Lower Your Birthday Party Budget Without Lowering the Fun

 

Between party favors, entertainment, and venue rental; and, of course, the presents, birthday parties’ can sometimes be a huge drain on your bank account. Of course you want to show your child a fun time, but a lot of parents just assume that means they need a 4-digit budget to make it happen. The truth is, you can make your child’s special day extra special without having to take out a second mortgage. The trick is to get creative and be open to new twists on the old birthday traditions.

First of all, trim the guest list down as much as possible. Throwing a huge party is a nice gesture for your child but it can often be overwhelming to a child who has not completely developed their social skills. They will probably have even more fun with 5-10 of their closest friends.

Instead of renting a venue like a roller skating rink or a putt-putt golf course, let the kids run wild at the park. Most cities have free park with baseball diamonds that are perfect for games of baseball, softball or kickball.

Once you have the guest list pared down and the location decided on, consider what sorts of activities the kids can engage in. If you can think of a way to combine the food and the entertainment, you will end up saving a lot. For instance, turning the birthday cake into an interactive experience by setting up a cupcake decorating station will keep the kids entertained while they feed themselves. Have the batter ready to go and let the kids add chocolate chips, M&Ms or any other little goodies into the batter before putting the cupcakes in the oven. Have icing, sprinkles and other candies ready once they’ve cooled down.

When children are young they are mostly just happy to be hanging out with each other. As long as they have some sort of sweet in their tummy and some sort of activity to play, they’ll most likely have a blast.

Melissa is a party planner and guest blog writer who enjoys throwing great themed parties using Mario party supplies.

 

Thanks to Melissa for the informative guest post and to Rawich for the birthday candle image. :)

Mommies SAVING Money

piggy-bank.jpgThe last Mommies Making Money post got some attention and that’s when the idea of a double threat hit me.  Mommies Saving Money.  Making money and saving money at the same time would be fabulous, wouldn’t it?

I’m sure you don’t need me to inform you that this economy is in the toilet.  I’m not a stats person, as far as remembering and quoting them goes.  But I do enjoy looking at them.  I like watching the stats for my blogs go up every month, that’s for sure. And thank you very much! :-)  But I don’t like economical type stats.  Or real estate stats.  You look at them, see the arrows and trends pointing downward and you know we’re in a pickle.  No fun, there. 

When I was single I used coupons a lot.  I used to cut them out for Mom when I was a kid… when I got my first apartment, the highlight of my week was running out to get the paper on Sunday, grabbing a My Favorite Muffin, and sprawling out on the floor of my kitchen/living room/dining room, (It was a small apartment!) and clipping.  It reminded me of clipping for Mom, but it also got me excited about being a big girl and saving money.  Getting the apartment guaranteed that I didn’t have any to spend, so making the dollar stretch became the substitute for shopping at the mall.

Somewhere along the lines, though,I started making more money and having extra to spare.  I didn’t continue clipping coupons or shopping for deals justifying that “my time is worth more money than that”.  What a moron.  I thought I was so smart and evolved, and in some ways I was, but do you ever look back in wonder at your own naivete?

Too bad I lost my coupon excitement all those years ago.  But it’s never too late!  I am getting back to the basics and adding coupon clipping and bargain hunting to my money-making-mama strategies.

Pillsbury has $27.30 worth of savings available in September and it’s all the really good stuff… frozen cookie dough, biscuits, cinnamon rolls, pastries, pizza rolls, Progresso products, Old El Paso, cereal, yogurt bars, Yo-Plus yogurt and more!

Kellogg’s has a full rebate on Frosted Mini Wheats right now.

Kraft has Oreo ice cream free with the purchase of $15 of cake goodies.  PLUS they have those super cute Breast Cancer Awareness t-shirts there, sponsored by Jell0, Cool Whip, and Philadelphia cream cheese.

There!  That should get us started.

Do you clip coupons?  Have you always?  Share with us your dollar stretching tips!