepper, or water), two snacks (chips & queso or Nacho Cheese Doritos), one main dish (taco soup) and one dessert (chocolate football cupcakes).

Friends got a kick out of using actual bench seats while they watched the game.

I didn’t purchase any decorations for this event. To set the mood, we wore our team’s colors (UT) and set out a few football seats. In addition, I used a little leftover white frosting to create stitching on the cupcakes for a football-like effect.

The white dishware was stacked in the kitchen next to the soup pot and the snacks on the coffee table for easy accessibility.

Budget Breakdown:
Doritos $3
Tortilla Chips $2.50
Velveeta Cheese $3.69
Rotel (owned can)

Coke $1.49
Dr. Pepper $1.49
Total= $2.98

Taco Seasoning (owned package)
Veggie Ground Beef $1.78 (with coupon)
Black Beans $.62
Green Beans $.63
Pinto Beans $.53
2-Corn $1.26
Diced Tomatoes $.75
Total= $5.57

Frosting $1.14
ake Mix $1.00
Eggs, oil (owned)
Total= $2.14

Grand Total: $19.88 (less than a dinner out for the two of us)
$19.88/ 6 people = $3.33/ person

Lessons learned: I’m going to try and prepare a bit more for the next party. Although I’ve made cupcakes a million times, with the hectic cleaning frenzy that Nate and I were in, I left a batch in too long and they ended up overcooked. In addition to that happening, the melted white chocolate I was planning on using for the football stitching wasn’t melting and the garbage disposal ended up backing up at the last minute. Going with a small, low-key party as the first was a great idea!

Thankfully, he was able to fix the problem!

Also, I’m going to look at buying less expensive snacks for the next party. If Nate didn’t need those Nacho Cheese Doritos and I didn’t have a craving for Velveeta queso, we could have saved a bit by going with an alternative snack or off-brand.

Anyone planning a Super Bowl Party? Have any ideas for parties you think I should do this year?

I'm linking this post up to Amy at Design-Aholic's Victory of the Week party. Did you accomplish something big (or small) this week? Head over to join in on the fun!

*Before you ask... yes, we lost.


awest January 12, 2010 at 9:46 AM  

We are hosting two birthday parties and a baby shower before the spring - know anyone who needs one of those?
We also host a 4th of July party every year!

Kerry @ First Time Fancy January 12, 2010 at 9:50 AM  

We're going to be hosting a relatively small Super Bowl party. We're going to make chilli and some other snacks and ask people to bring something when they come. I may even do some planning for it on my blog :)

I think I'm going to enjoy reading about this party project!

Lydia January 12, 2010 at 9:54 AM  

I did a fall harvest party last October with squash soup, roasted pears and pumpkin dip - a lot of fun to come up with some different recipes. My plans so far for a Super Bowl party include a sandwich bar with deli meat/cheese and pulled pork. Still need to come up with appetizer recipes!

The Brick Cottage January 12, 2010 at 11:00 AM  

Oh man, that was a tough loss! We watched the game (my husband is a big SEC fan and also a fan of the other orange and white UT team) but I was kind of rooting for Texas to win. I found out prior to the game that your coach is from my home town and his brother coaches football for my alma matar~small world!

Anyway, fun idea to host parties~looking forward to the (thrifty) ideas you come up with!

Meg January 12, 2010 at 11:26 AM  

I absolutely adore your resolution because I really love throwing parties. I'm still kind of thinking of throwing a bunch and just seeing how many we end up hosting by the end of the year. And you made such a great point about it forcing you to make big progress on the house!

Our next party is going to be a fondue party within the next couple of months. I already know a group of girls and their significant others that are coming and now we're trying to decide whether to expand the list or not. But I thought that might be a fun and different kind of party!

Can't wait to hear about your next hosting stint!!

Danielle and Clint January 12, 2010 at 11:38 AM  

I had that same experience my first party. I was doing too much at once and didn't give myself too much time. It looks like it was a success! Cute cupcakes!

myownplace January 12, 2010 at 12:07 PM  

have you signed up for www.houseparty.com? They give you lots of freebies and coupons to host a party.

Meredith Travels January 12, 2010 at 12:14 PM  

love love love the logo. Too cute!

Also, what could be better than football, velveta and rotel queso, and cupcakes? (Besides Colt not getting hurt but let's not ever talk about that!)

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog January 12, 2010 at 12:34 PM  

@myownplace~ No, but it sounds like I need to! Thanks for the tip :).

@Meredith~ Yes, yes it would have... also not to be mentioned: someone's shovel pass.

Heather @ McKinney Living January 12, 2010 at 1:42 PM  

Yummmm football + velvetta + rotel = FAB party! :)

Looks like you had a wonderful time! I actually have the opposite problem - I get things out and ready WAY too early and I end up just pacing around the door waiting for people to show up - I am an anxious person, and although I love throwing parties, they make me a nervous wreck! I should take a note from you and just throw myself into it!

Kim at Yellow Brick Home January 12, 2010 at 2:01 PM  

Those cupcake footballs are too much! Love it!

dolores @ "Welcome to My Humble Ablog" January 12, 2010 at 3:01 PM  

Your taco soup looks so yum and the football cupcakes added a nice decor element for your party. There is no Super Bowl party in my future (we're more basketball peeps).

If you're a LOST fan (I'm a fanatic) I will be hosting a 'Dharma Dinner' on the night of the series finale. There are so many different avenues you can take with theme parties! Oh the possibilities!

I can't wait to see what's in store for the next party!

Babs January 12, 2010 at 3:39 PM  

Football parties are always fun! Sucks when your team loses though.

The week after Superbowl we're hosting an "Escape to Havana" party to banish the winter cold weather blues. Thanks to having congo drums and maracas, pre-owned salsa music, garden lattices painted white (for decoration) and recipes that have similar ingredients in most, we're going to save a bunch of cash on the planning.

SeeJaneGetRich January 12, 2010 at 5:51 PM  

I love the cupcake idea. Its very simple and totally fits the theme.

I love throwing 1/2 birthday parties. Almost no one remember's their 1/2 birthday so its a nice way to surprise a friend and show them that you really care!

Amanda January 12, 2010 at 6:27 PM  

Glad you'll be sharing your party planning with us! Your football cupcakes were so cute. We often host watch parties for our team (K-State) as well. Last year we hosted a Super Bowl party too - we made chili and it was a big hit. We may have to do it again this year!

It's always hard to keep food cheap when you want to make sure to have plenty of options for everyone! But I have to remind myself that people don't (usually) care as much about the food as they do the company!

Jacquelin Seybert January 12, 2010 at 9:00 PM  

Hope you had a wonderful time. My best friend lives in Austin and I LOVE visiting her. One of my favorite cities. Football in Austin is serious business! Sea of burnt orange on game day :)

Mrs. Chic January 12, 2010 at 11:35 PM  

Great idea to have friends over on a BUDGET! And I get new recipes, this works for me, :)

stacy di January 13, 2010 at 12:07 PM  

sounds like a great time...and I'm totally impressed at your keeping the cost so low!

If the Cowboys make it to the superbowl, we may have to throw a party {my husband is a big fan}!

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog January 13, 2010 at 12:49 PM  

@Stacy di~ When the Cowboys make it to the Super Bowl... :)

DescribeHappy January 18, 2010 at 2:39 PM  

I knew we were long lost sisters!! I'm a huge Horns fan too! Your party looks like it was a lot of fun (even though the game was so hard to watch) looking forward to your next party!

design_aholic January 19, 2010 at 10:34 PM  

Can you host a party like that around San Francisco, so I can attend?! Looks like fun! My birthday tends to fall on superbowl weekend a lot, so I usually get a lot of attention on my birthday, but haven't actually hosted a party myself.

Thanks for linking up to VOTW @ Design-Aholic. Check back to the recap post soon... :)

design_aholic January 19, 2010 at 11:12 PM  

Hey Kasey- I HAD TO feature this project on the VOTW recap. Come stop by!


Jeremy from We Took The Bait January 21, 2010 at 12:07 AM  

How about an Arbor Day party? It's one of those holidays that consistently flies under the radar. I'm sure a tree-themed party would be a blast. And, Arbor Day falls really close to my birthday... so you could celebrate Arbor Day and my birthday all at once.

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