Go For it Mom and Dad! You CAN keep your sanity and plan a budget-friendly, kid-friendly, birthday party for your child right in your own home. Simply consider your guests, your available space, and your inventory. Here's How...
Keep Things in Perspective
As a birthday party approaches, it’s natural to worry whether you’ve made the day “special enough” for your child. There’s a temptation, then, to go out and buy more—more gifts, more decorations, more stuff. Think about what this teaches your child, though. Instead of showering them with material affection, find more meaningful ways to make them shine on their day. Make a book about their life. Decorate their door with streamers the night before their birthday, so it’s the first thing they see when they wake up in the morning. Make their favorite breakfast that day. I’m willing to bet they’ll remember the warmth of those moments long after the memories of extra trinkets and toys have faded.
Food for Thought
Friends should understand if you can’t serve a full-blown dinner at a child’s birthday party. But if your budget only allows for cake and ice cream, don’t hold the party at 5 or 6 p.m., a time when guests have the right to assume something hearty will be served. Have the party at 2 or 3 p.m. instead, and call the event a “dessert party” on the invitations, so guests don’t show up with empty stomachs. Some families buy a set of reusable dinnerware that only gets used for parties. That helps make the event special without being wasteful. If ordering out is a must, call around for the best deals and use coupons. Pizza shops almost always run some sort of special, and don’t be afraid to ask if one is willing to beat their competitor’s price.
Do it Yourself
We sometimes forget how easy it would be to make party supplies ourselves. Professionally made cakes can be expensive, too, whereas making one yourself probably costs less than $10. Read up on basic skills for making and decorating cakes.
Reuse and Repurpose
When buying party supplies, ask yourself if they can be reused down the road. If you choose a timeless design, some decorations could last a lifetime. Wrapping paper alone can cost a small fortune, and it gets shredded in seconds in the hands of an excited birthday boy or girl. Instead, wrap gifts in newspaper, sew reusable fabric gift sacks or buy them, or save paper gift bags, and use them over and over again.
Here are some other money-saving moves:
- Host the party at home or in a public park rather than at an event facility.
- Keep the number of guests to a minimum.
- Buy food in bulk, and cut fruits and vegetables yourself rather than buying pre-cut trays from the grocery store.
- Send e-mail invitations, or make your own paper invitations using craft supplies you already own.
A party at home can definitely save you money but will require your time and creativity. Working with your child to plan a fun and engaging birthday party is something you will both remember forever!