So, my sons 5th birthday is fast approaching and of course he knows exactly what kind of party he wants and he’s listed out who he wants to be there (a few times).
Now step in Mommy! I’m sure many of you have been to the party supply store a few times and looked around quickly realizing how expensive this can get if you aren’t careful. Decorations alone can run you right out of any budget.
Here are a few tips to help you save without cutting things out of the picture:
- Cups, plates, forks, spoons, table covers and napkins – if you buy themed table top decorations then these do not need to be.. in my case Spider-Man. Buy blue and red in these and they will still look great! (Try Wal-Mart or even a dollar store for this. I wouldn’t do the party supply store.)
- Invitations – of course we would all like our invites to look like specialty ones but lets be real, if you’re on a budget that may not be where you choose to spend your money. E-Vites is the new big thing! Be careful though, they have free invites and paid. This may not work for the kids you’ll be inviting. But you can use it for your family, friends and neighbors.
- Party Favors – OH MAN! First things first.. go with the bag! It isn’t too big so you won’t have to spend a bunch of time and money. Buy 2-3 things themed that go along with your party. Then, keep it easy and go with some candy. Or, if you’re trying to avoid candy then try things like fruit gummy bites. (You may even be able to find them to fit your theme.) Also, go to your local dollar store. Sometimes they have things like bouncy balls, little cars, small puzzles.. etc. (Be honest with yourself, most of these party favors the kids play with for a little bit and then BAM they disappear into the black hole in their room or trash can.)
- Location, location, location! Do yourself a favor and skip the party venues, they are way over priced!! Try having it at home if possible, you can splurge on a bouncy house and still come out on the winning end compared to a location. Or, try your local park. This gives the kids tons of play time outside and keeps it super easy. (If you chose this be sure to call them and see if there is anything special you have to do to have your party there.) Other ideas depending on time of year, splash pads and pool party are good summer ideas.
- Timing, try and avoid any lunch time party. Your guests would expect a true lunch to be served. Have snacks instead, meat balls, chips and dips, snack mixes, hot dogs are a fairly inexpensive idea too. Drinks, make a punch for the kids, like Kool Aid! (I’ll be making mine red and blue to match Spider-Man.) For the adults, have a dispenser with tea, water or lemonade. Plus, you’ll be surprised at the number of parents who will also drink punch lol.
- Cake – personally I’m not the best at making anything pretty so this will be one of the things that I will have either a local baker or HEB make for me. But if you’d prefer to do it yourself, try cupcakes! You can buy themed little baking cups, and little toppers to make it match your party.
When I was growing up two birthday party’s come to mind. Both were outside parties, one we did a scavenger hunt and the other was a food fight! Yes, I did say food fight and I promise you it was a BLAST! My parents had bought goggles to make sure nothing got in your eyes and then game on! The scavenger hunt included things like: a red leaf, stick, pinecone, rock etc.
Most importantly have fun!! Your kids won’t be kids for long and you’ll miss planning birthday parties.
And here is my soon to be 5 year old!!
There is something about 5 that has me wondering even more where did all the time go!