- The Food
Mardi Gras’ signature dishes often include cheap pantry staples like rice and beans. Look up a few New Orleans favorites, such as jambalaya, red beans and rice or gumbo, for an authentic treat that is easy on your wallet.
- The Decorations
You can find streamers, table décor, paper plates, napkins and more in Mardi Gras’ purple, gold and green at most party stores or bargain retailers.
The Fleur-de-lis is not only the official state symbol of Louisiana, but it is also the unofficial mark of Mardi Gras. Search for free clipart online or draw a Fleur-de-lis freehand; use the cutouts to decorate coasters, table linens, walls and banners.
- The Costumes
You are going to need masks and beads – lots and lots of beads. Print out mask templates online or cut basic shapes from poster board. Attach plenty of embellishments to create your own masquerade masterpiece on the cheap.
You can find Mardi Gras beads at most party supply or craft stores for just a few dollars a pack, or you can order them in bulk from online wholesalers.
King Cake is a kind of braided sweet bread covered in icing and colored sugar. Tradition holds that whoever finds a trinket baked in his or her piece of King Cake must host the next year’s Mardi Gras party. It is a lot of fun but purchasing a King Cake from your local bakery can set you back $20 or more. For a more affordable alternative, look online for a homemade recipe using plain yellow cake mix and vanilla frosting.