Set the Stage for Summer Cinema

For the ultimate summertime luxury on a shoestring budget, suspend a plain white sheet from a garden wall, fence or a PVC frame to make an outdoor theater, HGTV says. Gather whatever lawn chairs you can scrounge from local garage sales, invite your friends, pop some corn and kick back for a backyard blockbuster. Not enough furniture? If the weather is dry, you can bring indoor furniture such as chairs and end tables outside for a festive dinner party or film night, or ask guests to bring a few folding chairs. Blankets on the ground will work, too!

Garden Cleanup Before Garden Dress-up

The garden may be looking a bit haggard after a long winter and wet spring, and you’ll need to clean it up to make it presentable for the summer. Trim the bushes and prune the trees; clear the yard of sticks, leaves and other detritus. Weed the flower beds, plant annuals and mulch the beds to keep weeds at bay. Clear the cobwebs from your shed or garage and organize your stuff into bins. Finally, give your deck or patio and its furnishings a good power wash and dress up the whole are with hanging baskets and pots, House Beautiful says, and you’ll be able to create a welcoming space for entertaining guests or relaxing in the great outdoors.

Easter Brunch on a Budget

Taking the family out for an Easter brunch can get costly, with restaurants competing to offer the most lavish seafood towers, made-to-order omelets and carvery plates. It’s simple to stage a family feast on a budget, however, if you shop wisely. Watch for deals on mainstays like ham and leg of lamb; crowd-pleasing sides such as deviled eggs, asparagus and scalloped potatoes are in-season and inexpensive to prepare. Check out sites such as the Food Network for seasonal ideas, and you’ll be able to create a spring banquet for a fraction of what you’d spend at the local buffet.

Shop the Thrift for Super Bowl Party Decorations

Dollar and thrift stores can be great sources for Super Bowl party supplies such as felt, pennants, gently used serving dishes and more; you might even find a lightly used NFL jersey at the thrift that was donated to At the very least, you can pick up paper plates, napkins and plastic flatware in the team colors — red and blue for the New England Patriots and green and black for the Philadephia Eagles — for your guests to use as they gorge themselves on chips, dips, nachos and wings from a thriftily-crafted buffet of favorites.

Stage a Gameday Party Without Blowing Your Budget

Super Bowl Sunday is only a few days away, and if you’re part of the special team that’s hosting, you don’t want to blow your budget. Fortunately, there are ways to keep a Super Bowl party economical, Thrifty Little Mom says. First, get the basics for your recipes — chips, vegetables, meats, dairy products, soda, etc. — at a discount or bulk grocery store; once prepared and displayed in a festive setting, no one will notice the difference. Then, encourage your guests to bring an extra dish or drink to pass, and you’ll probably wind up with leftovers.