Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Frugal Birthday Parties | Family Economics
Hired magicians, bounce house rentals, professional bakery cakes and personalized party favors have become common experiences when our children attend birthday parties. What ever happened to a batch of simple homemade cupcakes and a game of pin the tail on the donkey?
Not only have children’s birthday parties gone from simple to extravagant but they have also gone from frugal to breaking the bank. I say it is time we take back the frugal birthday parties and discover fun and inexpensive ways to celebrate our children’s special day with these frugal birthday party tips:
Themes: When choosing a theme think about what inexpensive activities, decorations and food will go along with it. Take time to search on the Internet for themed ideas that are simple to include in your party and are not costly.
To get your brain thinking simple and fun here are two ideas:
• Cereal Party Celebration: Have a morning birthday party themed around your children’s favorite cereals. Click here to see more on this party idea.
• Board Game Party Fun: Most of us have closets filled with board games. Create your child’s party around various board games from decorations to competitions. Click here for more game board party ideas.
Invitations: To save money on your invitations choose one of these two options:
• Electronic: You can choose to send personal e-mail invites or use a party invite websites such as e-vite to e-mail out invites to your guests. This option also saves you on time and postage. You can also track your RSVP’s when you use e-vite.
• Homemade: You can create simple or extravagant homemade invitations to go along with your party theme using art supplies you already have on hand and then hand deliver them.
Decorating: Get creative and stretch your decorating budget by using things you already have including toys, room decorations and dishes. Remember to save left over decorations for future parties.
Food: To save money on your food budget choose your party time after a mealtime. For example hosting a party from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. only requires dessert and drinks. Be sure to let parents know on the invitation what will be served.
Cake/Dessert: Professional bakery desserts are costly but you can save money by taking a few minutes to bake your own cake or a batch of cupcakes. You can also search on the Internet for simple decorating ideas to go along with your party theme and remember nothing is wrong with a simple frosted cake or batch of cupcakes. Don’t forget the candles for the celebration.
Games: Keep your party active with classic games. From pin the tail on the donkey to musical chairs, you can create the games to go along with the theme by re-naming them such as “pin the crown on the princess” or “pass the treasure” rather then pass the hot potato. If possible head outdoors for party games allowing the children to burn off their excited energy. Click here for a list of outdoor party game ideas.
Entertainment: Hiring professional magicians and clowns can quickly take a frugal party to a bank-breaking experience. Search for less expensive entertainment ideas such as hiring a teenager who enjoys sharing magic tricks or knows how to make balloon animals. Show a DVD you already own, ask friends and family to help with science experiments or crafts – the ideas are endless.
Party Favors: Goody bags and party favors can quickly become costly. Reduce the cost by choosing one item and attaching a thank you note to it. For example: “My party would have been un-bearable without you – thanks for coming” attach to a bag of gummy bears or a note saying “Thanks for making my party ROCK” attached to a package of pop rocks. Children will be more excited about a king size candy bar then a bag full of trinkets.
How do you save money when it comes to hosting your children’s parties?