Frugal Party Theme: Hobo Holiday

July 1, 2009 · Filed Under Being Frugal, Cheap Parties · 2 Comments 

You may be too young to remember how romantic the life of a hobo seemed to people at one time. The idea of being able to travel wherever you wanted, never have to work and simply enjoy life was a dream to many. Hobos were the forerunners to today’s homeless, yet hobos often chose their lifestyle, and there was just something attractive about their freedom.

Hobos had a look of their own. They often donned worn out clothing with colorful patches, old hats, and shoes with holes. They always – in the dreamer’s eye, at least – carried a “pack,” which was simply a large bandana or other cloth tied to the end of a stick and filled with all their worldly goods.

If you like parties and you love the idea of “dressing up,” you’ll love hosting a Hobo Holiday! It’s simple, inexpensive, and a lot of fun for everyone involved. This makes a great Halloween Alternative for churches as well as an easy all-occasion party.

THEME: A party where everyone dresses up like a hobo, plays games, shares stories, and enjoys some simple food.

INVITATIONS: Include a graphic of a hobo carrying his pack on the front (you can find several by searching online for “free hobo clipart”). Include the party details (Where and When the party will be held, How to get there, What to bring or not to bring, etc.) on the inside.

DECORATIONS: Few decorations are needed since the idea of a Hobo Holiday is simplicity itself.This is one party that is best held outdoors, and ideally, in the evening when it’s cool. Include a safe place for a campfire and place some large rocks or tree stumps around the fire ring to serve as seats.

PARTY FAVORS: Possibilities include bright bandanas for everyone, or a Polaroid photo of each guest. Again, the entire theme is simplicity so elaborate favors aren’t necessary.

FOOD: Serve Hobo Stew. You, as host, provide the meat (chunks of beef stew meat are best), and everyone else brings a can of something to “throw in the pot” (green beans, corn, potatoes, etc.). Make coffee and iced tea to drink. Include thick slices of Italian or French bread and a simple cake (unfrosted is great), or cookies.

GAMES AND ACTIVITIES: A Hobo Holiday works best in the evening so you can enjoy the campfire. Campfire conversations, and sitting around the campfire telling stories are part of the charm. If you know someone who plays a harmonica or guitar, invite them to bring it and lead in simple songs. You can also play games such as Charades that don’t require props or game pieces.

A Hobo Holiday is a lot of fun for a very small price. And it works well for all ages. Even senior adults can dress up as hobos and enjoy the simple activities. Add other creative ideas of your own to make this a great party for everyone you invite.

Tips for Inexpensive Graduation Parties

October 17, 2008 · Filed Under Being Frugal · Comments Off on Tips for Inexpensive Graduation Parties 

By Jill Cooper

Bobbi asks: Our daughter graduates this spring and wants to have a graduation party afterwards for family and friends. We have very little money for that. Do you have any ideas for finger foods, salads, and decorating ideas that would fit our budget? Thank you, Bobbi First of all, keep it simple.

Decorate using anything that your daughter has collected over the years that has her high school colors or mascot on it. For a tablecloth, go to the dollar store and get a plastic tablecloth in her school colors or go to Wal-Mart and get an inexpensive twin sheet (for about $3) in her colors. Hang school pictures or scrapbook items around the room or lay them on the table. Also, balloons and streamers from the dollar store can add a lot to the decorations for a small price. For my daughters graduation I didn’t decorate much, but I did lay out a very nice food table.

As far as food goes, it’s really more about the presentation than the food. Even the most inexpensive food looks expensive when served on a silver plater or glass tray. Do things like cut the sandwiches into triangles and cut off the crusts. Use foods like egg salad, ground up chicken or ham sandwiches. When you grind your meat, it can go much farther.

Punch can be a less expensive alternative to trying to serve pop. I make punch all the time by mixing 3-4 different flavors of Kool-Aid and then freezing it long enough to make it slushy. Use less water than what the directions indicate. If the package calls for 2 quarts of water, I use 1 and 3/4 quarts. People frequently ask me for my recipe and are often surprised to learn that it is just plain old Kool-Aid.

Look through your cookbooks and find salads that call for less expensive ingredients. For example, adding a few veggies to a pasta salad is less expensive then making a veggie salad with lots of cauliflower and broccoli in it. Here’s a strawberry salad that I used at my daughter’s graduation that is great because it freezes well, allowing me to make it long before the party. If you have a cake, too, this dessert can be used as a fruit salad instead.

*Strawberry Dessert

This is probably one of my favorite desserts, partly because it is not too rich. It is a very light dessert. It is an especially good one to keep made up in the freezer for when unexpected company comes by. I like to use it not only for graduation parties, but also for baby showers or any other get-together because I can make it a week ahead of time and that means one less thing to have to deal with the day of the special event!


1 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup nuts
1/2 cup butter, softened

Mix and slightly press or crumble into a 9×13 pan. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally while baking to make crumbly. When cooled, remove 1/3 of it to save to sprinkle on top of the dessert. Evenly spread out the remaining portion in the pan.


2 egg whites (pasteurized)
2/3 cup sugar
1 10oz. package of strawberries
2 Tbsp. lemon juice (must use)
1 small container whipped topping

Place first 4 ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat at high speed for 10 minutes or until it forms stiff peaks. Be sure to use a large mixing bowl because this really increases in volume. Fold in whipped topping and spread over crust, Sprinkle with the 1/3 cup of crumbs you saved back. Freeze for 3-6 hours or overnight.

Copyright © 2004-2024 Show Mom The Money - Sitemap
Powered by Mom Webs Hosting