The Porch Light copyright by Revka (2006-2010). All rights reserved.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Frugal Birthday Parties

In a few short weeks, Miss Muffet will turn 4 years old. She is pretty excited and has already requested a Lion King cake for her birthday. I always make and decorate the cake, so I'm not worried about that part, but I do need to find birthday invitations, plates, cups, napkins, and decorations pretty soon.

I won't buy everything with the Lion King on it. I usually purchase half of the necessary plates with the theme picture and half in a coordinating color. The napkins and cups are done the same way. After all, adults don't care if their plate has the Lion King on it! I also try to find or make decorations from what we already have at home. I try not to load the favor bags with a lot of candy but purchase packs of hair accessories, note pads, pencils, Matchbox-sized vehicles, play-doh, and such at dollar stores or from Target's dollar bins.

As far as food goes, we have found that it is time-saving, filling, and economical to purchase pizza instead of grilling hot dogs and hamburgers. We buy our pizzas from whomever has the best deal - Cici's or a local pizzeria. The past two times we have paid no more than $6 for a large one-topping pizza. (Although I normally make our pizza from scratch, I prefer to pay a little bit more so that I don't have that additional stress the day of the party.) As I mentioned, I make the birthday cake, and we have even made homemade ice cream a couple of times. We usually purchase two or three 2-liter soft drinks (generic brand), and I brew a gallon of sweet tea. We do buy ice instead of freezing enough ahead of time (we don't have an ice maker), but if I plan ahead for once, I can cut out that expense as well. We usually offer chips along with the pizza, but the adults might like it better if I were to make a salad and offer that instead.

All in all, I have found that by making and doing things myself, I can spend less than $100 on a birthday party that includes at least 12 adults and 15 kids.

What are some of your favorite ways to save money on birthday parties?

illustration courtesy of Fotosearch Stock Photography

2 comments:

DramaMama said...

We try to go paperless! It makes a little more work, but we have a dishwasher anyway. Lucky for us, our boy's b-day is in August and we just eat outside. Sometimes we have bring-your-own meat parties and all we need to supply is the side dishes and buns. That's nice b/c then the vegetarian people can bring whatever and they know there will be something they can eat =)

Revka said...

Great money-saver, Dramamama. Disposable plates/etc. are both expensive and create a lot of waste. I'll just have to admit that, even with my dishwasher, I don't want to mess with the clean up! :0)

Thanks for sharing a great way to cut down on the party cost.