Monday, March 16, 2009

Throwing a Child's Birthday Party Under $100

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 9:08 PM
I’ve been to a couple of Birthday parties lately that have cost (to my best guestimate) between $300-$400. One was a location party and included ordered pizzas. The second had Cinderella come visit. In between these two parties my husband and I threw a party at home for our two oldest children (who’s birthdays are conveniently 3 days apart.) We’ve never gone all out or spent a lot on Birthday parties and the children always seem to have a blast. This year I decided to try to keep the spending to a minimum. We threw two parties, one for our children’s friends and one for family. Both were held on the same day. Our goal is always to stay under $100, including providing dinner for the family. This year we came well under our goal, with the total expenditure being about $86. Here’s how we did it.
First, we hosted the parties at home. I created post card invitations on my computer and hand delivered as many as possible. We only blew up balloons for decorations (no helium – kids like it better if they’re within their reach to play with anyhow.) We bought minimum numbers of paper products and made the drinks from scratch. I didn’t put out any other food, as we had the party at 2:00 p.m., right after lunch. The cake and icing were home-made, decorating and creating is part of the fun for us and the kids to see what we’ll come up with next. We get cake ideas from coolest-birthday-cakes.com (we also have one posted there under Thomas – Island of Sodor.) I also got party game ideas from partygamecentral.com. We played the spoon race using potatoes instead of eggs (they’re usable even if they get dropped) and the spin until your dizzy game.
I’m not a big fan of gift bags of plastic trinkets and candy for giveaways for guests. Last year I bought dollar books and made paper crowns for each child. This year I bought small clay pots, a bag of seeds and some soil (of which I could use the remainder for my plants I start inside for my garden.) We used paints, glitter glue, and paint brushes that I had in my craft collection for the kids to decorate their pots after they planted their seeds. They loved the craft and fortunately it was warm so we were able to do this outside and let the pots dry while we continued with the party.
The kids party went very well and we stayed right at $50 with everything included. Later in the day we hosted the family party and provided dinner for everyone. We grilled chicken, made a home-made salad from fixing I had around the house from what we normally by at Costco (also where we got the chicken), and made two box rice mixes (just because I forgot to put the real rice on to soak and cook early enough.) There was enough cake left to feed the family as well as some left over. Everyone had a good time and was well fed. The kids had a blast and each had a personal gift take home. I’m sure someone may be able to come up with an even more frugal party, but we’re very happy with our full day of celebrating for under $100.

Here's the expense break-down:
Kid Party (10 young guests)
12 Clay Pots $9
Bag of Seeds $1
Soil $4
Art supplies $0
Invitations $0
Stamps $2
Plates, Cups, Napkins $12
Game ideas/supplies $0
Balloons (bag of 24) $2
Cake (4 boxes, ice cream cones) $9
Icing (home-made) $6
Ice Cream (generic, 2 cartons) $7
Drinks (tea, lemonade, water) $0
Thank You’s (home-made) $0
Thank You postage $4
Total for Kid Party $56

Family Party/Dinner (15 adults)
Chicken Tenders $13
Marinade/oil $2
Rice Mixes $3
Salad fixings $9
Thank You postage $3
Total for Family Party/Dinner $30

Grand Total $86

0 comments on "Throwing a Child's Birthday Party Under $100"

Monday, March 16, 2009

Throwing a Child's Birthday Party Under $100

I’ve been to a couple of Birthday parties lately that have cost (to my best guestimate) between $300-$400. One was a location party and included ordered pizzas. The second had Cinderella come visit. In between these two parties my husband and I threw a party at home for our two oldest children (who’s birthdays are conveniently 3 days apart.) We’ve never gone all out or spent a lot on Birthday parties and the children always seem to have a blast. This year I decided to try to keep the spending to a minimum. We threw two parties, one for our children’s friends and one for family. Both were held on the same day. Our goal is always to stay under $100, including providing dinner for the family. This year we came well under our goal, with the total expenditure being about $86. Here’s how we did it.
First, we hosted the parties at home. I created post card invitations on my computer and hand delivered as many as possible. We only blew up balloons for decorations (no helium – kids like it better if they’re within their reach to play with anyhow.) We bought minimum numbers of paper products and made the drinks from scratch. I didn’t put out any other food, as we had the party at 2:00 p.m., right after lunch. The cake and icing were home-made, decorating and creating is part of the fun for us and the kids to see what we’ll come up with next. We get cake ideas from coolest-birthday-cakes.com (we also have one posted there under Thomas – Island of Sodor.) I also got party game ideas from partygamecentral.com. We played the spoon race using potatoes instead of eggs (they’re usable even if they get dropped) and the spin until your dizzy game.
I’m not a big fan of gift bags of plastic trinkets and candy for giveaways for guests. Last year I bought dollar books and made paper crowns for each child. This year I bought small clay pots, a bag of seeds and some soil (of which I could use the remainder for my plants I start inside for my garden.) We used paints, glitter glue, and paint brushes that I had in my craft collection for the kids to decorate their pots after they planted their seeds. They loved the craft and fortunately it was warm so we were able to do this outside and let the pots dry while we continued with the party.
The kids party went very well and we stayed right at $50 with everything included. Later in the day we hosted the family party and provided dinner for everyone. We grilled chicken, made a home-made salad from fixing I had around the house from what we normally by at Costco (also where we got the chicken), and made two box rice mixes (just because I forgot to put the real rice on to soak and cook early enough.) There was enough cake left to feed the family as well as some left over. Everyone had a good time and was well fed. The kids had a blast and each had a personal gift take home. I’m sure someone may be able to come up with an even more frugal party, but we’re very happy with our full day of celebrating for under $100.

Here's the expense break-down:
Kid Party (10 young guests)
12 Clay Pots $9
Bag of Seeds $1
Soil $4
Art supplies $0
Invitations $0
Stamps $2
Plates, Cups, Napkins $12
Game ideas/supplies $0
Balloons (bag of 24) $2
Cake (4 boxes, ice cream cones) $9
Icing (home-made) $6
Ice Cream (generic, 2 cartons) $7
Drinks (tea, lemonade, water) $0
Thank You’s (home-made) $0
Thank You postage $4
Total for Kid Party $56

Family Party/Dinner (15 adults)
Chicken Tenders $13
Marinade/oil $2
Rice Mixes $3
Salad fixings $9
Thank You postage $3
Total for Family Party/Dinner $30

Grand Total $86

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