How to Save Money on a Kids Birthday Party

by Marcy on February 21, 2008 · 0 comments

Earlier in the week I mentioned that I would be posting my menu for Gracie’s birthday parties. So here it is:

BBQ Beef Sandwiches
Ham Sandwiches (for those who don’t like Beef)
Cheesy Potato Casserole
Veggie Tray (carrots, celery, broccoli) with Spinach & Herb Dip
Taco Cheese Ball & Tortilla Chips
7 Layer Salad (party #1); Garden Salad (party #2)
Homemade Cupcakes
Ice Cream

Now you should know that I am not posting this menu because I thought you would all want to know what we are eating. I am posting it because I wanted to share how I came up with the menu, and how I tried to cut costs when planning. Even though I did go over my grocery budget this month, I was still able to pull this together without spending a crazy amount of money.

When trying to figure out what to make, I had 3 things in mind:

1) What do I already have on hand that I can use?
2) What will most people eat? (Cheesy Potatoes are a family favorite of ours, so they were a no brainer!)
3) How much do I need?

I knew that buying meat to feed 45 people would be expensive, so I headed to my freezer to see what I already have on hand. I have 6 Beef Roasts in the freezer from the beef that we purchased from a local farmer last year. Therefore, I figured I could make the beef in the crock pot the day before the party, and reheat it the morning of. I also had the mix on hand to make the Spinach & Herb dip and the Taco Cheese Ball, along with mayonnaise needed to make the S&H dip.

Some other ways that I saved money:

* I watched sales this month and was able to get sour cream, shredded cheese, frozen hash browns and BBQ sauce for a good price.

* I broke down and went to Wal-Mart because they had the best price on 2 liters of soda ($0.67/ea) and decorative plates ($0.96/pack).

* I love to bake, so I have no issue with baking a birthday cake or cupcakes. Last year I found cake mixes on sale for $1 and used those. This year I am making the cupcakes and icing from scratch which will still end up being much cheaper than a store bought cake.

* When I couldn’t shop sales or use coupons, I tried to buy generic.

* Because this is a 2nd birthday party, I did want to buy some themed items. So I purchased a combination of themed plates/napkins and non-themed plates/napkins and I will divide them evenly among both parties.

I should also mention that I am getting help from my mom for Gracie’s birthday party this upcoming weekend. I celebrated my birthday this week, and as part of my gift, my mom is bringing the ham, buns, cheese and salad on Saturday (she offered, I didn’t ask). That also helped me save money, and I greatly appreciate her thoughtfulness.

As far as Gracie’s gifts go, I lucked out and found this great sale at Target in January. I was able to get her 3 really nice gifts there for a total of $23.20, which will enable me to give her one gift per party, and one on her actual birthday. I am so excited about that!

So how do you save money when planning family gatherings and parties at your house? Do you have certain stores you shop at to find deals? How do you feed everyone without busting the bank?

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