Make the Party Store Your Friend
Your neighborhood party store has lots of decorating potential, from the themed tablecloths to those nifty Mylar balloons. The problem is that you usually have to pay a premium price for all those nice decorating goodies. The trick is to buy those St. Patrick's Day and other holiday napkins (paper plates and notions) the week after March 17, not the week before. They'll be marked way down, and you can use them next year. Here's the trick: Find a party store near where you usually shop, and make a habit of stopping in for a few minutes every couple of weeks to check the clearance shelves. You'll always have plenty of fun decorating items on hand to make those impromptu parties, potlucks and school fundraisers look like you spent months heading up the decorating committee.