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


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.