Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Kids' Birthday Parties on the Cheap

We loved having birthday parties for our three kids as they grew up, and coming up with themes was always fun. Among them, we had pirate parties, snow princess parties, Barney parties and everything else under the sun. But those parties can get expensive, with refreshments, cake, games, prizes and more. Using things you have and shopping garage sales for more materials can save the day.

A few examples:

My husband pulled out his old graduation gown to use as his "wizard' costume" for a party. We just applied stars and moons with glitter glue and added a cardboard cone shaped hat to match.

Bake your own birthday cake. Does that not go without saying? It's fresher and you can decorate it with plastic animals or whatever figurines match your theme.

The dollar store is likely to run as much as 1/2 price on party items you might buy at Wal Mart or Target, like tablecloths and wrapping paper.

Use the comic section or brown paper decorated with rubber stamping for wrapping paper. Do you seriously think the kids care? It will look just as festive and cute with a big, bright bow on it.

Shop garage sales and be watching a month or two before the party for all kinds of things....wrapping paper, bows, table decorations, prizes, costumes and more.

Here is an estimated price comparison for a basic "pirate" party:

Store bought cake- $15
Pirate goody bags with favors (10)- $20
Pirate tablecloth- $2.99
Pirate invitations- $3.99
Pirate chest and game supplies- $20
Total- over $60

Here is just a guess at how much it could be using do-it-yourself, dollar store and garage sale resources:

Homemade cake- $4
Goody bags and favors (10)- $10
Tablecloth- $1
Invitations- $1
Pirate chest and game supplies- $3 (garage sale)
Total- $19

Not only are you saving on the household budget this way, but it does give you a sense of accomplishment to put a creative party together on a dime. You'll remember these parties for years to come and so will the kids, so start planning now!

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