5 Ways to Stretch a Buck: Birthday Parties

by Marcy on February 6, 2009 · 0 comments

Birthday parties are on my mind right now. In a few weeks I celebrate my own birthday, followed one week later by my daughter’s 3rd birthday. Because I hit the big 3-0 last year, my birthday party focus is entirely on my daughter. Mainly because I am going to remain 30 forever. Right? :-)

Here are a few ways that I can think of to stretch a buck on birthday parties:

1) If you are having a party at home, start looking for food bargains in advance. For example, I picked up a ham for dirt cheap after the holidays and threw it in my freezer to have for my daughter’s party. Keep your menu as simple as possible. Save even more money and have a mid afternoon party where you can serve cake, drinks and a few light snacks.

2) Do what you can yourself. If you like to bake, make the birthday cake or cupcakes (easier!) and place pre-made decorations on top. Rather than paying to have balloons blown up, find a small tank and balloons at a discount store (party stores are usually more expensive) and do this yourself. Make or print your own invitations and thank you notes rather than ordering them. There are many things that you can do yourself rather than paying to have them done if your budget is tight or if you are trying to make room for something special.

3) If you want to have a party at a location, consider going to a local park (free!) rather than paying to rent a place out. (This tip is for those of you lucky enough to have warm weather birthday parties to plan!) Also check with your church or local community hall as they are likely to be much cheaper (or free) than other locations.

4) Seek alternatives to hiring out entertainment. Ask around to see if you have friends or family members who can assist with entertainment for free or at a fraction of the cost. Or do a craft rather than having entertainment. The craft could also serve as the party favor which will save you money on goody bags.

5) If you must do goody bags, keep an eye out year round for candy and trinkets that get clearanced out after the holidays or seasons. That way you will have these items on hand when your party rolls around. And of course, use coupons when you can. You can often get candy for free or very cheap at stores like CVS and Walgreens.

What are your best tips to save when hosting a gathering? I would love to hear your ideas!

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