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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Frugal Birthday Party Tips!



For my Family, Birthday season is coming up quick! My twins have their birthday in February, and my oldest son has his birthday just 6 weeks later, in March! My kids enjoy it when I throw them a birthday party & I enjoy planning them the coolest kids' parties! In March, last year we had a Star Wars Birthday party for my oldest son & it was a huge hit! Planning a birthday party is fun, but it can also be stressful, time consuming & once everything starts adding up, it can get very expensive! I wanted to share a few frugal tips that I've learned over the years!

1. First, I always dedicate a spiral notebook, binder, or folder, just for planning my kids' parties. It helps me to have everything in writing! It helps to start planning about 4-6 weeks from the birthday party date! You'll need to decide on a party budget right away, and then stick to it. Keep track of all of the receipts and document your spending to help you to stay on track.

2. Hands down, the first thing you need to do is to decide where & when the party will take place. Almost always, it will be the best bet to host the party at your Home! When you have a party elsewhere it really can be quite costly. Having the party at home will help you to avoid "hidden fees", "overages" and other costly fees that come along with a venue. If you don't have the room, try asking a relative or in warmer months a party at the Park is a great idea!

3.One of my favorite reasons to host a party at Home is because then my kids' can decide on what "Theme" they want their party to be. Then You can get as creative as you want with the theme, favors, cake ect.

4. Having a well planned party will help you from having a bunch of kids running around your house like crazy! Make sure to plan plenty of games & activities to keep them busy! My rule of thumb is that it's better to have too many activities planned than not enough! Even if we don't get to all of the activities, I at least know that I have something planned as a "back-up!" I also recommend having an itinerary to help the whole party process to go a little smoother. Being well planned is the key to having a fun & successful party!

5. Kids' are easy to entertain, so make your own games & activities, do not pay for entertainment! You can even use items that you already have around the house to plan your activities.

6. Shopping at the dollar store for favors will also help you to save some money! Think simple, the kids are just happy to get a "Favor Bag". You don't have to spend a lot of money on this! A Balloon, a coloring sheet (print one from the Internet), and a lollipop & my kids are Happy! You could even make home-made play dough, or even if you just send each child home with a homemade cookie. A Favor bag is just simply telling your guests, "Thank You for coming to my party." It's the thought that counts, not how much money you spend!

7. When shopping for party goods, it is also a good idea to check the dollar store. I've also been able to find party goods at a discount party store, or even check a wholesale club. Make sure to always check the clearance racks, I've been able to find themed items for very inexpensive this way! And, Almost always, it is best to just buy solid colored plastic dinnerware, compared to the themed items when necessary. Usually we just have regular paper or plastic plates/napkins for food/snacks. Then we just buy a pack of themed plates/or solid colored plates just for the cake.

8. If you are really tight on a budget, plan your birthday party between meal times, so that you do not have to serve a full meal. Usually a party between 2-4 pm seems to be the best. It is after lunch & before dinner time. Then you can just serve snacks, drinks, and cake. Kool-aid is easy to make & an inexpensive refreshment for the kids. If you are having a themed party, give the foods/drinks a name that goes with the theme- the kids get a kick out of this!

9. It is always cheaper to bake your own cake! A bakery can charge a pretty penny for a birthday cake, and if you are like me and you use coupons, than you'll be able to make a cake yourself for only pennies!

10. Don't waste money on buying invitations & then spending money for postage to "snail mail" the invites. Instead hand make the invitations (or have your kids do it) and then hand them out to save on postage. Or you can send email invitations. One of my favorite sites is MyPunchbowl.com. It is a helpful tool, to help you to plan your party or event. And you can send e-invites free. It's free to sign up Here.

11. If you keep your guest list to a minimum it will also help to keep the costs lower. Usually a party with 6-8 children is typical.

12. Use your children's toys as decorations. Make & hang your own Birthday posters/banners. If you aren't good at making posters (like me) than ask a friend or family member to make the posters for you. The cost for a poster board is a lot less expensive than paying high dollar for a birthday or themed poster/banner purchased from a store! Then spend a dollar on a bag of balloons- blow them up yourself- (dollar store) and a dollar on a package of streamers & you've only spent around $3 for decorations!

A few of my favorite sites to help to get my creativity flowing....

Birthday Party Idea's.com

Amazing Moms

Coolest Kids Birthday Parties

Do you have any Frugal Birthday Party tips to add to my list? Please leave a comment & share!

*This post is linked to:
Coupon Teacher-Thrifty Thursday
Madame Deals
Frugal Friday @ Life as Mom
Frugal Friday @ Stockpiling Mom

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5 comments:

  1. All great tips Amy! I'm book marking this:)

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  2. Great ideas! I can't wait to have kids to plan for!

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  3. Thanks for linking up! Like your site!

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  4. Great ideas! I'll keep this in mind when the next one comes around!

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  5. Thanks for linking up your post! Sorry it took me a whole week to get here! I was at Blissdom and I am just now catching up.

    You have great tips! I agree that kids are just happy with a gift bag. It does not have to be a big item.

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