If you enjoy throwing backyard parties for family and friends, it's fun to plan the menu, buy the ingredients, and cook up the fare that will leave your guests' stomachs full and smiles on everyone's faces. Your smile, however, can quickly turn into a frown when you log in to do some online banking and see that your checking account balance is far below what you expected. It can be easy to allow your spending to get out of control when throwing a get-together, but there are a number of simple strategies that you can use to avoid overspending and draining your checking account.

Plan The Menu Around Sales

While it's useful to plan the menu well in advance of the party, you might find that the items you need aren't on sale when it's time to shop — and this will result in a heftier shopping bill and a depleted checking account. As soon the weekly fliers are released, see what's on sale and plan your party's meal accordingly. For example, if you see that ground beef is on sale, you might plan to buy several packages and make hamburgers from scratch. If you'd previously planned to have hamburgers but the meat isn't on sale the week of the party, you could end up spending more than you'd like to.

Check The Discount Area

You may never slow your pace when you walk past the grocery store's discount produce area, but it's time to change that approach. This area can often have a wide range of produce at low prices that really has nothing wrong with it. Whereas some stores' discount areas don't offer anything too palatable, other stores' offerings on these shelves are in perfect condition. For example, you may be able to get a bag of fresh apples for $1, compared to buying a similar-sized bag elsewhere in the store for $4 or $5. Buying what you can in this area is an easy way to reduce your spending and avoid draining your checking account.

Use Your Own Dishes

It's convenient to buy disposable plates, cups and cutlery to avoid having to do the dishes after your gathering, but even buying these items at the dollar store can add up if you're entertaining a large group. Think, instead, of using your own dishes. While it's true that you'll need to spend some time cleaning the dishes afterward, you can enlist the help of some of the party attendees to make the process go more smoothly. Soon enough, the mess will be cleaned up and you won't have depleted your checking account by buying disposable items.

For assistance with your account, talk to a professional like Rio Grande Credit Union.