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Works 4 Me Wednesday: Birthday Tips
Having just thrown a birthday bash for my 3 year old this past weekend I thought now would be a good time to share a few tips with you for party planning (and saving).
1) Plan in advance!
I began planning Hannah's party months ago. I looked at Pinterest for ideas, watched the sales for party supplies, (I got the decorations on clearance after 4th of July because they were the right colors I needed.) and shopped the sales at the grocery stores on items that I could freeze or store. (I knew I needed soda so I stocked up when Rite-Aid had it on sale for 3/$10 and I had some UPR to use.)
2) Buy your food at the outlets.
We are lucky to live in a huge food manufacturing part of the world. So, I was able to score snacks from the Pepperidge farm outlet and Stauffers outlet. I bought the meats and cheeses from a local discount grocery. We have a bread outlet nearby able to provide the rolls and wraps for the sandwiches. And the rest was picked up at Sam's.
3) Favors don't have to be expensive.
For Hannah's party I had a woman on Etsy create crayon roll ups for me with the Dr Seuss theme in mind. I asked her to miniaturize them and discount them for me since I was buying in bulk. They wound up costing me just over a $1 each. This was far less than it would have cost me to get the material and the time it would have taken me. I added in miniature Dr Seuss coloring books and goldfish crackers. A small price for each favor, but helped keep kiddos happy.
4) Keep the decorations minimal.
Really. Blow up a few balloons. Create a birthday banner from construction or scrapbooking paper and you're all set. Don't go overboard. Balloons pop, banners rip, and nobody really pays all that much attention to the decorations anyways.
5) Take lots of pictures!
I always regret not taking more pictures. These are the mementos your little ones will have forever. They won't remember their younger birthday parties. But this is one way to share the memory with them.
6) Cakes don't have to be expensive. (just like favors!)
I'm lucky to know some AMAZING bakers. But if you don't there is no need to overspend on a birthday cake. Many grocers offer free birthday cakes in their bakery areas. Just ask. Try cupcakes. They are much more inexpensive. Sam's and Wal-Mart have great prices on cupcakes and cakes and no one will know the difference if you transfer them from the box to a cake stand or the like.
7) Simple Games
Games aren't needed. But if you're going to do a game keep it simple. Use google, pinterest, or the ideas of friends and family to plan these. You can even put another family member in charge of planning the games if you'd like. Kids just want to play and let out energy. Even a simple game of go fish or pin the tail on something goes a long way. Keep the prizes simple too.
These are just my best tips for keeping birthdays simple and cost effective. It's what works 4 me!