Having a picnic isn’t just a date idea for your significant other. I recently had a picnic with some of my girlfriends that I haven’t seen in five-ever, and we had so much fun! We planned it about two weeks in advance, and we all had a mutual agreement that we didn’t want to shell out too much money on the picnic; we just wanted to enjoy each others’ company. But, with how extra I am, one does not simply throw a picnic together at the last minute… so I wanted to share some tips with you all on how to put a picturesque girls picnic together without even making a dent in your wallet!
Tip 1: Location is Everything
To me, choosing the location of your picnic makes all the difference. My friends and I were originally going to have our picnic on the lawn at Lake Eola, but since we were going on a Friday afternoon, we opted to go somewhere a little more secluded. There’s nothing wrong with Lake Eola, but it’s definitely more crowded on weekends, and there is an abundance of places close to nature in Florida.
We decided on a cute little space called Mead Botanical Garden, where there’s free admission and plenty of habitat to see. There are designated picnic tables, but I decided to bring my round beach towel as a picnic blanket to spread out on the ground. No matter what location you choose, though, it’s important to take care of all of your trash properly; please don’t leave anything behind for the creatures who live there!
Tip 2: Be Resourceful
Remember all of those random things you didn’t need but bought ‘just in case’ from the Target Dollar Spot? They’re finally going to come in handy! Okay… maybe it’s just me. I used paper straws, napkins, and drink stirrers I’ve been hoarding from the Target Dollar Spot. There are also some hosting gems available every couple of months on clearance at Target. I’m so relieved I got to put my impulse buys to good use! The drinks were less than $15 from Trader Joe’s, the fruits are from a Publix platter, the cookies are a splurge from Gideon’s Bakehouse at East End Market, and the chips and dips were also from Trader Joe’s. The cups and serving trays are dollar store finds; don’t ever sleep on the dollar store. There are so many useful items hiding in there! I would also recommend shopping local for treats- East End Market has a bunch of vendors with really good food that are picnic (and picture) perfect.
Bonus tip: The paper bags from Trader Joe’s make excellent trash bags to clean up in – they hold a pretty good amount and are easy to transport to and from your car.
Tip 3: Distribute the Responsibility Equally
Make the picnic potluck-style, where each person attending brings something. For example, I brought the straws, napkins, round beach towel, and Bluetooth speaker (which we didn’t even end up using because we were so busy catching up!), since I already had those items at home. I ended up stopping by Gideon’s Bakehouse on my way to the park to get the cookies. My friends brought the drinks, fruits, and chips/dips. We all had eaten lunch prior to the picnic, so we didn’t get anything too heavy such as sandwiches, but grilled cheeses are a good picnic idea! This way, there isn’t one person that feels responsible for everything picnic-related.
Following those three tips, good weather, and good company are the only things you need to make sure you have the best picturesque picnic! I personally only spent $12 (on the serving trays and cookies), which isn’t bad at all. I had the best time with my girlfriends and will totally be doing this again, once summer comes and goes and the weather is manageable again!