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Impromptu Party Supply List

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Don’t pass up the opportunity to have friends over just because you haven’t had time to plan a party. Use this impromptu party supply list to keep your kitchen stocked with essentials that make spontaneous gatherings a breeze!

a collage of two different party scenes with title text reading How to Always Be Ready to Throw a Party

Serving Ware

I always keep a supply of paper products to make entertaining a large crowd much easier. I buy these items in bulk:

  • Paper plates
  • Napkins
  • Plastic forks
  • Plastic spoons
  • Clear plastic drinkware

I also have a collection of platters, bowls (both small and large) and serving spoons and tongs. Since I don’t have unlimited cabinet space, I stick with plain items that can be used any time of year. You can add color with decorations, table linens, and fresh flowers to “theme” your party.


For our outdoor parties, we built several picnic tables. Compared to outdoor patio furniture, picnic tables were far less expensive and comfortably seat 6-8 people. In addition, we can easily arrange them around the yard.

For indoor parties, we’ve invested in several folding chairs that we keep in a storage closet. They are lightweight, fold flat so they don’t take up much storage space, and are an easy way to create extra seating for indoor parties.


I have several quick and easy appetizer and snack recipes that I fall back on for impromptu parties. I try to keep a combination of the following items on hand. These are mostly things my family eats on a regular basis anyway.

(Note: Some of the items are hyperlinked so that you can see the actual brands I prefer. The online prices for many of these are a little high. You can usually find them at lower prices at your local grocery store.)



  • Salami and/or Pepperoni
  • Assorted Cheeses
  • Cream Cheese
  • Vanilla Yogurt
  • Grapes
  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Mushrooms
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Ranch Dip


  • Meatballs
  • Chicken Wings
  • Tortellini
  • Spinach
  • Corn


The list above might look strange if you don’t have an idea of how they are each used. Here’s the breakdown:

Serve alone in snack bowls or on a platter:

  • Nuts
  • Chex Mix
  • Yogurt Covered Raisins
  • Craisins
  • M&M’s
  • Assorted Cookies

Serve together:

Combine ingredients:

  • Tortilla Chips with Hot Corn Dip (cream cheese, frozen corn, diced tomatoes w/ green chilies – bake at 350° for 30 minutes)
  • Crackers or Pita Chips with Spicy Sweet Cheese Dip (cream cheese, red pepper jelly)
  • Spinach & Mushroom Cups (mini fillo shells, frozen spinach, mushrooms, cream cheese – bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes)
  • Appetizer Meatballs (frozen meatballs and BBQ sauce – cook meatballs, add sauce, keep warm in a crockpot)
  • Antipasto Skewers or Salad (tortellini, cherry tomatoes, salami or pepperoni, olives, drizzled with Italian dressing)
  • Teriyaki Chicken Wings (chicken wings and teriyaki sauce – coat wings before baking, serve with extra sauce)

Of course, you can always just order pizza too!


You don’t have to have a full bar, wine cellar, and fridge full of soda and juice to be ready for an impromptu party. In my experience, you can satisfy almost any guest if you have just these items on hand:

  • Pitcher of ice water
  • Pitcher of unsweetened iced tea (with sugar available)
  • Apple juice (for kids)
  • White wine – 2 bottles of Pinot Grigio are a safe choice
  • Red wine – 2 bottles of Apothic Red (I haven’t met a red wine drinker who doesn’t like this one)
  • Beer – a 6-pack of Heineken or Yuengling

If you don’t normally drink alcohol, you can probably skip the wine and beer. Alcohol is the most common gift your guests will bring so it’s likely you’ll end up with more than enough.


You really don’t need much in the way of entertainment for an impromptu party. However, this is usually the best group to enjoy party games with. These are some of my favorites:

For a lively crew, karaoke is always a riot. And if you have a video game console, you and your guests might also get a kick out of playing Just Dance.

Hopefully these tips and ideas will make it easier for you to have what you need on hand to invite people into your home on a moment’s notice.

Whether you use the suggestions above or not, I urge you to take every opportunity you can to spend time with friends. Life goes by too fast to miss opportunities to connect because of small details (e.g. you haven’t dusted this week or you don’t have any party food).

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